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Contemporary Fiction Funny

I have always been a chocoholic. When I was born my dad gave out chocolate cigars. It may have been a harbinger of things to come. As long as I can remember, there was a chocolate dish served with every meal. Chocolate cake, pudding, pie, all were sweet desserts served with every meal during family dinners. Then there were the appropriately named chocolate kisses my uncle Joe brought me every few weeks. I savored them as I would savor kisses from my wife. They flooded me with oxytocin and brought me to a level of ecstasy that I would only experience later in life. Weekly my mother would take me to the local ice cream parlor where I would choose from a variety of chocolate flavors. Chocolate chip, mint chip, Dutch chocolate, cookies and cream were tempting but did not compare to two scoops of dark chocolate on a sugar cone. Sometimes, I would add chocolate sprinkles. We would walk home in silence as I slowly nursed my beloved ice cream cone. Halloween was special. The neighbors saved their chocolate candies for me. Easter brought me chocolate Easter bunnies and eggs. My Jewish friends gave me chocolate coins from Israel at Hannukah. My reputation as a chocolate connoisseur spread. Kids and their parents would have me taste various kinds of chocolate. They valued my opinion and introduced me to a variety of international brands. By a very young age, I could distinguish Swiss from Belgian chocolate and developed a taste for some Middle Eastern brands. I had turned an addiction into a talent or so I thought.

By thirteen, my teeth were full of cavities, I had a bad case of acne, and I was becoming morbidly obese. My pediatrician suggested a no chocolate diet. I protested but my mother insisted and stopped serving chocolate desserts. After a few days, I developed headaches and a tremor. In retrospect, I was withdrawing. My mother must have recognized the symptoms and would slip me one or two Hershey kisses or Reese’s peanut butter cups. If she missed a day, I would become extremely cranky. I began to lose weight, but my acne became worse. A dermatologist suggested that it was chocolate related. When I told her that I had only one piece of chocolate a day. She insisted that it was one piece too much. What was I to do? I had reached puberty and girls became my other obsession. A face full of acne was a major turn off for most girls. Surely, there had to be a medication I could take. The dermatologist insisted a chocolate fast was the healthiest option that was most likely to succeed. I was beside myself but my new attraction to girls won out. After a month of crankiness, tremors and headaches, my acne slowly disappeared. I fed my urge for chocolate with exercise. I began to run and swim. Soon I was a svelte stud with a clear complexion. Chocolate was my past. Women were my future.

When I met my wife, I neglected to tell her about my sordid past as a chocoholic. She just thought I had a chocolate allergy and stayed away from sweets in general. I was happy she didn’t see me salivate when I was around any form of chocolate. I hoped our kids would not inherit the chocolate addiction gene. They were both thin and did not seem overly interested in sweets. Every time my parents or cousins started telling stories about chocolate addiction and my uncanny chocolate palate, I changed the subject. I did not want it to be my legacy.


As I dressed for the Halloween party, my wife put the finishing touches on her Snow-White costume. The tiara suited her. It accentuated her jet-black hair I checked out myself in the mirror. I made a pretty good prince. My crown looked real, and the tights showed off my runner’s legs. My morbid obesity days were well behind me. My new addiction to marathons kept me slim. Timmy and Jane were already out trick or treating and would be staying at their aunt Sara’s for the night. We could party all night. I had not met our host or hostess. They both worked in my wife Monica’s accounting firm. Monica just raved about them and heard rumors that they threw the best parties. She was excited.

“Hey babe, are we supposed to bring anything?” I asked as we headed for the door.

“Not really but Sue hinted that it was a dessert-oriented party. I have some ice wine in the car.”

I began to sweat. “You didn’t tell me there was a theme to this party.

Monica patted me on the back and smiled. “Sorry but I know you have a sweets phobia and didn’t want you to wiggle out of going. I’m sure a taste or smell of something sweet won’t hurt you.”

Little did she know. I just hoped there would be very little chocolate. I nodded grimly and slipped into the driver’s seat. After all these years, I should be fine. After all, the kids had brought home some chocolate candies in their grab bags the last few Halloweens and I survived. Although I did develop a twitch when I saw some Hershey kisses. When Jane unwrapped those luscious flat-bottomed teardrops of chocolate, the sweet aroma made me salivate. I was sorely tempted. So, I left the house and ran 13 miles. My reaction was a warning. I was still an addict. Abstinence was the only solution. I would have to be cautious at the party and avoid temptation. Running tights and black running shoes were part of my costume.

We drove to this large mansion in Beverley Hills. It was all glass and lights and decorated with large goblins and skeletons. Ironically as we passed through the electronic gate, I noticed reproductions of the Seven Dwarfs on the front lawn. I wondered if Monica knew in advance.

After the valet took our car, we walked up the cobble stone walkway to the front door and were met by footmen and a butler. I wondered if they were temporary employees or regulars. Their costumes seemed real. The butler asked for our names and led us to a huge ballroom. We were announced as Snow White and Prince Florian. When the hosts approached, I was in mid-bow when the aroma hit me. Chocolate! The room was filled with long tables containing chocolate in a variety of presentations. Cakes, pies, bowls of M and Ms, Hershey’s kisses, Belgian, French and Swiss chocolates. In the middle of the room was a fountain with some sort of chocolate liquid shooting out of a glass swan’s mouth. There were even chocolate sculptures scattered around the room. I felt faint. It took me a few minutes to register that our hostess was dressed as a Hershey kiss. I was walking into a frickin’ nightmare. I became lightheaded.

Monica noticed my reaction and commented: “Come on. You’re trembling. I know you’re allergic to chocolate, but I don’t believe just being in a room filled with it will affect you. It’s got to be psychological. You don’t have to eat any. We had a big dinner. Stick to the beer or water.”

I was sweating and trembling.  I nodded and smiled but thought: “Can’t you smell that overwhelming beautiful, sweet aroma? Don’t you see the richness of its color. How can you resist?” I was in a trance.

Monica looked at me as if I was having a psychotic break. Maybe I was. She took my hand and led me to some friends we had known for years. Jack was dressed as Humpty Dumpty and Alice, as you guessed it, as Alice in Wonderland. They were talking to me, but I wasn’t listening. The chocolate was beckoning me. I felt its magnetic pull. The last straw occurred as a footman appeared with a platter of slices of Chocolate Lover’s Cake. Rich multilayered cake with dark chocolate frosting and filling. Monica and our friends each took a piece along with a fork. Jack took one bite and was rapturous. Not knowing my history, he offered me a bite. I shook my head so violently my crown fell off.

Monica put her hand on my shoulder and told Jack: Fred has a chocolate allergy.”

Jack withdrew his fork and apologized: “Sorry, I didn’t know.”

I nodded. “No problem. How could you know? Monica thinks it’s psychological and maybe it is.”

Jack looked at Monica, then turned to me and asked: “Do you get a full-on anaphylactic reaction?”

I looked down at my feet and answered: “Not quite but it’s not a pretty sight.”

Jack was not going to let it go. “This is the best cake I have ever tasted. If you’re going to test Monica’s theory, it should be with a piece of this extraordinary chocolate pastry.” He then put a forkful of cake under my nose.

I could not resist. One mouthful and I went into oxytocin storm and was in the throes of ecstasy. When I did not stop breathing and did not have a seizure, I could see that Monica felt vindicated. She smiled and put her arms around my shoulders. I don’t think she knew what she had unleashed. In a few minutes, I had eaten two pieces of the cake and began hoarding Hershey’s Kisses. We stayed at the party for another hour, and I sampled everything. Monica cautioned me not to overdo it, but the flood gates had opened or maybe the gates to hell.

During the next few weeks. I limited myself to four Hershey’s kisses a day. I had a stash in my desk at work. Monica began to serve desserts and I didn’t protest, especially if they were chocolate. My weight began to creep up and acne appeared on my back. I felt I was transforming from Dr. Jekyll to Mister Hyde. In a panic I began to run more miles. I entered several marathons but found myself stopping in doughnut shops along the routes. They always had those chocolate doughnut holes I loved. My running could not keep up with my chocolate obsession. Something had to give. Finally, I brought out an old high school yearbook and showed it to Monica. She couldn’t believe that the blimp in the picture was me. I confessed everything to her. She was sympathetic and understood that I needed help. We went to therapy together and the therapist suggested Chocoholics Anonymous. I was desperate. I did not want to become fat and ugly again. It was not just my appearance I was worried about. My health and lack of control had become issues. My cholesterol was sky high, and I was losing teeth. I was investing in chocolate companies and losing my shirt. Thankfully, Monica did not know how bad our portfolio had become.


After a few months of attending meetings, I was able to ween myself off chocolates. My self-control returned and I could sit and watch my kids eat dessert without flinching. My weight stabilized. Yet I longed for that oxytocin rush. Running would have to suffice but it did not bring me to the same level of ecstasy. I knew I would have a lifelong battle against my addiction. My weekly Chocoholic meetings were comforting. It was good to know I was not alone.

November 28, 2023 17:27

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1 comment

Mary Bendickson
20:51 Nov 29, 2023

I think a lot of us resemble this.


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