So much of the meaning of what we read is derived from our own conditioning. Growing up, I often didn’t have enough to eat, and, though I think I’m unlikely to go hungry again, my conditioning says otherwise.
In the novel I’m reading, there is a scene in which the protagonist, waiting for a friend in a small restaurant, orders two hot dogs, one for him and one for his friend. He realizes that his friend is being attacked nearby, and goes outside to help her. Mayhem ensues, after which he returns to the restaurant with his friend in tow, and they find their food waiting for them on the counter. Shaken by the violence they have just experienced, they don’t feel like eating, so they just have drinks instead.
Even though they are in physical danger, and the protagonist’s life is crumbling around him, all I could think of was the wasted food, those two hot dogs going cold and uneaten.