Last Slice Anxiety: An Inner Monologue
Is he—yes! I knew there was more. Jim, you are a saint, my man. You were born to be the Parties and Particulars Planner. Whoever appointed you should get a raise. Man, he just swooped right in when that box was empty. Like a ninja. A glorious, beautiful ninja. You’re a sight for sore eyes, Jimbo, this one’s for you.
Shoot, it’s half gone already. Jim, please, that can’t be the last pie, can it? What about those boxes over there? Empty? No way, this is not good, not good at all. And—yup, there it goes. All gone. That’s it, party’s over. See you next week folks, it’s been a real—
Wait! That looks like…YES! The last slice. One more glistening slice dripping with grease and pepperoni. Aw man, the cheese is practically oozing off it, a perfect golden brown, just totally right. And that crust, not too firm, not too soft, perfect. Absolutely perfect.
But…I can’t…right? Who takes the last slice of pizza at an office party? Gluttons, that’s who. They already think I’m fat, well, they know I’m fat, look at me. Man, I can’t even see my shoes anymore. I look like I’m shoplifting a beach ball. A sad, saggy beach ball. Remember when putting on socks wasn’t a chore? Remember that? And forget cutting my toenails. Now, that’s, like, an event.
Also, come on, the box is all the way across the office by Carol’s desk. She of the not so subtle invitation to join the office’s Who-Can-Lose-the-Most-Weight-In-Eight-Weeks-It’s-Just-Ten-Dollars-To-Join pool. Is it worth the ensuing murmurs and devastating glances? Everybody will see me. I’ll just stick with the two slices. Yeah, just the two. Not too bashful, not too greedy, perfect.
Did Jim just look over here? Shit. He’s coming over. He saw me looking at the pizza, he definitely did. Just act cool, act like him, just be—Jimbo! Great party, bro! Oh yeah, no, I had plenty to eat, plenty! Ha ha! Look at you! Congrats on the promotion, my man! Hey, you deserved it, you know, much more than Carol, am I right? Ha ha! No no, I’m fine, I’m good with two, totally cool. Well, if no one else wants it, it’d be a crime to let it go to waste, right? Ha ha! OK, Jim, all right, buddy—…Aw man, that was a disaster. Now if I don’t eat it, what will he think? He practically gift-wrapped it. Jeez, I really screwed the pooch on that one. It’s not like if he ate it anyone would care. He’s an Adonis! He could eat a whole pizza and it would only be charming. So what, am I just going to stand here? Go on, make the sad stroll over. Get going, loser.
See? It’s not so bad. What, only half the office is boring holes through my back with accusation and contempt, no big deal. Did somebody turn up the heat, or am I supposed to be sweating puddles into my shoes? And if only I could manage to un-cling my dampening shirt from my man-boobs with some amount of discretion, yeah, that’d be great. Oh! And what’s this? Wait for it, wait for it, waaaaait—Carol ladies and gentleman! Her and her black beady eyes of judgement and judgey-ness. Why don’t you double park your car in a handicapped space again, Carol, you wretch. And no one thinks you’re funny; you’re just loud. You know what, Carol? Two slices are enough. There are veggies in the freezer at home. I just needed some paper towels, see? Paper towels. I don’t need that slice. Just paper towels and maybe another soda, too. Diet this time. Turn around, Carol. Go misspell the boss’s name in a company-wide memo again. You type with your elbows.
Yeah, veggies, good. What is it, peas? Maybe some baby carrots, too? That’s the stuff, that’s what men eat. Some nice leathery peas that taste like wet newspaper. How long have they been in the freezer? Seven months? Eight? Sure, they’ll thaw out by midnight…probably. The carrots maybe by morning. They’ll go great with a side of guilt and a glass of self-loathing. Yummy.
But that slice—still there, man, still there. Screw it. Everybody knows I’m going to take it, that’s why it’s still there. They don’t care anymore. Nobody cares. Jim gave me the thumbs up. What’re three slices anyway? A lot better than deflated peas and soggy carrots, that’s for sure. That glistening triangle may as well have been made especially for me. Look at that shiny, shiny grease. Ah! I can hear it—Eat me! Eat me! I’m yours!—no, I’m yours. That slice is me. I am that slice. I deserve it. All this hemming and hawing is exhausting, enough to make someone, oh say, hungry? It’s time to do my duty—save it from the ghost-like vestiges of the grease stains surrounding it. It has suffered enough. I’ve suffered enough. That’s it, go, go—Quick! She’s eyeing it! Hurry! Before sh—too late. She got it. That’s her fifth slice. Fuck you, Carol. You’re horrible.