Sandwiches are important to me. I would say I love them more than people, but that would be an insult to sandwiches. I am not fat, but if I were to get fat, I would do so by eating sandwiches. Lots and lots of sandwiches.
I was starving. I would have stopped at the sandwich shop on the way home but it was foggy. A dense, thick fog that allowed visibility of about 20 feet. It was like the fog you’d see on Scooby Doo. Travel was a whore, not the good kind.
So, I stopped home for a sandwich. Not just any sandwich, but the JHC. It’s the greatest and best sandwich in all of the world. It’s also quite big. I’m not talking Subway (gross) big or Blimpie’s (grosser) big — I’m talking Dagwood sized. Hoagie roll (more legitimately a baguette), butter, mayo, provolone cheese, jack cheese, ham, salami, capicola, roast beef. I used every slice of meat in my home, even the suspect ham. I had to make a call while I was home for my respite from the day, so I walked into the front room, turning my back on my sandwich.
I made my call, was interrupted by another call, and had a package arrive at the door, in quick succession. The total time and distance away from my sandwich was probably 3 minutes and 12 feet. I hung up the phone, placed the package on my desk, walked into the kitchen, and was treated to one of the most horrific things I’ve ever seen — my sandwich was gone.
Not the whole sandwich, but the (suspect) ham, salami, capicola, roast beef, and jack cheese. Left behind was the bread and a 1 slice of provolone. The provolone was just lying there, abandoned. It wasn’t until that exact moment that I’d ever actually seen provolone. It was white… so white. It looked so small and naked, lying there, slightly askew, on the vastness of my hoagie. I felt an urge to cover it up, to protect it from the harsh eyes of the world. It was only there because it wasn’t wanted, not even by a thief. Time slowed, it was like bullet time in a video game. My vision blurred and my heart rate went from 50 to 150 in 1.2 seconds. I think I was having what one would call a conniption. Just as I was about to bellow words man’s never heard and spontaneously combust I saw a flash of black in the corner of my vision. It was a dog — the black one — hugging the wall, making its way toward the stairs. The dog was the thief and the cook was broken.
I wasn’t even angry when I realized what had happened. I was hurt. I nearly burst into tears. That’s the truth. All I wanted was a sandwich, and this dog, whom I clothed (not really), bathed, and provided safe haven to had raped and pillaged my sandwich, my afternoon, and the sanctity of my kitchen. I didn’t yell or scream or call for help. I just scuffed across the room, opened the backdoor, and cut my eyes away, far away, to a world where dogs were trustworthy and sandwiches had meat. I heard the thief pass by and I fought back tears. As the canine cribber crossed the threshold from my home into the wild, I knew a line had been crossed, literally and figuratively. This was an act that could not be undone.
I didn’t toss the sandwich into the bin. I joined the hoagie halves together, as one, and ate. My appetite was gone, the sandwich was bland and it probably had the demonic beast’s saliva all over it, but I ate that fucking sandwich. I choked down every last bite. I wanted to remember what treachery tasted like. I wasn’t eating a sandwich at all, I was eating loss. Lost companionship, lost loyalty, and lost salami; and it tasted like shit. You may think I’m being dramatic, that I’m overreacting. “It’s only a sandwich…” You just sit there in your ivory tower and tell me it’s only a sandwich. Maybe to you it was, but you don’t know. You just don’t know.