$5 Square-Inch(es)

Less than a foot-long. More than the half-eaten Grubhub.

A customer waltzes into Subway.

Make me a sandwich.”, they command.

The behest is not from an out-of-touch 1950s husband.

The worker, agender, concedes to yet again be an unwilling substitute for roleplay. As the customer has neglected to make a specific request, expecting force of habit to grease gears, the worker prepares the signature as it seems apparent the cheap pomade, knockoff Armani tie and peaked lapel whisky stain can satisfy the bill regardless.

Surprised at the $5, imprecise, tab, it is not in his script to compile a diatribe as his programme is only designed to generate the automated response, receive the input and maintain the undelivered mpreg.

All the while, he is unable to ponder alternatives. Why waste $5 on artificial ingredients and mediocre preparation? Why waste an inordinate amount more on a gold digger to fill the empty slot of housewife, technically paying quintuple the price for a simple farrago of food items completely concealed by bread as if to practice rationing, thereby making the presentation appear worth no more than a wrinkled Washington?

Subsequently, refusing to pay the $5, plus tea party reparations, a befitting conclusion to the impotent roleplay, replacing the act of dramatic break-up, the customer begins to make egress as personal compensation, smoothly slipping and securing the single, remaining button of his double-breasted blazer, remarkably enduring in spite of the undue pressure of four trimesters.

An international market was a few pyknic strides away.

Cheap, he thinks.


Arriving there, parroting the foreign greetings with fricative lampoon, he finds loaves of bread, exploration limited to the white and enriched variety, ironically undeviating from artificial.

All that matters is the price card which reads ¢42 across the board.

Childhood restored.

An entire grocery haul’s worth of food items. Unfortunate for the unborn, that venture would have to be deferred for the next payday. Lunch break was 30 minutes shy of ending which, in CEO translation, was codespeak for 5 minutes. Two bloody slices of pork from the deli, diced tomato and dubious lettuce would undoubtedly be equal to or slightly less than the elusive novelty of a $2 bill.

One that was likely discontinued on the basis of reflection to its featured president. Consider history and perhaps you’ll think twice about what every purchase would represent.

Automated checkouts are now updated with voice assistance software.

Every purchase you make with this bill emancipates two slaves.

There is no hacker.

No allusion to dystopia.

This is the customer’s reality.

The one that mirrors you, the reader.

The consumer.

(F)r(ee) or paying.

If you’d really like a sandwich for $2 or less, or even just to substitute a five-dollar foot-long for any relative price, go to your local Wal-Mart, buy one ¢98 can of Great Value Chunk Chicken Breast, one $2.67 loaf of Nature’s Own bread (white, whole wheat or grain) and a single ¢35 tomato (Roma preferred).

Minus 10% tax, that’s $4 even!

As for lettuce, E. coli strains may vary.




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