I learned desire in the aisles of the grocery store. It was a world of pleasure, of throbbing stimulation and tantalizing unknowns. So many things were off-limits: cheese puffs beckoning me with their curved fingers; cookies in perfect rows, glistening through plastic windows; bottles of soda, jewel-like in their translucent vibrancy (surely the liquid itself was not that bright green, I reasoned, and what did a mountain taste like?); rows and rows of cereal boxes like a city on the cutting edge of nightlife, fractal-like in their varieties—this one chocolate and that fruity, this with raisins and that oat clusters, this frosted and that with marshmallows and another frosted and with marshmallows! The hope that these delicacies could one day be mine helped me cope with the profound emptiness I felt knowing that there existed flavors and textures beyond my wildest dreams. With the barebone constituents of my existing culinary experience, I cobbled together succulent fantasies to tide me over until I could satiate myself for real. I imagined frosting so creamy it felt like the softest part of a child’s palm, chocolate so expertly balanced between sweet and bitter it could remain upright on a tightrope, gelatinous candies that my teeth would sink into like they were slipping into sleep.