Knotted hunger walked me through the Wendy’s door, and shoved a hamburger and soda into my unthinking mouth. Only later did I notice the resemblance of the mayonnaise (ladled on by the handful) to pus, and the bun’s disturbing habit of oozing grease just as a dying warrior in the Iliad did blood. The hamburger patty itself, I became convinced, was a close relative to the Dead Sea—both are, after all, flat, extremely salty, and completely incapable of supporting life. The fries wilted like wet ferns on the forest floor after a thunderstorm (in which the principle precipitation involved grease and salt). The soda, like all of its kind, left my mouth shriveled and prickling, and did not satisfy thirst. The shriveled raisin of my tongue curled up at the bottom of my mouth and wept. At the request of my outraged throat, I vowed to never again subject myself to such treatment, but in the pit of my stomach (probably near the spot where the yellow, desiccated lettuce was fermenting) I felt the fate that would lead me back through those dirty glass doors, over those crumb-pocked floors, to that mound of doom called, so optimistically, a Wendy’s hamburger.