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31 Mar

Subway is crowded today.

On my lunch break, I walk into the crowded delicatessen. The line is roughly ten people long. I am roughly ten people strong. That means I have the strength of ten men.

I walk to the end of the line. At the sandwich assembly line, hovering above the sneeze guard, is an older woman–a pallid, bony, gnarled thing. She looks like this.


Her hair is thin and wiry, a spool of silvery thread resting a waxy skull. She moves back and forth slowly, pointing at the various ingredients she wants on her sandwich.

“Oh god,” I say, nudging the construction worker waiting in line in front of me. “You’d think she was trying to get them to invent a new kind of ham.”

“What?” the man says.

“She’s taking a god damn eternity, is what I mean. It’s ironic.”

“How is that ironic?” A woman in a pantsuit interjects.

“Because eternity’s where she’ll be before long. You’d figure she’d be in more of a rush.”

“That’s terrible,” the woman says.

I shrug my shoulders, reach into my pocket, and take a handful of Xanax that a kid at school sold me. I was told I was buying Tic-Tacs.

I get my sandwich. It’s delicious. Receptors in my brain are being bathed in synthetic happiness. From my seat, I raise one half of my sandwich and, mouth full of chicken-breast-tomato-lettuce-Xanax, I scream “YOU DONE GOOD, SAND BITCH!” I point at the woman who toasted my sub, smile, my right cheek swollen with food, and wink. The whole room goes quiet. “OH! SHIT-CAN! SO GOOD!” I yell. The Xanax has given me an illusion of transparency. I think the woman can easily decipher what I’m saying through my mouthful of food. What I meant to say was “Ooh, one good–sandwich.” Then, “Oh, chicken. So good.” Neither of these comments make sense. I’ll admit that.

“What did he just say?!” the attendant screams, one hand on her hip, the other pointing at me.

The Xanax, now in full effect, makes me completely ignorant of her anger. I just think she’s doing an impression of Martin Lawrence’s wife, Gina, from the show Martin. Gleefully (because I love impressions and black people and when you combine the two I’m in sheer ecstasy), I toss my remaining sandwich into the air. Shredded lettuce rains from the heavens. I clinch my fists tightly and emit a piercing scream of joy, smiling like a mad man. I run out of the restaurant, trip over a piece of trash, hit my head on a parked car and for a moment lose consciousness.

When I come to, there’s a small crowd surrounding me. Before me is the Subway employee I offended, the woman in the pantsuit, the construction worker I stood behind, a middle-aged couple and a smattering of children.

“I just had the most wonderful dream,” I said. “The most wonderful dream.” My voice is distant and full of wonderment. A man just behind my head lifts me up. My back is against his knee. “I had the most amazing sandwich.” I nod my head to them. “Yes. There was chicken on it. The most delicious chicken. And why, you were there, and you were there.” I point at the Subway attendant and the construction worker I had stood behind in line.

“That wasn’t a dream, you little turd,” the attendant says. “That was real. That chicken you wasted was real, that lettuce I’ma have to clean up is real, and the beatin’ I’m about to put on you is real.” I smile, lean forwards and try to kiss her mouth. I fall over before my lips meet their sweet, carnal destination. “Oh well,” I say. “Sleep now.” I go back to sleep on the cool concrete.

Eat fresh, everyone.

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