I think the last time I wrote anything down in this journal I promised to talk about my manager. His name is Roger. He’s this balding white dude whos in his forties and looks like what I imagine how a midwestern grandma looks.
He talks with this nasally voice bunched up in the front of his mouth, forming this high pitched whine that sounds like a balloon getting all its air let out. Not that it matters but I feel like I have to describe him to you.
I think the first time I saw him with the Gym bag was my second or third day at work. The dude training me, Cody. Was teaching me how to make the basic sandwiches on the menu when Roger burst in loudly swearing about “Fucking Asians! Hogging the road!” I think I had only seen two Asian people in this town my entire life so I wondered who he was talking about, but then Cody tapped my shoulder and pointed back at the sandwiches on the table. It hadn’t been a busy day and I assumed Roger took a break from catfishing fourteen year old girls on twitter with a fake account to actually come into work. Because until then I had not seen him but only heard about him.
I feel like I should say that we aren’t living in the dark ages here. We have movies, video games and the internet and most importantly porn. But we’re a few years behind on everything pop culture wise because everything is heavily censored and screened by the city council. I had to smuggle in Blade Runner the director’s cut by a drone that got through a hole in the no fly zone over the town’s border. Maybe the next time I write I’ll go over the weird rules and regulations that the town has. One being that two people aren’t allowed to be in the same bathroom at any time under no circumstances. And the maximum time allowed to look at the ground is thirty seconds. The punishment for breaking said law comes after looking at the ground for more than thirty seconds. You should hear a story about a guy I knew in highschool smuggling marijuana into town to start growing and selling it. Lot of wormholes and breaks in the space time continuum to get people their fix of Ganja. But back to Subway and Roger.
So Roger sees me staring at his gym bag and looks me up and down, sizing me up seeing if he could molest me behind the building. I look at the bag in his hand and see the strange bulky shape. Immediately the alarms go off in my head and I start to think “Oh fuck, he’s using subway as a front to sell freshmen at the local highschool weed for 25 dollars a gram.” of course I would do this too, but only as a side gig though. “Fucking prick.” Roger mutters, as he walks past me going into the managers office. I see him sit down at the computer, and begin scrolling. What was he looking at? I have no idea, and part of me doesn’t want to implicated in the distribution of CP.
For the next few hours Cody and me talk, train and make sandwiches for different customers that wander their way into the store. Then, I see Roger get up from his desk. He stares at me, not breaking eye contact as he makes his way past the counter and out the door. I stand there for a few minutes not knowing what to do, “Hey Cody?” “Yo?” he says not looking away from his concoction of mayonnaise, jalapenos and pickles finished off with a protein of cold turkey. “Am I gonna get fired?” I ask “No probably not. Roger is just weird, one time, I think I saw him making out with one of the tomatoes in the back. Not sure though, I could’ve sworn I met someone who introduced themself as his girlfriend.” Imagine getting cheated on with a tomato. I looked back into the office where the king of sandwiches once sat. Staring to wonder about the contents of the cursed, mysterious gym bag; pondering over the wonderful items buried within “Free weed?” I thought. Hoping to the eldritch horrors in the women’s restroom that the contents contained within the bag could be better than anything I ever hoped.
I looked back to the door and then Cody grabbed my shoulder as I took my first step to the office. “Don’t do what I think you’re about to.” He said sternly. I gave him an expression of “Who? Me?” and he looked into my eyes with something that resembled fear. “Fine man, do whatever. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.” I back away from him into the office, turning around to face the computer, carefully avoiding the screen. Knowing this place every single webcam has to be on 24/7.
I saw the brown canvas bag tucked away into the corner, next to the two filing cabinets, one which had a fake flower on top of it. I knelt down and dragged the bag to me. When I placed my hand on the zipper the bag jolted. I don’t mean like it moved slightly, I mean it like jumped at least an inch off the ground towards my face. I turn back to Cody at the counter and he’s serving a customer, diligently making the sandwich with the intent of a man who has nothing to lose.
I look back down to the bag, wondering what could possibly be inside. I start to pull the zipper up, slowly bringing closer to the top of the bag. The anticipation was killing me. I had been thinking about this moment all day. Finally the bag was open. My heart sank as I saw them, Hands, Feet, Tongues, a lower jawbone and a collection of severed fingers in a ziploc bag. I gagged and almost threw up in my boss’ office. I looked back at the collection of digits and parts and noticed something peculiar. They weren’t fresh but it wasn’t like they were decaying either. Red flesh stuck out from the stumps of which these parts were severed. But there was no blood either, and no smell, like meat from the supermarket. They looked real enough. Or at least I think they did. I was startled by Cody’s voice from behind me “Told you so.” “What are these? Why does he have them?” I asked pleadingly. “Who knows.” He said as a matter of fact. “He brings the bag here every day, and after everyone leaves he buries them behind the store. In the tomato garden actually.” He said “There’s a tomato garden?” I asked, never hearing of a subway that was as fresh as the one on Park street in Area 51. “Zip it back up. I’ll show you how to clean up the bathrooms then you can go home.”
I’ve seen the bag every day since then. Always at Roger’s side. Always wriggling and moving slightly whenever I look at it in his office. It’s weird shit like that that makes A51 the place it is. Sure, there’s cats with a thousand eyes and you can’t seem to find any onions in the supermarket that don’t implant thoughts in your head, but this is the kind of shit that makes me question my sanity and makes me ask myself questions like: Where the shit did he find a bag of body parts? Is that why the tomatoes talk? Are the red, chatty bastards taking on the souls and minds and words of the people Roger has killed? Or are do these limbs even have a previous owner. Whatever. Like the heat, you get used to these things. I’m curious, are there other people browsing at 3 am like me that live in Area 51 too? If you do, comment the weirdest thing that’s happened to you here. Try to keep it short please. The cat with many eyes that I have taken to calling “Iris” is staring at my through my 3rd floor apartment window and I need sleep. Well goodbye I guess. Next time I want to talk about all the weird rules and places in town and what they’re like. Maybe I’ll draw a map.