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Let’s Eat

The alarm sang its 7 a.m. tune, and Akiko awoke feeling refreshed but hungry. She’d had a tiny dinner the night before and was ravenous. Moments later Akiko was in the kitchen, opening the refrigerator and pulling out a carton of nattō. “Mmm, this will be good,” she murmured as she eagerly dug her chopsticks into the sticky, slippery beans.

What disgusts you most?

I am most disgusted by wormy things. The wormy shape is so disgusting to me that even inanimate and abstract it is repulsive.   For example, in high school I was very and I have to say uniquely among my friends grossed out by those silver or gold squiggle pendants that certain boys in the late 1970s favored and had dangling off chains around their necks.  In fact if I was attracted to a boy who happened to be wearing one I was immediately turned off and there was no turning that around, basically because I couldn’t even look in his direction.  I’ve calmed down about this in the time since then, but I still don’t like that shape.   At the risk of self- psychoanalyzing I attribute my worm-shape horror to two events. One is that when I was seven years old my nasty new neighbor cornered me on the steps of someone’s house as we were walking home from school and threw what seemed like hundreds of live wriggling earth worms all over me from head to toe.  I think I screamed for an hour straight. The other explanation, though I have no proof of this, is based on the similarity of the shape of worms with feces, and the fact that the origins of our repulsion towards moist coiled things is connected to our first disgust lessons in that regard, so I surmise that I must have had especially rigorous toilet training.  It is also the case that the peculiar, unpredictable, curling, slithery movement of worms when actually animate is extremely disgusting to me.  Maybe I subconsciously fear that I will be overwhelmed and swallowed up by a giant, moist, coiled thing.