“I’m obsessed with Cephalopods!”

Sandy stops her Octopus story for a split second, turning toward the young buxom woman who’s made this extraordinary claim. PP glances in DL’s direction. Cephalopods! Obsession! What are the odds? Number 1, how often has an octopus story been told in Utopia? Never in PP’s experience, not to say that it doesn’t happen, but c’mon. Cephalopods? And then , number 2, in the context of this story telling, what are the odds that one of the women in Utopia listening to the story is obsessed with them?

Are you a betting readership? Like what? 1 in a million?

Sandy continues without engaging the Cephalopod Obsession Woman with more than a glance, and a “Really?” After all, she was on a narrative roll. Had to keep the momentum.

“....and so this diver, he was a free diver which makes it even more intriguing, is trying to get his camera away from the octopus and the octopus just makes off with it and the Camera Guy gives chase and it’s all on Utube….I gotta check it out. I don’t know what it’s called…..

“I think it’s called, ‘How the octopus stole my camera.’” COW ventures.

Black Pantie Woman chuckles softly. PP’s worried about her. Earlier in the hot tub she’d gotten in with PP and had been strangely quiet—not her usual bubbly self—telling stories, asking questions, so when PP had just made a friendly, “How ya doin'?'” BPW had sighed deeply, her eyes so sad as she leaned into one of the jets and said, “Not so good,”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” PP had sympathized.
“Did you have a good day?” she’d tried to smile at PP.
“Well, yes….’PP had thought about it and decided it hadn’t been so bad after she’d recovered from the Pablo Morning Pee Trauma, “It was a good day.”

BPW woman had nodded slowly, “That’s nice. I had a rough day,” she'd murmured, not really looking at PP so PP decides not to ask her why. Normally she would but there was an added thick palpable sadness to the air so she refrained. It scared her a little. So when later in the Sauna, Sandy was telling the Octopus Stealing camera story and BP woman had given a quiet little chuckle, PP felt relieved. Things weren’t so bad that she couldn’t appreciate a good old Cephalopod Yarn!

Sandy takes a new interest in Cephalopod Obsessed Woman now that she knows the Utube title, “Yes, that makes sense. That the video would be called that.”
“Why do they steal cameras?” PP asked. “Are they gonna take some octopus family pictures?”
Laughter. PP likes this when the women of Utopia laugh at her stupid jokes, “Actually, they like to redecorate,” COW answers. “They like bright shiny objects to bring back to their dens.”
Did she say dens? Do Cephalopods have dens? Maybe they inhabit octopus condo compounds with their shiny cameras, spear guns, tin cans etc decorating their living rooms?

“Why are you obsessed with Cephalopods?” PP finally squeezes in this all important query.
“My dad is a Marine Sociobiologist (Or some such esoteric sciency profession).
“Wow,” says The Serene Science Teacher. “Then you must have traveled all over the world with him growing up.”
“Yes, actually I’m from New Zealand, but yeah…we did. It was pretty cool.”
“So that’s why you’re obsessed?” PP presses.
“Well, yes, that. But also they’re so smart! Why they’re as smart as dogs and parrots but without bones!” she beams.

PP nods. Like the intelligence of species is contingent on bone possession? Are the two connected? She’d never thought about this. Of course humans have bones and are generally thought to be intelligent, though PP had her doubts about this. It somehow made sense that boneless creatures might indeed have intelligence. After all, did the brain reside in the marrow?

PP thought not.

Later, walking back to the Geo with DL, PP brought up the line of ‘I’m obsessed with Cephalopods' again to DL.
“Me too!” DL exclaimed as they climbed into the car. “I wrote this paper on Cephalopods when I was in Jr. High. I was totally obsessed with them.”
"Why didn’t you say something in Utopia?” PP laughed, knowing that DL doesn’t like to divulge such personal info while saunaing.
“You know,” DL shrugged.
“Yeah, I know,” PP laughed. “You’re shy. Or so you say.”

Dropping DL off at her car, PP watches as she gets into Moondoggie (her Toyota’s name) and starts the engine, marveling at how now there had been not only one, but two, Utopia listeners who were obsessed with Cephalopods. The odds of that? Maybe obsession for Cephalopods was more common than she'd thought?

Yet, PP had never known about DL’s Octopus Obsession. Who would have thought it?

See what she learns in Utopia?
Not only a plural for octopus that doesn’t include the pretentious sounding ‘Octopi’ but a bit of unknown sea knowledge about DL.

Obsession? It’s a secretive thing sometimes. Maybe esp. if it has to do with boneless intelligent beings? Nah, it's those strange obsessions that lurk from our secretive teenage years. Those are the obsessions that usually remain buried deep in the dark and mysterious sea of our awkward pasts.


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