The Breakfast Sandwich Plan and the Long Drive

by Kyle SUNDBY
 

$3.59 French Slam. Always. Okay, a Gardenburger if I’m in an afternoon mood. I’d be a vegetarian if not for those goddamned two sausage links. Clint goes a different route. Some kind of Southern variation of breakfast—lots of eggs and other once normal breakfast supplies now doomed to float until death in a slop of white gravy. With that belle of a breakfast comes two pieces of toast and a side of controversy.

Distinctly asking for uncut toast, Clint begins his plan for the ultimate breakfast sandwich. Receiving four diagonally sliced halves in response; Clint’s plan is dealt a setback. He begs the waiter for forgiveness and again for the correct supplies. Thwarted again, the toast returns not toast but bread—two plain white slices of bread.

Sabotage.

As to a child, Clint informs the waiter of the unwarranted nakedness of his toastless toast. The waiter accepts the child’s role with a whiny I thought you said untoasted response. Realizing his patron is onto the scheme, he takes the spongy slices back to his co-conspirator, the cook. In background chatter, a reference to his highness Clint is made.

At last! Two whole slices. Step one of the plan complete. Onto phase two. Construction. In a progressive move of desegregation, a red jelly, two eggs (over easy), ketchup, and the diabolic toast come together through Clint’s cunning and bravado. Light beams from the unifier’s face. Victory in the face of defeat. The ultimate breakfast sandwich.

As the elements of the vision come together, so too do the maker’s hands for a victory wringing. But only for a short moment. They split apart and reach down for the quote unquote sandwich, gently embracing. Clint’s eyes follow his hands as they move towards his mouth. His gaze shifts from the sandwich to me. Madness in those eyes. His mouth opens, not to eat the sandwich but to ask me a question. To provide him a partner in lunacy.

Wanna try a bite?

I answer with bluster. The invention is slowly handed over, the maker unsure of my intentions. His hands release. Mine close. Gingerly. The last remnants of my poker face hold by the dearest threads. Eyes closed. Mouth open…

Nothing.

The anticipation of pain is worse than the pain itself. There is no pain. There’s no festival of taste and flavor, either. Clint looks to me for response. I have none to give. Input sensors prepared for shock receive empty messages. Synapses misfire and send back no answer. Arched eyebrows are all Clint receives.

I expect a secret handshake next. All I am returned is a nod. Welcome to the sandwich club, where recipes are followed and minds are blown.

I clear my mind with a sigh and push my plate forward, my meal completed. Clint finishes his creation in silence, wipes his hands on his jeans, and is also ready. We pay the waiter, who meets us at the register, while making little eye contact and saying nothing. Walking towards the door, I feel the waiter’s stare and I realize he sees me as an accomplice. We enter the vacuum of space between the inner and outer doors and allow for pressurization. I bathe in the washed out sunlight of a mild day filtered through the tinting covering the door window. Is it tinting, or a new perception of my surroundings? The breakfast sandwich bite is inside me and forcing new perspectives—I’m not sure of anything. Clint exits and walks ahead to unlock the truck. I jump in. He shifts into gear and I settle back for the long drive.

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