I have an ongoing love/eat relationship with cephalopods. Squids and octopuses are among my favourite wonders of nature, being so smart and alien and jet-powered. And yet, so tasty. I’ve required small pep talks a few time in restaurants when someone has ordered a delicious tentacle dish that I can’t bring myself to eat even though it is surely a triumph of human culture (barbecued squid, pasta with olipetti, common kalimari, octopus sashimi…).
The best perspective I’ve come up with to handle the awesomeness yet deliciousness of my tentacled comrades is that life isn’t fair. My ongoing meditation on cephalopods is partly to do with my fascination with hard truths. I can’t be friends with octopods because they are ruthless killers. Also, I eat them. But I want to give them my love. C’est la vie, c’est la poubelle.
I snapped out of the absolute stunned trauma of having to fight with my food and attempted to regain control of the situation… Without hesitating, I bit hard on it over and over and over again while mumbling “Die! Die! Die!”
Eating live tentacles embodies almost my entire relationship with cephalopods. They fight, I desire. They are worthy opponents. I am conflicted, but must commit myself or I will barf. I’d rather be friends, but any relationship will do.
Separately, I like food that won’t come to you, but demands you play by its rules. Wasabi is like that for me: I can’t think about anything else when wasabi catches me off guard. I reckon live tentacles would be the same. There’d be no daydreaming about the office while battling a tentacle into the chili sauce.
All in all, now seems to be the time to re-examine my decision not to be a ruthless killer. I used to be OK with ruthless cruelty and domination in high school. Maybe this is yet another trait from the past that is resurfacing now that I’ve stopped taking birth control. That would be unsettling.