I blame it on turning fifty-six. I was on my way home on I-4 when I came up on a sign that advertised the kind of food places you could find at that particular exit. The word Krystal's just reached out and grabbed me. I was hungry. And I hadn't had a Krystal burger in years. I veered off the exit and drove until I found it. I was almost drooling with anticipation. I remembered how much I liked those little burgers on the grease soaked buns, when I was a kid.
I pulled up to the speaker and ordered four original Krystal's and an ice tea. Next stop was the pickup window, where I paid a dollar twenty-five for what used to be a fifteen cent burger. I glanced in, watching as four burgers in those neat little boxes was placed on the counter next to the window. I waited, and waited some more. My eyes glued to those boxes, knowing those were my Krystal's. Just sitting there, cooling. I licked my lips, waiting some more. What was taking them so long? Finally someone showed up with my tea, dropped the boxes into a bag and brought them to me.
I wolfed one down before I even got out of the drive through and back on to the main road. Oh God it was good! Just as I remembered. The second one went down a little slower but I hadn't satisfied my taste buds yet. It was still good. I pulled the third one out of the bag and about halfway through I found myself slowing down considerably. Each bite had begun to lose its appeal to me. The soggy bread, yuck! The paper thin gray meat probably wasn't meat at all. The only way I got the rest down was with a swig of ice tea.
I looked over at hamburger number four and made a face. Two Krystal's would have been enough. But I'd ruined it by trying to force four down, thinking it might be another life time before I got another one. Have you ever wanted something so bad, and then realized after getting it that it didn't stand up to what you remembered? The build up, the anticipation, hadn't delivered.
Hamburger number four is in the garbage.