I watched it spin through the window of the microwave door. Flakes of ice melting into nothing, dissolved by waves of invisible radiation. The burrito seemed to inflate, frozen tortilla brought to life, inflating like a pair of lungs taking in its first breath.
When the microwave sang it's terminal melody, I lifted the ceramic plate from its alter and set it down on my kitchen counter.
I'd been eating these for breakfast for years. Back when I used to be a runner, I was burning calories like a funeral pyre, and I depended on frozen meals to fill the void in my gut.
They were pumped with all manners of salt and chemicals. Which meant that to me they were as addictive as crack cocaine. They formed the core of my breakfast. I begged for them at lunch and dinner. They were the fuel I needed.
However, I hadn't gone on a run in at least a year. My rings no longer fit around my fingers. My hands were swollen by the amount of salt I was eating.
I wasn't fat. Everyone kept telling me that.
But my fingers told the truth: I was swelling. A balloon about to burst.
But I still kept eating these fucking burritos. Kept buying them. Stuffing them down every single morning.
Today was, I thought, no different.
I sat alone at my table. Jammed the fork into the middle of the burrito, sending an explosion of flavored sludge across my plate. Scooped it into my mouth.
It tasted like dust.
The sludge had lost its flavor, the tortilla was dry and hardened. It was a shell of what I'd been eating.
No longer was it the delicious fuel that had allowed me to survive track season. No longer was it a delicious reprieve from eggs and bagels. It was just dust. Emptiness. Another obligation in a life full of expectations.
There was no longer anything special about it. It wasn't a treat, or a reward. It was just another number, another stack of calories that I didn't want.
So I stopped eating them. Traded it in for a "healthier" (smaller) breakfast. Cutting down bit by bit.
And it began with a breakfast burrito.