(noun: his magic takes him a hair above the competition) Even if flies were on it before, as long as flies aren’t on it now, I will eat it. Flies don’t bother me as much as the mold. If the mold is on it, or was on it, then I won’t eat it, unless it is a special cheese and the mold is good for you. The same is true for hair and shit but not for blood. I will eat many things that had or have blood on or in them. I have ingested blood of at least 452 distinct animals yet my own blood is still pure like it was when I was born. Those animals I ate had no doubt ingested (verb: he ingested the contents of the library) blood of other animals as well as shit, hair, food with mold and flies on it and even the eggs of flies inside it (cow feed used to contain ground up cows). But that doesn’t bother me quite as much. Is it strange that I can eat a seashell, chicken bone or shrimp tail but not hair? Hair is a certain kind of shell, like a finger-nail or skin, both of which I routinely chew from my own hands, yet the thought of eating a piece of skin with hair on it, like a section of scalp, or a chunk from a buffalo’s belly, nearly repulses (verb: rioters tried to storm ministry buildings but were repulsed by the police) me. After all these years, I’ve become very used to eating. That is something I have learned to accept. I have probably eaten the equivalent of 834 human hands if you collected all the chewed pieces into one place and pressed them together. Maybe I have shit an entire swimming pool’s worth or eaten enough hamburgers to fill this apartment. It’s difficult to say for sure. What I know is that save a few memorable exceptions, my body repeatedly processes a variety of different colored foods into shit of a single consistent hue. It is true that I have seen fish after the spawning (verb: the decade spawned a bewildering variety of books on the forces) season floating at the bottom of deep rivers while rotting alive. I have also had the fresh blood of cows, chickens, moose, bears, rabbits and human women smeared onto my fingers. I once fed a slice of my own fingertip to a customer, camouflaged in a sandwich by tomatoes and mayonnaise. I remember that I made a soup from beef stock and watched my vegetarian friend unknowingly suck it down. As I get older and older and more and more alone, it becomes increasingly important to me that I understand these things. I believe that I must anatomize (verb: successful comedy is notoriously difficult to anatomize) these small details of daily life. I believe that I must insert this knife into my own abdomen and cut a square there and rip my own stomach from its comfortable little nook, tear it apart and sift through its secrets of chewed tongue, corn particles, decomposing roasted beef, stray pubic hairs, bread, pear skins and eggshells, until I find some way of being less alone, less hungry, until I find the truth (noun: in truth, she was more than a little unhappy).

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