Feelings you haven’t felt in a long time start to stir within you. Your dreams start to feature, occasionally at first then with increasing frequency; enormous chairs with wheels, chipper waiters and giant trays. You start smelling bread-sticks everywhere you go.
You need to find someone to go with you. You send a few texts, try to play it cool. Maybe you ask how their diets are going, how committed are they to that 5k, might they be interested in filling their bodies with cheese?
You’ve successfully narrowed-in on one or two people, maybe you tried to make it sound romantic. Maybe you emailed them a pictures of pasta every day for a week. Maybe you threatened their families. Either way, you’ve got a date.
You’ve arrived early, your hands are shaking with nervousness and anticipation. You have been repeating your order in your head since you left your house but when the waiter finally comes over your words get all jumbled and you just mash your fingers at the menu to order. “Stupid! Stupid!!”
You’re committed now. It’s all happening. As you wait for your first basket of bread-sticks to appear you feel a stab of panic. You worked so hard to get to this point, did you make the right choice? Should you have ordered off the seasonal menu? It doesn’t matter, the bread-sticks arrive and soon you’re floating on a sodium induced wave of pleasure.
Sometime during your second bowl of soup the pasta arrives and as cheese starts to course through your veins, you feel a rush of confidence. You know who you are, you made the right choice, it’s all going to be okay!
As you eat your mind starts to drift excitedly to plans for the future. How good would this be as lunch at work tomorrow?! You’re colleagues will be so jealous when they smell it heating up in the microwave. You can tell everyone you ate that third bowl of soup!
Suddenly, fullness starts to set in and you are gripped by panic. You aren’t ready to let go of the high. You keep going. One more bite! Recapture the moment!
Then suddenly the spell is broken. You look down and notice that the once beautiful ceramic plates full of cream actually looks kind of congealed, and the smell of minestrone and meat sauce is making you feel ill… You try to leave but have to go back because you forgot your box of leftovers at the table.
10. The Morning After
You wake up and it takes you a moment to remember how you got home. Did you drive? Did a truck run over your intestines? Then you notice the takeout box still clutched in your hand and it all comes back to you….