It's been a while since I've done a Whole Life of the Poet post. Due to some arm fatigue, I recently bought a massage package. The first massage hurt so bad I had to focus my mind on a reward in order to endure it. Mid-muscle-knead, I settled on purchasing a tuna sub sandwich directly following.
As a poetic aside, why do we call these things sub sandwiches? Because they look like submarines? Subway brand sub sandwiches have complicated the issue by making us think of subway trains. All of which makes me wonder if this is a food item marketed to children. However, kids never opt for these oval delights. You only ever see adults buying sandwiches shaped like submarines. It's all so confusing tonally.
I love talking about food. I love reading about food. I loved Waiter Rant and Antony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential. I loved all of Ruth Reichl's books: Tender at the Bone, Comfort Me With Apples and Garlic and Saphires. I loved My Life in France by Julia Child. I can't cook to feed myself but I love reading about others who see the art and drama surrounding food.
And I think the quality of your sub sandwich is crucial to your well-being as a writer.
Most of us get our subs from chain takeout restaurants and we each have our favorites. I've noticed different franchises within a chain can serve drastically different qualities of sandwich. For instance, I usually crave a tuna sub. Over the years I've watched various minimum wage slaves prepare this sandwich. Full disclosure: I shop at Subway and recently heard the rumor that this franchise never gives raises above minimum wage which is why you probably never see the same "sandwich artist" there more than twice. I have found that various sub shops consistently offer up the same quality of sandwich, be it good or poor.
For instance, my local shop in Mar Vista where I lived in Los Angeles served practically inedible subs. In Santa Fe I've been to three shops: one on Cordova which serves a moderate amount of tuna, one on Cerrillos by Lowe's who is the most stingy with their tuna and one on Rodeo Drive serving the best, most tuna-packed subs I've even encountered.
To get the best value for my poem-earning chump-change, I try to always frequent the Rodeo shop. My next goal will be to learn to cook in order to wean myself off of corporate subs so I won't feel guilty about buying from a chain who refuses to reward the good labor of submarine sandwich artistry.