I remember how close I used to be to so many people. Funneled into the same grueling, hormonal prison, day after day after day; I was in high school. The peers I had were so random in their assortment, it really would have made more sense for nobody to get along with anybody. But that wasn’t the case. We survived together. We overcame the monotony of standardized testing and having to pretend to be friends with our ex’s so that our friend groups remained intact. We became close with each other.
College isn’t like that. Life won’t ever be like that again. Our lives are catered to our will so thoroughly, that the camaraderie of waiting at the bus stop with someone you don’t really know, but are able to completely understand their current struggle because they too have Mrs. Pagano for English and of course they hate “Huckleberry Finn” too because there’s no reason that that book should still be revered, and you never have to smell the chemically-tainted flatulence of Zach Clark in weights class, so you never get to spend the rest of an entire day comparing his farts to various medieval torture techniques with your classmates. Everyone around you now is the same. Different, sure, but effectively the same. They will enjoy Snarf’s too, a newly opened sandwich place in Lincoln Park.
Taste and smell, as you probably know, are potent factors in recollection. When I ate at Snarf’s, I thought about eating the #17 sandwich at the best deli in Lafayette, California: “Morucci’s.” I thought about high school, and I remembered being close to people. Heck, I even remembered Erik Pyle. This sandwich-based transport is well-worth the $7.75 (plus free chips and drink with a DePaul ID). If not for the invoking of a vastly different time, for the sandwich itself.
Your first bite of a sandwich from Snarf’s isn’t about the taste. The first bite is about the crunch. Standard sandwich joints have betrayed you in the past, just like N. did in high school, so you don’t expect much of anything. But then you get the crunch, and N. is forgiven as your ears, yes your ears, enjoy the first note of the sandwich. Seconds later, your teeth mash the meat, cheese, bread, and your choice of the works, into a gelatinous mish-mosh of toasted calories. Your mouth enjoys that. I chose the French Dip, and it was outstanding. The meat was served the way it deserves to be served. The Italian was also fantastic, teeming with the salt content to make Seabiscuit come back from the dead for just. One. Lick.
So when your next lunch break actually happens around lunchtime, go to Snarf’s. You’ll see me there, probably by myself. I might shoot you a confused, “I know you, I think,” look, and you’ll do the same, but not at the exact same time so that it isn’t overtly obvious that we both know each other and are just ignoring each other because it’s just easier not to speak to people than to speak to people. We won’t understand each other’s struggle.