Bacon is tastier than children

One day (and this was before I met you) I looked down at the bacon in my Grand Slam breakfast and all I could think about was my toddling nephew: his embarrassing little boy lisp. The sticky dirt clutch of his fingers. The tiny, sad glasses strapped fast to his skull by a rainbow colored strip of elastic.

What I was thinking, specifically, was this: domesticated pigs can tell the difference between a triangle and a square. Between a circle and a rectangle. They can distinguish and match shapes with the same articulate precision of chimpanzees. These ungulate geometrists can also be trained to turn their housing lights off at night and on in the morning. Entire herds of feral pigs (taxonomically defined as Sus scofra) can outsmart hunters by reinventing themselves as nocturnal creatures.

What I was thinking: if a pig could speak, it wouldn't say "tar" instead of "car." It wouldn't ask me for help fastening its Velcro shoes. It wouldn't cut up pieces of its foam board puzzle with a pair of safety scissors. It wouldn't need a night light, and if it did, it could switch the light on and off by itself. It wouldn't have to let it kiss me in exchange for $5 an hour from its mother.

I looked at that plate of bacon and considered its history. I thought of the glial cells, of the axons and dendrites, of all of the impossible motions made possible through a miracle of synaptic firecrackers, of neurons and star-shaped proteins. I became queasy.

Eventually, I recounted my revelation to a Brazilian co-worker over a plate of mediocre oysters. She became profoundly offended. "You Americans are so Cartesian!" She spit when she said the word "Cartesian." "What does a brain have to do with anything?" I couldn't prove that she was wrong. To be on the safe side, I stopped eating clams and oysters as well.

I don't think I ever told you this story; told you why I stopped eating meat. You never asked.

I craved it. Not even a week had elapsed since the Descartian insult; I bought a whole rotisserie chicken and ate it over the course of two hours. I began taking shelter in my car, parking near the dumpster behind the grocery store, consuming five Quarter Pounders at a time, planning my dining schedule around my roommate's absences. Any remorse I may have felt, and evidence I may have stored, was vomited up with the meal. A violence undone.

I watched your eyes to be sure you were asleep. I tip-toed into the kitchen with the quietness of insects. I should have brought the turkey leg back to my room. I should have thrown it away. I should have confessed to you before you found me there.

By the time I realized you were standing in the doorway of the kitchen, watching me; by the time I lifted my own eyes to meet your steady gaze, you had already turned your back. You never mentioned what you saw. I don't know if I disappointed you or if you just didn't care.

You never asked me about anything.


  1. all you mofo's must be hungry... all the posts have food in em.

  2. I'm a follower, not a leader.

  3. Holy shit, this is awesome. Now I'm supposed to add the witty part that justifies such a simple statement but really who cares, again, this is a-w-e-s-o-m-e, awesome.

  4. It seems the Third Face women share a fondness for meat. I think I'm gonna like it here.