At 12 p.m. I ate a destination salad from Chop’t. I knew it was too early for salad and that I’d be hungry before the day was over. Now it’s only 4:20 p.m. and it’s already Hoagie Time.
A hoagie is another word for a submarine sandwich. Hoagie Time is that time between lunch and dinner when you know that you need to have a hoagie or you’ll die. And that’s all that will do: a hoagie. A cookie is too sweet—it’ll spike your blood sugar, as will an apple, a candy bar, a bag of chips. Granola is bird food. Power bars for crossfitters. Carrots and celery sticks are for people who say, “Are you really hungry or are you just thirsty?” It’s time for a hoagie because I want to ride my afternoon out on a drowsy wave of Italian meats, with tiny caps of provolone or havarti, above a river bed of flaky white crust. I want my senses to be dulled, my reflexes to slow, my vocabulary to shrink to “yeah,” “uh huh,” “sorry, that smell is my hoagie.”
When it’s Hoagie Time, there are no compromises, no settling, no room for American cheese is fine when we all know it isn’t. Hoagie time is about being yourself when the world wants you to be someone else. It’s about choosing the gabbagool and lettuce, or the Philly cheesesteak extra mayonnaise, and no one can judge you but god and your Hoagie man or woman. If I could celebrate Hoagie Time I would choose all the Italian meats with a soft cheese; I would want the bread toasted just so and the lettuce devoid of nutritional value; the onions ripe and the tomato clear. I would order my Hoagie to-go and let it sit in my bag for approximately 45 minutes to let the ingredients mush into one another. Then, I would sit in a dark closet and let the crumbs fall on my belly, no ego, all id, my hoagie and me. Thank you.