W E    L I K E   T  O   E A T    P I Z Z A   I N   P A R K I N G   L O T S.  The takeout special, one large, two-topping pizza for $7.99, it couldn’t be beat. We’d order — I had them on speed dial — jump in the car and drive the six-to-ten blocks to the pizza shop. Sitting in your car with the pie, cardboard lid flipped back, our eyes big as though staring at gold, the fumes of cheese and meat (yours) and pineapple (mine) filling the space, we’d inhale a piece or two before coming to a satisfactory slow.

We ate pizza in parking lots all through the years. We ate through blizzards, in sunshine, your car, mine. We’d talk with cheese dripping from our teeth and grease on every fingertip. As years passed we watched the price rise from $7.99 to $8.99, to $9.99 and beyond. “Pizza’s getting so expensive,” we’d think, but hindsight reveals that it wasn’t about the pizza or the price. It was always about being together.

Eating pizza in parking lots was just one of the infinite ways we celebrated our friendship. For seven years I have had the most compassionate, inspiring and loving best friend to share pizza and life.

The happiest day to beautiful Holly, who has given me so many reasons to smile and feel incredible about the world.