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January 26, 2021 Fiction

Hold Music

Zac Smith

Hold Music photo

Greg ordered a pizza. The pizza had a suicide note in the box, lying loose on top of the pizza. It was signed by someone else named Greg. Greg called the pizza place but the connection was bad. He tried to tell the guy that there was a suicide note in his pizza box but the guy thought Greg was trying to place an order. Greg kept saying No, No, Listen, but the guy sounded really distracted and mad. Greg looked at the clock and saw that it was probably really busy at the pizza place. The guy asked Greg how many orders of breadsticks he wanted. Greg hung up and called back but the line was busy. He hung up and called back and the guy answered and put him on hold. Greg listened to hold music while rereading the suicide note. The Greg who wrote the suicide note felt deeply concerned for his girlfriend. He speculated that she would not handle his death well. The Greg who wrote the suicide note was trying to ask the pizza place to give his girlfriend money to help her deal with the aftermath of his suicide. Greg wondered about the kind of relationship this other Greg had with the pizza place. He wondered how the note had ended up in his pizza box. He listened to the hold music. He read the suicide note again. He liked how the Greg who wrote the suicide note sketched out how exactly he planned on killing himself, which didn’t seem normal for suicide notes because the people who find them usually also find the body. He ate a slice of the pizza while listening to the hold music and rereading the suicide note. The music was pretty good. It was classic hip hop. He thought maybe using classic hip hop for hold music was illegal somehow – he couldn’t think of any other reason other places would use generic hold music instead of classic hip hop. He also thought about how he liked how the Greg who wrote the suicide note wrote f and t with a squiggle for the little crossbar thing instead of just a straight line.