The breathing was slow and laboured. It pierced the atmosphere and rhythmically accompanied the flashing glow of the television. The voices were faint, as though coming from another room. But they were there, always there, wafting through the blue twilight that was the lounge.
It didn't matter that the voices were faint. The pictures were enough. And the pictures told of an endless paradise. One after the other, a parade of flavours, a procession of richness, a carnival of fulfilment, a continuous spectacle of irresistible indulgences displayed themselves on the TV screen. Without inhibitions, without any shame, showing themselves in all their gloriously dripping fat and temptingly sugary coatings.
And it was no use resisting, the urge was intense now. Sooner or later it had to be satiated.
At last, a large circle of dough displayed itself filling the screen with its crisp, uneven edges, its centre filled with sweet red tomato sauce, melted mounds of mozzarella cheese, topped with slices of fatty pepperoni, all swimming in a sea of oiliness that had been released in the cooking.
The brows were sweating under the effort to control the compulsion.
A bloated hand finally emerged out of the darkest corner of the room, reaching out for the ‘phone, a puffy finger pressed a key, a voice hissed breathlessly.
The guy in the red cap knew the routine.
He opened the door, carefully balancing the pile of flat cardboard boxes and stepped into the now familiar wave of stale-smelling air.
"Going through another pizza phase?" he asked rhetorically, leaving the order by the couch within easy reach for the huge bulk.
He took the large empty jerry-cans and refilled them with water. Then as he left, he collected the usual substantial tip for any extra services he had provided.
In a huge feat of effort, the mass of flesh wobbled precariously, rolling slightly toward the boxes, hands reaching out for the first box on the pile. The lumpy old couch creaked under the groaning stress it had to endure.
The first pizza did not survive for more than a few minutes and was closely followed by the others, their oil slicks of cheese fat and dangling rubbery cheese strings, their topping of oily sausage slices quickly sliding down the gullet in a repulsive frenzy accompanied only by intermittent burping and the occasional guzzle from a beer can that had been left on the floor nearby. Until there was nothing left except one small piece of crust that had been burnt and was now discarded in one of the empty boxes.
The urges satiated by the overwhelming feeling of fullness, the breathing slowed and the eyelids dropped down little by little. The television still glowed in the twilight world of that room, this time to itself. But the slumber didn't last long before it was interrupted by a burning pain.
It was one of the sores that had developed from the constant rubbing of compressed and folded mountainous regions that were the excess of flesh. They had been more frequent and troublesome of late.