A Visceral Experience

It’s around eleven o’clock on a Sunday night. My schedule is usually free on Sunday and Monday except a few pieces of homework that I usually have to clear up. There is plenty of food in the house, but nothing sounds good.

Has your stomach ever rumbled so hard that it sounds like some hard rock bass lines are thumping their way through your entire body? That’s what this night was like. I hadn’t eaten since the night before and I was becoming grumpy. Earlier that night I had contemplated ordering some Chinese food for delivery, but my attention was skewed via a rather innocuous game of Minecraft. Because my entire effort was being put into the construction of a giant combat arena for my private server, I decided a late night Burger King run would be better.

My eyes started to strain against the brightness of my monitor, and my stomach rumbled so hard that I’m relatively certain my chair vibrated. This was as good a time as any, so I finally gathered up the energy to get up, put on some actual clothes, and head out to get my much needed fast food fix.  By the time I eventually made my way to the car, it was around one in the morning, and I knew the streets would be empty. The entire city was my backdrop, and even though I was only leaving to put terrible food into my system, I was going use this backdrop to create beautiful things.

Small droplets of rain fell from the sky, but that didn’t stop me from rolling my window down all the way to Burger King. Finally pulling up to the restaurant, I notice the entire restaurant is blacked out like an electrical outage had just struck the entire city block. I know the day before was Easter, but I never thought that the restaurant would close for it. This was one of the only 24 hour restaurants near me, and now I was lost in a hazy fog of despair as I wallowed over Burger King being closed. Would I have to suffer through the first world problems of having a full pantry but finding nothing of value within them? Would the overwhelming hatred of regular food plague me that night?

In the back of mind, I recalled a recent conversation with a friend about the draw and mesmerizing pull of late night McDonald’s runs. That was the answer to all of my problems. It seems the golden arches would provide my sustenance for the evening. After traveling just a few miles farther down the road while blaring some Van Halen, the infamous arches appeared in my peripheral vision. My mouth began salivating, and I could already taste the food within my cheeks.

I pulled up to the drive thru and immediately made sure to message my friend and let her know that I was not happy about my life choices at the moment. The kind lady’s voice rang out over the intercom and all of a sudden I lost the ability to speak. So many options appeared on the menu screen in front of me, and everything looked so appetizing that I wanted to order everything possible. Unfortunately, I’m not the most financially stable, so I settled for a few sausage burritos and a McDouble from the value menu.

I pull up to the window, pay the nice lady, receive my food, and begin to head home. As soon as I pull out onto the main road, the food beside me is whispering to me like a specter in the back of my mind. Wanting to be eaten, it’s almost as if the food has literally found a way into my inner psyche as it calls my name and whispers inviting gestures of good faith. I must resist the urge to eat it, as delayed satisfaction will hopefully increase my enjoyment of the food.

With full determination, and a little arm pinching to make myself stop, I am able to make it home without eating a single bite. Pulling into the garage, I stealthily leap from my driver’s seat (and by stealthily, I mean I just kind of get out of the car and walk inside). Rushing downstairs, I plop back into my desk chair and whip out the first burrito.

Imagine watching a Discovery channel documentary about the hunting habits and strategies of lions. They stalk their prey with great efficiency before finally pouncing on the gazelle and ripping it to shreds. It’s graphic, brutal, visceral, unsettling, and honestly quite disgusting to witness. Allow me to tell you, that envisioned moment is in no way comparable to the way I ate that first burrito.

I finally finished my last bite of food, tossed the wrapper aside, and sat back in my chair with the biggest smile on my face. I had just consumed more calories in the last thirty minutes than the entire previous day. And you know what, it’s moments like that where sometimes it’s okay to hate yourself at the expense of a little life expectancy. Right?

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