If you’d like to know what casual excess tastes like, it’s a pork sausage and chicken heart kebab. Four once-life-giving organs and the unmentionable parts of a pig laced on to a metal skewer and handed round at a party.
I take one from the tray and begin to eat.
What did he say this was?
Tastes like chicken except muscular.
A line from Closer runs through my mind. Failed-novelist Dan accuses doctor Larry of being unromantic, of thinking the heart is like a diagram. Larry retorts, Have you ever seen a human heart? It looks like a fist wrapped in blood. Go fuck yourself, you writer. You liar.
Later that week at a restaurant, the menu describes a salad of confit duck leg and hearts. I am unsure on the hearts but swayed by the leg.
As my dinner companion observes, One leg but many hearts – a strange beast.
True to their word, the hearts are numerous and look for all the world like oversized black olives. This avian olive has been halved, pitted, its fleshy purple centre exposed. But consciousness coupled with squeamishness have intervened and I manage only a tiny bite.
Tastes like duck except crueller, weirder, more grotesque. Tastes like duck except monstrous. A fist wrapped in blood.
Despite giving the hearts my full attention, I am unable to detect whether any of the birds were in love at the time of their deaths. Ingesting a heart does not unlock its secrets.
But I comfort myself that limbs don’t have emotions as I devour the leg. And half a quail. As I enjoy my wine. As I get dessert.
You writer. You liar.
A version of this post was sent by email on the 3rd September 2017 as part of Internet Care Package.
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