The other day at work I was gutting a bluefish and inside it was an octopus. “MATTY” I called.
“What,” he said.
I pointed with the fillet knife to the octopus I had yanked out with the gills and the guts. It was stuck. It was wrestling an anchovy but the anchovy was already dead. It had a golden beak. It didn’t. Squids have beaks. It had a golden sac that was moving in and out very quickly. “He’s scared,” Matty said. Matty went up and dribbled water on it from the hose. The octopus’ tentacles loosened. It looked very tired. We both sighed. Then the octopus leapt from the cutting table to the sink and lifted up the drain cover and dove straight down. We imagined it in the sewer, growing bigger and stronger, covered in gold. Sending it’s arms up any pipe it wants. Having hundreds of children and seeing them all married off. Losing its memory with the bad parts going first and dying before it really gets bad. Or not dying at all. Raising an army. Hiding. Squandering its potential. Farming Soybeans. Who knows? We didn’t. We don't. Plus, Matty says he isn’t certain this happened. But we both know. The anchovy knows. There is blood in its eyes as we speak.