Every once in awhile, or to be truthful, about every month, I get an intense desire for yellow cake with chocolate frosting. The craving dawns on me often times quite suddenly and there's no time to stall between buying that cake mix and baking the dreamy concoction. I don't know if it's the contrast between the buttery yellow cake and the creamy milk chocolate frosting, but whatever that cake's delightful secret is, I love it. And usually I end up eating the whole thing by myself.
Not all at once.
At first, I start out civilized with little plates of single slices. Those initial slices are of dignified proportions and I do well to just take one piece and then leave the rest. But then a day or two passes and the cake becomes something of a presence. I think about it at night before I fall asleep and as I run on the treadmill I fantasize about running toward that cake. That's when dignity begins to break down and I abandon the plates and the cut pieces for eating the cake straight out of the pan with a fork.
Sometimes the urge will strike me in the middle of the night, and I'll find myself huddled protectively over the pan, fork in hand, scooping large chunks of cake into my already full mouth. This feral behavior revolts me and I often retreat to bed feeling shamed, but the next morning I'll find myself back in the kitchen with the same animal desire to consume that cake.
I estimate, with the help of the nutritional information listed on the side of the box and on the frosting container, that a whole cake contains about 6,000 calories. And there is no nutritional benefit (unless you count the marginal amounts of riboflavin, but who really knows what that vitamin is good for anyway?): There's just sugar, butter, eggs, oil, and mounds of refined flour. I could blame the cake for the inescapable weight I'm stuck at, but at the same time that treat fills a cake-sized hole in my soul that needs to be fed every once in awhile. To starve a soul is unforgivable.