Bear Den

Aftertaste

There are few things better for the soul than a good slice of pizza. The subtle combination of sauces, meats, and cheese never ceased to light you taste buds ablaze in pleasurable flavor. Being young and bearing an adaptable digestive system, you considered yourself a connoisseur of the dish upon enjoying it at least twice a week. In your mind, it was a treat or a form of “self care” that you were never shy to indulge in. Whenever you’d enjoy your friends’ company you would have a pizza ordered, when you succeeded at work or in school to the minimal degree of eliciting celebration you’d treat yourself to a whole dish, and on occasions in which you found yourself the slightest bit melancholy the local pizzeria received a call.

One day you were in the mood for red sauce and cheese when you stumbled across a new ad on your phone. You were browsing for the number of the closest pizza establishment and an entirely new location came to your attention under the name of “Foundation Pizza.” It took you a moment, but you were certain that you recognized the branding. Further investigation after clicking on the link led you to a site explaining that the Transformation Foundation was now expanding into the culinary and delivery experience, aiming to keep up with the likes of other food delivery and internet businesses. You remembered the Foundation. Those were the guys that had those weird commercials about guys getting fat, buffed, hairy, or turned into “pups” or some shit. You’d heard that they opened a restaurant awhile back, a niche place that only served watermelon for some reason. Some people liked it, but the fans of the joint often looked like they could eat you whole for being so wide around in the waist.

You nearly skipped the place, dismissing it wholesale, but thinking about all those huge guts made you rethink the notion. If anyone could be that loyal a customer and get that big on Foundation food alone it was arguable that the food must be very good, and with a fan base that large, pardoning the pun, it would be unbecoming for a connoisseur of pizza such as yourself to dismiss an entire venue of cuisine on a whim. Having deliberated on the simple choice of picking a place to order from for long enough, you dialed in the number. There was a click as the call was accepted, but instead of the usual greeting and identification of the restaurant, you were merely informed by what sounded like an automated voice message that a delivery was en route to your location. You faltered for a moment, confused as to how a delivery could be coming when you had yet to order, pay, or disclose your address, but the automated voice didn’t bother to be any further transparent than it already was and promptly hung up after delivering its message. You tried to call back a few times, but you were only given the same message as before.

You were quite frustrated at this point and ready to try placing your order somewhere else when there was a knocking at the door. Your eyebrows furrowed in confusion as you made your way towards the door clad only in your underwear. You rationalized that perhaps it was a friend arriving unannounced or the delivery of some odd package you’d ordered, in which case the delivery person would be gone before you opened the door, and in the former, they’d deserve everything they say for not calling ahead. It ended up being you who was at fault, however, as I was waiting at the door. I stifled a giggle as he frantically dashed to hide your exposed personage behind the open door, asking who I was, and I answered that I was the Transformation Foundation receptionist and delivery boy with as straight of a face as I could manage. Upon seeing your expression of befuddlement, I asked to confirm if you’d made a call from your phone number from your address intending to receive pizza. You recognized the number and address as yours, and I asked to come inside. Still off-balance from the situation, you sputtered out that you only had underwear on, and I proceeded inside anyway, remarking that it was kind of you to share such details.

You watched with furrowed brows as I negotiated my way to your dining room table as if I had sat at it dozens of times before. From the pizza delivery bag that I had at my side I withdrew a single box of pizza, and placed it down without much consent or instruction. Then, without a word, I turned around and headed out the front door from which I entered. You were still much too caught up on the fact that I was here with theoretically free pizza in order to notice that my flirtatious eyes gave your body a once over. You were young. You had a fair build. You didn’t go to the gym all that often, but you weren’t overweight by any stretch of the imagination. You were the perfect candidate. I smiled mischievously before I bid you a good night and closed the door behind me.

You raised an eyebrow at the closed door, waiting for me to come back to ask for a tip or at least money for the pizza. I never did though, so with a shrug, you made your way towards the dining room table. The sensuous odor of the pizza called you towards it, as if asking you to take it into account. It certainly smelled delicious, there was no denying that, but whether or not it tasted good remained to be seen. You approached the table with the same baited breath and excited trepidation of a man that was awaiting the answer to a proposal of marriage. Your excited hand gripped the top of the pizza box and flipped it open to reveal, to your disappointment, a rather mundane-looking pizza. It looked any exquisite toppings or decoration. It was only simple cheese and pepperoni. The cheese did not appear to have the properly roasted texture you were so fond of, and the crust came in the shape of a disturbingly artificial rectangle in order cup the circular back end of the piece. It was neither fluffy of appealing.

You rolled your eyes at the prospect of eating the thing and went to your phone to adore another pizza, yet though it appeared to be nothing special, your stomach began to growl as you took another whiff of the air. The scent of the pizza lingered like a woman’s perfume, and it similarly served to be quite intoxicating. You put down the phone and came back to the table. Were you really going to throw out a whole pizza that smelled this good just because it didn’t look all that great? The whole point of calling the Foundation for pizza was to try something new, and here you were upturning your nose without even trying it. Begrudgingly, you reached your hand into the pizza box and pulled out a single slice of the pizza. You pulled it out and watched the cheese stretch and ooze from the piece in your hand to the rest in the box. You mouth watered at the sight as it was the sign of a very good pizza. You collected the strings with your unencumbered hand and piled them on top of the waiting pizza before taking your first, big bite.

You coughed and sputtered. You dropped the slice as if it was a poisonous creature attempting to bite you. It fell to the floor with a thudding splat. You rushed to your sink, nearly stepping on what you had just dropped, and immediately spit the chunk of pizza out of your mouth. Still gagging, you regarded the mouthful in disdain. That was undoubtedly the worst pizza that you had ever tasted in your entire life. The red sauce was exceedingly plain. The cheese tasted like plastic and the crust like burnt cardboard. The pepperoni had all the edibility of oily rubber. Worst of all, it tasted as though there was something else that was added to it that should not have been. It was a subtle flavor, reminiscent of woman’s perfume. It was simultaneously the worst part of the pizza and the only reason that you’d been able to keep the bite in your mouth as long as you had. It almost presented your tongue with a similar flavor as to what might be expected of proper pepperoni. It was oily, greasy, and dominated the back end of your tongue. It was like something that was terrible but right for being awful, as if it was part of the experience. You could practically taste it in the smell on the air, calling you back, asking you to try another bite.

Your mind grew numb as you smelled the pizza, savoring the notion of what a pizza that smells that good must taste like all over again. With shuffling steps, you made your way back to the pizza box and regarded the meal inside. Hesitantly, you reached inside once again, collected the strings onto the pizza, and took a bite. You gagged, violently, but you didn’t drop the pizza. You didn’t spit it out either. In fact, much to your surprise, you kept chewing it. You felt your mouth become coated in lackluster pizza sauce, inedible pepperoni, and disgustingly fake cheese and bread, yet you found yourself digesting the food further and further with every bite. That subtle taste at the back of your mouth seemed to almost be ushering you on, promising an aftertaste worth the whole endeavor, but the tears of disgust in your eyes made the sweet promise hard to believe on the taste’s behalf. You had never experienced such an unpleasant mouthful in your entire life, yet your throat, seemingly in command of the subtle flavor instead of yourself, gulped piece after piece down until there was nothing left. Your mouth felt as if you’d just gurgled sewer water and your gasping made for convincing evidence of the false act as well.

Even as you recuperated from the awful experience, you noticed something vague toying about your mouth. It was that oily, greasy sensation that had slipped the mouthful down your throat. It danced across your tongue in the most mystical of sensations, and you couldn’t help but find the feeling beyond exquisite. It was as if the flavor itself recalled every good pizza you’d ever tasted from the memory of your very taste buds and enhanced the enjoyment of the experience tenfold. You dumbly grinned as you slicked the entirety of your mouth with the greasy film, reveling in the euphoric taste. So powerful was the sensation that it was almost like the chemical high experienced by utilizing illegal substances, and had I been there to see you so thoroughly enjoy that second bite’s aftertaste, I might have stepped forward to tell you that our pizzas were indeed designed to act that way. I might have even said that the throbbing erection you presently experienced was a good sign of our addictive, mind-numbing additive working its magic.

It wasn’t long before your primal revelry as such a base sensation wore off, and your were brought back to reality within a matter of minutes. You found the lapse in time concerning, yet the pleasure was highly enjoyable. You couldn’t recall a time that you had previously felt as great as eating that pizza, and so enamored were you with reflection upon the sensation that you hadn’t even noticed the sizable tent in your underwear or the growing dark stain emanating from its apex. First most on your mind was that delicious smell in the air and the promise of another euphoria. A small part of you realized that something was wrong, that a pizza that tasted that bad shouldn’t be this appealing to you, but you couldn’t manage to tear yourself free from the ensnaring prospect of experiencing that sumptuous flavor again. Your willpower to resist yet further waned as you rose the pizza in your hand to your mouth yet again, and with simple-minded pleasure being your guide, you took another bite.

I arrived again a mere half hour later than the first time I arrived. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t even bother to drive all the way back to the Foundation. I simply waited in the neighborhood until I knew you’d call again. I knocked on your front door and heard a frantic charge of footsteps in response. The door flew open with the dramatic speed of fired bullet, and you stood in the doorway exposed for all to see. You were still in your underwear, not that you were letting that bother you anymore, and the crotch of you underpants looked to be hosting a three ring circus from the bulge that pointed accusatory at me, leaving the massive dark stain across the front to little speculation. You yourself were in a sorry state. Your carefully trimmed and groomed beard that I had regarded as complimenting your face so elegantly before was now completely smothered in tomato sauce. Whole clumps of the vegetable even clung from the facial hair like ornaments from sort of red Christmas tree. Your cheeks glistened from the various pizza oils that you couldn’t have bothered to see properly into your mouth. Your eyes were as wide as a serving dishes ready to be filled, and drool oozed out of your mouth as if your were one of Pavlov’s dog’s.

Stammering, you asked, nay, pleaded for another pizza. Your shaking, fumbling fingers reached for my thermodynamic pizza bag, yet I held it just tantalizingly out of reach. It was clear that you were suffering from withdraws after imbibing a proper dosage of the additive, and I knew I had you in the palm of my hand. I’ll admit to taking great pleasure in slowly and wordlessly making my way through the front door and proceeding towards the table with you following at my heels like a forlorn puppy begging for a meal. At the table I viewed the carnage of what remained of the last pizza. Not a single slice of pizza was left in the box. The crumbs spilt sauce were missing from the inside of the box, and the cardboard itself had been desperately torn apart to be sucked on piece by piece in a pathetic attempt to extract what little remaining oils had been absorbed by the packaging. The floor had been clearly licked clean around the area that the first slice of pizza had been dropped, clearly eaten as well. It was clear that you in particular had a particular addiction for the additive.

I chuckled at the prospect and what fun you might wield as a subject before haphazardly tossing the pizza box onto the table. It had barely left my hand before you had dashed me and greedily opening the box. I knew it would most likely be cold by now, having been sitting with me in the car for the last half hour, but I also knew you wouldn’t mind. It was clear that I could probably serve the pizza off of my ass and you’d still eat it. I put a pin in the idea and observed you devouring the pizza slice by slice. You’d grimace and groan with every bite, still very much not enjoying the food that you were eating. Then you’d swallow though, and your entire affect would change. Your eyes grew glassy and had the appearance of looking far away despite staring at the slice of pizza just inches from your face. A large, dumb smile slid over your face, and you’d begin to moan in pleasure, vaguely thrusting your hips into the air as you experienced a pleasure that surpassed your own natural sex drive.

I myself smiled to see the sight as a beautiful act of applied science in progress. It was clear that you’d soon end up as so many others do that order from Foundation Pizza. You’d never live down the high, constantly needing more and more of our pizza. You’d forgo relationships and friends, opting to stay in your house all day instead. Your whole life would become dedicated to eating our pizza instead. Your chores and sense of self care would fall by the wayside as you attempted to keep up with the high, leading to a slovenly lifestyle of living amongst a filthy apartment and only occasionally bothering to do such arduous tasks as showering or changing your clothes, which would all grow increasingly tight on your increasingly expanding frame. Pizza isn’t exactly a healthy food to make the only item on your diet after all, and eating an overabundance of food, using the pizza’s high as a constant and unwavering signal of when to eat instead of the reasonable and daily sensation of hunger, certainly wouldn’t help either. Maybe in the very back of your additive-dulled mind you might realize this fact, but you’d certainly be powerless to stop it. The aftertaste of your garbage pizza tastes so good, after all, and you have to keep eating it.

(Image source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/338895940700947956/)

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