Day 3: The Kill

05Jun09

Father, I have a confession to make. Today I killed 10 lobsters. 10 lobsters that were barely alive, scrambling to get out of the wet cardboard box They were trapped in for the past few hours. They were helplessly shuffling across each others backs with their claws closed shut with rubber bands. 

I couldn’t do it at first. I was terrified, petrified to even bring the box out of the refrigerator. But everyone made me do it, they kept yelling at me, hassling me to kill one or I wouldn’t be able to call myself a real cook. I stared at the box, then the knife, then the box, then the knife. Frustrated with my hesitation, Adam snatched my knife with his right hand and grabbed one lobster out of box with his other. As he held the fidgeting lobster down with his hand, he stared me in the eyes and asked me, “Do you know how to kill a lobster?” I cried, “No.” 

Slowly, he drew the tip of the knife towards the back of its head. He held his position enough for the lobster to see there was a sharp metal blade sitting between his eyes. Then, with a quick stab to the back of its head, Adam split the head in half, allowing for a fountain of water/blood/my overwhelming sense of guilt to spray out of its head. As everyone stood motionless, I felt like I just witnessed the murder of a crustacean child. 

I had to take a few minutes to compose myself, because there was just no way that I would be able to do this without having a rush of emotions wage war inside my body. As Adam passed the knife to me, I realized this would be my unofficial initiation into our kitchen mafia. I grabbed a kitchen towel and threw it over a lobster that seemed the least alive. I squeamishly held the lobster down with my left hand; I felt all kinds of scared, even though I realized I was the murderer, not the murder case. I held my victim at knife-point and said a silent prayer. I stood on my toes and nervously held my knife as I roused up enough bravado to make the initial stab. And then I jumped back. There it was, a half dead lobster being used as a knife holder for my 8 inch chef’s knife. I immediately realized how much worse that looked than finishing the job, and grabbed the handle and brought the knife all the way down to the cutting board. And, of course, it would happen that the lobster’s eyes got stuck on the cutting edge of my knife, staring back at me as I drew my knife back up.

I’m too nervous right now to even begin explaining the metaphorical meaning of that moment, but I will say that I stared back at its detached eyes for a good minute, before I cried a little inside. I wish I could say that I felt accomplished and victorious of having killed my first lobster, but I actually felt horrible. I was riding the biggest wave of guilt at the moment and I couldn’t get off. Meanwhile, I had 8 more lives to end.

I forced myself to get into a state of energized focus and discipline (does this feel like reading a diary entry of a mass murderer?…cus I sure felt like one). I took a deep breathe and I fully immersed myself into the task of stabbing 8 more lobsters.

What a day.

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6 Responses to “Day 3: The Kill”

  1. 1 Shanna Gong

    Daaaang Ames, cold blooded.

  2. 2 smelly

    using a gun is faster.

  3. 3 rachel

    awesome.

  4. 4 Alyjoy

    poor sebastian. kinda proud of you though!

  5. 5 Erica

    crabs are not kosher.

  6. 6 Erica

    fuck i meant lobster…but i love me some crustaceans with butta


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