“I love you,” said a man to his sandwich. The fingerlessly gloved man, seated in the corner nook of a public library, spoke toward his bulging pants pocket. The secret felt warm and cheesy on his leg. Its smell wafted up from under the table. He had, moments before, completed a wall of reference books along the outside edge of the peanut shaped table. Some were casually opened, so as not to rouse too much suspicion from the librarians most of whom could be said to be less than sandwich friendly. To a passerby, he supposed he might appear as a tortured graduate student, one that happened to have cold hands, diligently and precociously seeking knowledge yet unknown to internet search engines. His plans being much more visceral than knowledge he thought this the perfect cover. He looked however much more like a balding drifter with a pocket full of something sandwich-shaped.
His eyes dilated. The moment was immanent. He reached the ungloved tips of his fingers into his hip pocket and carefully removed a smooshed but radiant beef on rye. Its onions were red and its tomatoes even more so. He set it softly on the fake oak covered table. The sandwich was as thick as the thighs of an Old West burlesque dancer. The mayonnaise could be seen exploding from a hole in the brown bread like an oily whipped egg volcano.
One of the open books caught his eye. It felt awkward that he should become distracted by these pages now. He had spent the morning casually going through the motions of constructing his cover, mentally fixated on his beefy future. With it inches from his lips he had lost concentration. “. . . Insomuch . . .” leaped from the page into his cerebral cortex, hurdled thoughts of the sandwich like an ex-Olympian shoplifting; that one word satiated his senses.
He turned away from the splayed knowledge container and toward the lust of his flesh. He felt exposed seeing it there on the tabletop. His pocket was empty and cold. The sandwich seemed different, less lusty somehow. Immediately his vision was overtaken by another book, “. . . insofar . . .” it read.
These words were as smooshed as any pocket roast beef on rye. It appeared to be a typo, a ménage a trios in print. He dug through his strewn reference books for a Collegiate Dictionary. He had used it for the foundation of his fortress. The man was careful to lay its closed spine faced out, feeling that the word collegiate fit nicely into his cover. As he slipped it out, the imitation leather binding brushed the moist skin of a tomato. He franticly flipped to the I’s disregarding his tabled totem.
There they were, authenticated. The shattered skeptic turned back to the tilting tower of cheesy, mayonnaisey meat, in existential crisis. Suddenly, in a mystical vision, he saw that the sandwich needed something more. Why not remove the spaces? WHYNOTREMOVEALLTHESPACES!?! Wasn’t that the mysterious joy of pocket sandwiches? The pleasure he received by pocketing was not just its convenience or its secrecy; what drove him to love was its smooshedness.
He lifted the huge dictionary high above his combed-over head and climbed up onto the corduroy cushioned seat. He wore the light fixture now like an upside down funnel hat. A primal scream shook dust from his hat. With the force of a rioter slinging rocks at the system, his naked fingers brought the entire English language down onto his beef on rye.
When the librarian tackled him, a tear tinged with mayonnaise ran down his check. A tear of joy. Spaceless joy.