Why I Eat Brains

It isn’t like peeling an orange. It isn’t like popping a walnut. Skulls are harder than I’d imagined.

How long do I have, now? I’m still here, enough to know this is wrong, but I love my wife and I love my kids and I want to hold onto those memories and for that I need a brain.

Someone is coming closer, hesitating, slack-jawed. I scream at him, meaning to send him words like, “Fuck off! This is mine! I caught this one!” but I think all I holler is noise. I’m not really there. I’m in my fingertips, scouting over the surface of this slick and bloody head.

I get the jaw in one hand, the head in another, brace the whole thing against my chest, and pull. Something gives. But no go. His mandible waggles like a broken toy.

With his head in my hands, hair sticking to my bloody fingers, I drag him to the curb. I stomp. Something is cracked, beneath the skin. I nip at skin like it’s a cellophane wrap. I get fingernails into the crack. I pull. Fingernail breaks. This brain, and maybe I’ll remember my wife’s name.

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