It’s over. No, I mean it. This time it’s really over. I’m never going back. I don’t care how the memories of our first encounter torment me. You have betrayed me one too many times. I can no longer trust you.
Oh, Californian. You and I could have had such a happy life together. It’s true that our relationship would never have been more than a series of intense meetings made possible whenever I could justify your expense. But I loved you despite your ridiculously high price tag. Maybe . . . I loved you because of it.
I’ll never forget when we first met. I was vulnerable, bleary-eyed, and a bit gassy. You were fresh, delicious, and chewy. You were the sandwich of my dreams, had I ever been capable of dreaming such perfection. I was hungry—you were there. How could it have gone so wrong?
Some will say that your magical effect on me was due entirely to the drugs. Others will blame the fact that I hadn’t eaten for over 36 hours. But, Californian, I always believed it was real, and that the exquisite blending of your fresh ingredients would continue to intrigue me, over and over. The fact that you were the first food I ate after my colonoscopy surely had nothing to do with our chemistry.
Oh, that first time. I was starving, weak, and delirious. I sought you out among hundreds of other fine choices. You didn’t disappoint. Your deliciousness brought me to tears—I could only eat half of you before falling into a deep swoon that may or may not have been from the drugs. When I awoke—confused, dizzy, still hungry—you were there. Well, half of you was there. I finished you gratefully. I began to count the hours until we would meet again.
Our second encounter was, to say the least, a disappointment. What I recalled as fresh, tender turkey was now chewy and tough. Stale crusts, hard as popsicle sticks, offended my sensitive palate. The avocado, once smooth and flavorful, was now slimy and gross. Even the lettuce sucked.
But I forgave you! I was more than willing to give you another chance. After all, you had saved my life that day. Perhaps my expectations had been too high. Yes, I blamed myself.
But it happened again. And yet again. I kept going back, determined to rekindle the fire that had once existed between us. Surely this time, the turkey would be fresh! Surely this time, the bread wouldn’t be stale! But with every $8.99 plus tax I shelled out came bitter despair and utter despondency.
It’s time to face the truth.
We are finished, you and I. Never again will your once-firm avocado touch my quivering lips. Never again will my aching throat gladly accept your bountiful turkey slices. Never again will your once-yielding yet crusty bread embrace my waiting tongue.
I am done with you, Californian.
If You Want to Meet the Californian
Head on over to Foodstuffs. Be sure to ask for a freshly made sandwich. Do not accept the pre-packaged ones.
The Californian is: roasted turkey breast and havarti cheese with dijon mayonnaise, avocado, romaine lettuce, and tomatoes on seven-grain bread. And yes, it really is $8.99.