Meet Bill. He’s 52 and delivers pizza around Brookyn on his fixie. He looks like he’s seen a few things, and learned a few hard lessons.
Typical me, I read pizza delivery, Brooklyn, and fixie, and react with a swift exhale and a big eye-roll. Why do normal things all of a sudden become elevated to a noteworthy status when they involve a fixie? Who cares?
Then I watched it, and, quite frankly, it’s one of the best little docos I’ve seen in a very long time, brought to you by No Weather.
The story is engaging and told superbly, Bill is a fantastic character, the soundtrack is really well selected, and it all comes together to make you somehow feel the genuine humanity stripped bare before you. Ok, maybe that last bit might sound a tad over-written, but what you have here isn’t a piece about fixies or bike culture in general, or NYC, or pizza delivery, but a story about a guy who, for whatever reasons, has been delivered a box of lemons and is trying to make the best lemonade he can. More than that, he appreciates that the particular blend of lemonade he’s made is actually rather enjoyable to his palate, even though the people around him who are drinking the popular or premium brand of lemonade look down on his home-brew and can’t understand why he puts up with it. His character is genuine. He has fight in him. He’s personable and polite. He’s a guy I would be excited to have a conversation with over a hot pizza-pie.
Delivery applies here in many senses of the word. Obviously, to pizzas, but also in Bill’s delivery in his day to day actions. He’s assertive, clear, considerate, and seems pretty honest about being a human being. Of surrendering to the simple truth that he likes doing what he’s doing, despite what others would have him believe. Bill also finds, like many of us, the delivery of something simple and yet profound (isn’t that always the case?) from the bike he rides every day. It may not be the same for everyone, but there is something quite representative of the human potential in all of us that is found in the humble bicycle.