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Ode to Pizza

It is a chilly January evening. The sky is dark and the smell of pizza looms in the air. Curiosity gets the best of me, and I make my way down the steep staircase and into the kitchen. The pizza boxes lay upon the table, taunting me, inviting me to take a bite. My mouth waters with anticipation, and my hand shakily reaches to open the first box. Mushrooms. Tempting, but not what I crave. I open the next: cheese. The scent is breath taking, but I hold out. My heart swells with hope as I open the third, the last. Pepperoni stares back at me, cuddled amongst piles of cheese and oceans of grease. VICTORY! I pull off two delectable pieces, and place them gently on my plate.
What shall I do? Savor the time I share with the pizza, making each moment last and enjoying each grease-filled bite to the fullest? Or devour them ravenously, the delicious Italian cuisine quickly finding refuge in my stomach? I choose the latter, and my stomach is satisfyingly filled in the matter of a few too-short minutes. I stare, brokenhearted, at the empty plate before me. But no, I shall not dwell over the disappearance of my lovely pizza. I should be joyous, for I had the chance to experience such delicious slices, no matter how short our time together was. I smile, content, and push my chair back from the table. Making my way upstairs, I reminisce on the time shared with my pizza, my delicious dinner, my dear friend. I sit down in front of my computer. Thinking back on my amazing meal, I realize I should share such a once-in-a-lifetime experience with the world. I begin to type my story, as my old pizza friends swim in the deepest depths of my stomach.

Suddenly, there is a horrifying growl. What could possibly be making such a terrible noise? I look around in horror, expecting to find some sort of terrible beast. Instead, I find my stomach. WHY? OH, WHY? Why, after such a wondrous meal, do I hunger for more!?
"NOOO!" I cry, holding my stomach, tears streaming down my face. It cannot be. This could only mean one thing: My pizza, oh, my dearest pizza, has been digested. I shake with the horror of this realization, overcome with a sorrow too powerful for words, and even worse, a hunger that I know should not be. I shake my head, no. I will not give in!
So why, after so much suffering, do I creep down the stairs, into the kitchen, and find myself in front of the refrigerator, staring straight at the most fowl things to inhabit it?: The Leftovers.
I crinkle my nose and slowly move my trembling hand toward the tinfoil-covered plate. I peek beneath the silver paper to find flat, cold, stiff slices that just barely resemble the amazing pizza I experienced only a short time ago. Yet I reach in, and slowly extract a piece, covered with chilled pepperoni and cold cheese. Now the question: To heat, or not to heat. I decide to slip it into the microwave for a few seconds. When I pull it out, it is perfectly warm, the pepperoni wonderfully greasy. My heart skips a beat: It is practically identical to the pizza I had before. I let out a sigh of pure ecstasy as I take a large bite. Delicious! My mind floods with memories of my other pizza, but I don't allow that to lessen my enjoyment of this amazing leftover slice.
I open my eyes, the moment gone almost as soon as it began. My eyes well up with tears as I stare at my empty hands. Did I really eat it so quickly? I remorsefully shake my head, and stand up from the table. The scent of grease still hangs in the air as I limp up the stairs and collapse on my bed. If only I had had self control, if only I still had my dear pizza. I lay crumpled amongst the sheets for a few minutes, my stomach still full, but emptying by the second.
Then it dawns on me: There were other leftovers! They may not be as satisfying as the last, but I'm sure I can make due! I rush from the bed and dive into the remaining pizza. Some I heat, some I leave cold. Some I devour in moments, some I savor. My heart fills with hope and longing as I think of the pizza in my future, and realize that no pizza experience is better than another. They are all equal, prized memories in the scrapbook of your stomach, little rewards for the trophy stand of your intestinal tract. Each bite an overwhelming moment of joy, just as long as you have a few thin slices of pepperoni, a pinch of garlic, and the ability to stomach it all!





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