By Peyton Pownall ‘22
It’s the beginning of October, and I’m in calculus class with Mr. Lu on a Monday after our weekly quiz about derivatives, which, by the way, is a complete scam, but that’s besides the point. I feel completely brain dead, so naturally, Mr. Lu moves on with teaching the class something mathematical that he probably made up to trick us all. During this, two boys walk out of class and return a few minutes later with the take-out boxes from the caf. Immediately, I pick up on the delicious scent. Intrigued, I tune out whatever is happening and draw my full attention to this mystery food. Consumed by hunger, the boys quickly rip open the box. Peeking over their shoulders, I manage to see a sandwich inside. The only description worthy of this sandwich is heavenly. I had been deprived of caf food for the past year and a half, so when I saw this sandwich, I knew my mission: I had to try it. I would do anything to get my hands on it.
Right away, I began my mission. I soon learned that it was called the Caprese focaccia sandwich. It seemed from here that I would just go to the caf and grab a sandwich. Seemed easy enough, but I was wrong, so wrong.
Over the next couple of calc classes, the boys kept leaving and then returning with an assortment of different sandwiches or snacks. Each time, without fail, I was in complete awe. After countless trips to the caf, I had no luck; I discovered that my mission was not as effortless as the boys had made it seem. My cravings were eating me alive. It was time to adopt a strategy.
My obsession with the sandwich had made me foolish. My so-called “strategy” was probably the first thing I should have done when I began my mission, but life’s too short to dwell on past mistakes. I logged onto Wolfnet and went to the lunch menu for the month. Frantically reading, I discovered that the next time my precious sandwiches would be available was on October 20th. In the midst of my chaotic brain, I remembered something else. October 20th is the day of my outdoor ed kayaking trip; therefore, I will not be at school on that day. Just my luck. My hunger was replaced with an overwhelming feeling of doom. I began to complain about my problem to anyone I could. I claimed that the universe was against me and that maybe I just wasn’t worthy of having one of these delectable sandwiches.
However, there’s something you should know about me. I can be a dangerous combination of incredibly stubborn and determined. This led me not to trust the caf menu. Knowing that my sandwich was not even on the menu, I still decided to go to the caf every single day, just in case somehow I would get lucky.
One day as I swaggered into the caf, I saw the takeout box in the fridge. Since my eyesight can be described as poor, or alternatively, legally blind, I assumed it was the right sandwich. In the heat of the moment, I grabbed it, paid and excitedly scurried outside the caf. I met my friends, dying of hysterical laughter and almost on the verge of tears from joy. Impatient to try my beloved sandwich, I interrupted their serious conversation with Mr. Johnston. To both my and their disbelief, I announce “I’ve done it.” Without context, I seem somewhat insane, so Mr. Johnston gives me a perplexed look. In about 15 seconds I explain the trials and terror leading up to this moment, but I’m too eager to eat it to engage in any further unnecessary conversation.
Without reading the label, I open the box and take a huge bite. It is everything I could have ever hoped for, tasty, savoury, juicy: it’s perfect. I didn’t savour the experience as I was done within about two minutes, but all I have to say is, my compliments to the chef. Shortly after I finish, one of my friends picks up the box to throw away. My complete and utter satisfaction disappears within six words as she says, “This isn’t the caprese focaccia sandwich.” I was in complete shock and disarray. I practically shouted, “WHAT, WHAT DO YOU MEAN!” I had been bamboozled, I could have sworn I just ate everything I had been looking for. My eyesight and inability to read simple instructions had failed me again: I had just consumed the Tuscan chicken sandwich. While it was still undeniably delicious, my mission had not been completed. I now have only $0.15 left in my caf account and I don’t even need to be in AP Econ to know how bad this is. Being broke and hopeless has caused my mission to come to an unexpected halt, but I am regaining hope and am nonetheless determined to get this sandwich before I graduate.
My story is like one of those movies where the ending is horrible and you wish you never watched it in the first place because the whole thing is a waste of time. But, in the end, I learned whether it’s life or sandwiches, don’t give up on your dreams, no matter how ridiculous they are.