by Matt Fox
The Ethereal Sandwich
Pang! Stepping into the sunlight this afternoon, my head emerged from its morning fog with the neon pang! of hunger. It coursed to my stomach, my enteric innervations tingling with the pang! pang! pang! its synapses lighting me up through my solar plexus. I bounce along 38th Street, breathing it in. I am alive! I am electric! I am hungry! The smells! They overwhelm me, my nares flaring, recoiling from the pleasurable shock of the insatiable aromas silently seducing my gastric intima.
With each step I took the crisp clean lines of the city intersect with the crisp clean lines of my linen suit. Up the street I approach a line—no, a hive! turbulence in my crisp clean scene!—of people, sending an unpleasant shock through my solar plexus. I get closer, the smells get stronger, the hungry buzz of the hive gets louder.
The hive. They are construction workers, savoring each beat of time spent not constructing. They are hoodied students, hunching under the weight of their hangovers. They are businessmen—the beauracratic cogs, the leather portfolio-clutching wanna-be-an-i-banker —anxiously awaiting the augmentation of what will already be a premature heart attack. I grin ingratiatingly as I enter the hive, my solar plexus flares again with the pang!
Pang! Buzz! Pang! Pang! Buzz! I am the hive! I am energy!
From the swarm, I am beckoned. She is a slight, petite Asian woman, but from her perch, her face shaded against the morning sun by the darkness from within her food truck, she is queen.
“What do you want?” Wha you wan?
I order a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich.
“Bacon egg and cheese!” She exclaims to her brother at the grill, her Royal Family of the Short Order. Baco’egg and chee! The furious whisking! The crzzzzpop! of eggs frying! Sustainance! My wait is almost over! My solar plexus cries with joy.
Sal’ Peppa’ Ketcha?? It sends a shock through my solar plexus, persistently and invariably catching me off guard and I can only think fast enough to say, “Uh, sure.” I lob a 32 ounce Gatorade hand-grenade onto the counter, contemplating the sodium tonnage of my meal.
Pang! I hold the sandwich, wrapped in its metallic insulation, its clitoral tip protruding from the top of the paper bag. Pang!
Nearly as quickly as the egg sandwich was conceived, it is destroyed. With it, the pang now fading, fading, echoing like an ethereal voice. An ethereal sandwich. I am consumed. Solar plexus.