Convenience stores are not known for luxury. They replicate our base desires, stocking shelves with only the most essential food groups: salt, sugar, and alcohol. But what kind of person would look at a 7-Eleven and say, “You know what this place needs? A brunch item.”

Apparently, I am that kind of person. Ever since the internet has made a cult following out of the egg salad sandwich from Japan’s 7-Eleven, I have been dreaming about such a sandwich coming to America. Photos show perfect cross-sections of cut sandwiches, pearlescent whites peeking out from bright yellow egg salad, thick and rich between two slices of fluffy milk bread.

So I was ecstatic when 7-Eleven put up an ad for their new french toast breakfast sandwich, which looked more like a menu item from a gentrified Brooklyn bodega than standard convenience-store fare. Could my dreams be coming true? Perhaps this was meant as a culinary olive branch from 7-Eleven, an apology for all those years of colon-clogging taquitos and crinkled hot dogs rolling ad infinitum near the register? Or would it be just another punch line in the annals of America’s fast-food gastronomica?

With a mixture of curiosity and self-loathing, I decided to find out.

Perhaps the biggest impediment to ordering any new food option at 7-Eleven is that the employees are surprised that you actually want to eat it. I found the sandwich on display while wandering the aisles of my local store before heading home, stopping to admire how perfectly golden brown they had gotten the french toast. Surely, a sandwich this pretty on the outside can’t be all bad, I thought. So I grabbed it and pushed my way up to the register, past the regular neighborhood old-timers playing scratcher after scratcher until they ran out of cash.

“Where’s your microwave?” I asked.

The cashier seemed confused by the question.

“This says to heat it for sixty seconds. Where is your microwave?”

They looked at the sandwich’s label, which did, in fact, say to heat it for sixty seconds, before pointing me down the wrong aisle.

I eventually found the microwave nestled between the soda machine and the packets of mayonnaise and mustard, mostly clean from lack of use. I opened the door. No light came on. I decided then to put the sandwich in for only forty-five seconds, because I didn’t want to overcook the eggs. A low, guttural hum vibrated through the back of my head. The seconds counted down and stopped without fanfare or warning.

I opened the door, and the sandwich deflated rapidly like a balloon taken home from a children’s birthday party. Was it safe to heat a sheet of plastic with high-powered radiation and then eat what was inside it? None of the plastic had melted to the bread, which I’m not sure said more about the plastic than the bread, but I felt assured enough about carcinogens regardless to move forward with this experience.

Most people who get food from a convenience store can just eat in their car. I had no such luck. I wrapped the sandwich in a handful of thin brown napkins, as much to hide my shame as to protect my hands, and walked out into the parking lot. Even with the cool night breeze continually folding back the napkins from the wrapper, it still burned like a fresh-baked brick, radiating heat for several blocks. I walked until I didn’t see people, trying desperately to keep the distinct 7-Eleven label hidden. Even though I was going to eat this sandwich on the street before getting home, I wanted to keep this shameful secret to myself.

I unfolded the plastic from around the sandwich and opened the bread, apprehensive to see what I was getting myself into. The batter-logged french toast folded easily in half like an old T-shirt, revealing a series of geometric shapes I thumbed through like an old filing system to sort out the components of this sandwich—a perfectly circular disc of egg, a flat, gray sausage patty, a square of cheese, and somewhere in between those was a healthy splash of pale pink sauce speckled with red spots, one could only describe as diarrheal. The whole thing smelled of wet playground sand. I closed the sandwich, knowing I was probably about to make a giant mistake.

The first bite overwhelmed my senses. All those flavors caused my mouth to reboot like a computer, each sensation clicking back on, one at a time. I could feel the wet clay of the french toast stuck between my teeth, the density of the egg-soaked bread deflating under the force of gravity. I could not tell the difference between the egg and the sausage at this point, but I’m assuming only one contributed to the taste and texture of ground dirt. And poor American cheese, salty and creamy, trying to hold this sandwich together—the only thing 7-Eleven could not mess up.

I had to brace myself against a wall when the sauce finally assaulted my taste buds. The chipotle mayo, a staple in pretty much any casual dining restaurant these days, had separated into fat and what I hoped was vinegar. Ground-up chili skins exfoliated my tongue with tart acidity as I chewed.

Believing I must have somehow eaten the sandwich wrong, I took a second bite. I was right the first time. Everything was still there, congealing into one putrid mass, with the addition of bacon lardons, which had all shifted to one area of the sandwich during storage and were now tumbling hard like board-game pieces against my teeth.

I felt dizzy and dropped the sandwich. It hit the sidewalk with a dull thud. I thought about doing the responsible thing and picking it up so that no one would trip over it in the dark (or worse, attempt to eat it), but I figured it was where it belonged. My palm was coated in oily crimson sauce. I walked the rest of the way home with my hand dripping a trail of red spots suspiciously, forensic evidence that I had just murdered my taste buds and self-respect.