the sandwich people
by Chuck Young
they know you’re ready when you have your first kiss. they can track these things. they are always watching. always wearing white and holding cold metals and watching. they visit your schools. they bring you in. they sit you down. and they sell you a future. a future of soft focus and stark nothingness. a future of tiny paper cups and tubes and fluids. a soundtrack of beeps and technology and whispered mutterings. you are told that your parents are being taken care of. that they are sitting on all of the money you are earning. that it is waiting for you. for when you get out. that they are not worried.
it’s mostly just waiting and having your days painted for you in monet pixels.
until one day there is a mix up with your dosage and a tiny lightning bolt of clarity cuts through. and that leads to a deliberate act of hiding the next one and then the next. a choice made here and there at pretend. the tests don’t seem to detect it. the rituals now include pain. it’s almost too much to bare. until one night you’re strong enough to sneak out of your organic burial pod. and skulk through clean corridors somehow undetected. making your way through doors like a ghost. they, always in white, now nowhere to be found. until you make your way into a large inventory room. and trace identifying information to an innocuous library cart. just to finally stumble upon the truth.
they. have. been. harvesting. your. cream.
the essence of you is the main ingredient in some sort of crumb-based delicacy. this isn’t just research. this isn’t just testing. this isn’t any sort of sleep study. you have been put to market. indoctrinated into a system that values your product but not your humanity. you have been lied to. and stolen from. just then everything cuts to black.
they know you’re ready when you have your first kiss. they can track these things. they are always watching. always wearing white and holding cold metals and watching.
Liz Laribee is an illustrator and writer. She is the author of Saved By The bell hooks, a critical theory humor blog that landed her about fifteen minutes of Internet fame and a deep interest in pop culture studies that address racial, gender, and class. She will talk your ear off about this at any parties you might invite her to. Liz has launched numerous projects centered on arts advocacy and has taught creative writing, found poetry and reuse methods of art-making in many classrooms. She apologizes for her loud laugh. She lives in Washington DC, happily. lizlaribee.com
Chuck Young is a barbecue dad and/or barbecue dad ally. For more of his work, you can visit Your Dead Best Friend Forever’s URL:http://yourdeadbffsurl.