I am an addict. In a matter of minutes I will be transported to cloud nine, dropped in the seat of ecstasy. I watch my food circle inside of the microwave, staring at the numbers counting down: 1:59, 1:58, 1:57, 1:56... I am an abuser. Every couple of days my body physically needs Hot Pockets. I go into shock. I go out of my way to get what I need, and pay whatever the cost. My lips tremble and my body convulses as I inject cheese and marinara sauce into my veins. All at once feelings of euphoria surround me. I am calm and relaxed. I am a drug abuser sitting on soggy newspapers in the rain on a sketchy street corner, hovering over a meatball marinara Hot Pocket because I will go insane if I have to wait any longer.
Finally after two minutes of patiently waiting, dreaming of the most delectable junk food item-beep beep. My hands quickly fumble for the microwave door, excitement pushes me toward exhilaration. All at once my dreams have come true. My meatball marinara Hot Pocket is ready.
The outside crust of the pocket is tender and flaky-a baked delicious brown color. I slowly remove the hot cardboard wrapper from the pocket being careful not to burn my fingers. When cooking a Hot Pocket you must be careful; they almost always gape open at the top when heat melts the cheese. The combination of cheese and marinara sauce always oozes onto the paper towel or plate you place it on.
I bring the Hot Pocket to my mouth, anticipating the first glorious bite. I pause. Something is not right. I put the Hot Pocket back on the plate. Grab sixty cents and run down the hallway, cursing myself for being so unprepared. I could have gotten a soda during the two minutes I sat dazed, watching the Hot Pocket spin in circles. I don’t want to waste any time. My hot pocket is getting cold! I frantically push the Diet Coke button and wait for it to dispense.
I rush back down the hallway to my dorm room in a hurry to satisfy my shudders of withdrawal. The first bite of a Hot Pocket is unsurpassed. Breathtaking. Unlike every other bite of the Hot Pocket. The first bite contains double the amount of flaky crust as the rest. The sauce in the center is boiling. I almost always burn my tongue because I don’t have the patience to wait for the sauce to cool. The sauce is mixed perfectly with the cheese, spices and meatballs. With every bite you get an equal amount of each. It is my duty to take the very first bite, no one else is worthy. I do not share. An abuser, does not share.
My teeth wound the flaky crust as the top of my mouth gets burned from the boiling mixture of cheese and sauce. I twirl one of the meat balls back and forth with my tongue, trying to let it cool. The boiling temperatures do not stop me from taking the next bite. I barely take a breath in between bites. Drink, bite, sip, bite, drink…until it is gone.
I am brought back down to the reality of truth. I ate my Hot Pocket. I am sitting at my desk alone, on the verge of licking the cheese residue off of the now empty plate. Am I pathetic, or what? There is nothing left. Lunch is over. My body goes into withdrawal. Madness overcomes me as I realize I have to get started on my paper. I begin to think of ideas, or ideas begin to invade me. I scribble down adjectives describing how wonderful my hot pocket tasted. I load the paper with ideas of cheese erupting from the crust, dripping with sauce and meatballs. I draw pictures of meatballs and melted cheese. At this point, I begin to realize my paper will never get done unless I heat up another hot pocket for inspirational purposes.
My eyes dart to the top of the microwave where the box remained, recognizing there is still one more. The box contains nutrition facts sorted neatly on the back: sodium, fat intake, calories, serving size, saturated fat…I cringe just thinking about the nutrition facts. One pocket contains 270 calories with 9 grams of fat. A serving size is one pocket. Here I am eating two. Health nuts warn us to stay away from processed foods high in saturated fat, but I am addicted.
I open up the Hot Pocket, set it in the microwave and punch the time to two minutes. Instead of gazing at the pocket spin in circles, I persuade myself that I really do need this last hot pocket to write my paper to the best of my ability. Without this last Hot Pocket, I will not truly understand the importance of the cheese to sauce ratio, the dripping of cheese on the plate, that first momentous bite with two times the amount of crust and breading as the other bites. I tell myself to cherish this last Hot Pocket, because after I am done eating, I have to start my paper.
Beep, Beep. With the sound of the microwave beep, excitement pulls at my stomach. I pull the plate out and blow on the erupted end of the Hot Pocket. I take the first bite very slowly. I want this moment to last forever, but before I know it, drink, bite, bite, bite, drink…the last Hot Pocket is gone.