Curious Facts About Octopuses (And You and I)


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Avra Margariti is a Social Work undergrad from Greece. She enjoys storytelling in all its forms and writes about diverse identities and experiences. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The  [+]

Image of Short Circuit #02

1. Octopuses have nine brains.
Me? I wouldn’t want so many organs with which to overthink and fly into hysterics. You always ran from those—took the car and left me alone for hours, sometimes days, until I “calmed down."

2. Octopuses are masters of camouflage—they can mimic other oceanic objects and fade into the underwater scenery.
I was a wallflower at high school and college dances. Now’s no different. You said I was a nightmare at your office parties. I never interacted with the other spouses and partners, gripped my drink like a lifeline, and clung to your side so unattractively.

3. Octopuses have three hearts.
Can you imagine the sound of them cracking, the heart-chunks swept away by the undertow?

4. When feeling stressed out or simply bored, octopuses will resort to eating their own appendages.
Left on my own devices, I start climbing the walls, picking at my skin just to feel something. I never told you this. I didn’t want you to feel guilty every time you left. I didn’t want to learn whether it would have made a difference.

5. After mating, it’s game over. While tending to their larvae, female octopuses stop eating and begin to self-destruct.
One week ago, you said you wanted us to have a child. “Everything that’s wrong with you will get better once you have someone to take care of,” you told me with such conviction, I almost believed you.

6. When feeling threatened, octopuses will expel toxic ink, muddying the water.
At this point, I don’t know if I’m talking about you or me.

7. Octopuses are good at escaping, from tanks, nets, and doomed relationships.
I can tell you that it wasn’t easy. Or, I would, if I had any interest in talking to you after I asked you to pack your stuff and leave. And now here I am in the local library, hiding my tears in a random zoology book until it’s time to return to an empty apartment.

8.The thing is, you hate metaphors, whereas I always found them curiously soothing. I guess it’s a good thing I’ve decided to stop caring what you think.

8

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Image of Keith Simmonds
Keith Simmonds · ago
A beautifully written story, pleasant to read!
Image of Nili ROBERTS
Nili ROBERTS · ago
This is really good. I have enjoyed the comparisons with the octopus, which lift the bitter and sorrowful mood of the piece. It's well structured. The way point 7 explains the parallels drawn with the sea creature is very satisfying, as are the last words.
Image of Jennifer Shelby
Jennifer Shelby · ago
oh, this is lovely. Thank you.

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