"I'm not crying, it's rage sweat. From my eyes."
Smelling the wasabi paste I had created actually burned my nose at a close distance, a threat of things to come. I knew this was going to hurt and you know it's going to hurt and yet there I was, with maybe 2 tablespoons of pale green sludge ready to go. If I snorted this, a thing I don't think I could do given the consistency, it would likely just burn through my brain and kill me. Best to see what my insides could do. I shoved the spoon in my mouth.
If you've never eaten 2 tablespoons of pure wasabi, don't. Don't ever. I thought to mulch it around a bit with my tongue, give it a light chew to break down the clump, and within seconds it was like I had committed a crime against humanity on myself. The sharp, searing pain isn't nearly as bad as you'd think; it's the whole sensory buttfuck. What is that noxious gas wasabi produces? And the taste, the actual flavor, it's just not good. It's like pain you found on the bottom of your shoe after a stroll through the woods.
This is where trail mix comes from.
My mouth began to spasm in an involuntary fashion, my tongue writhing like a snake fighting its prey. I should have spit it out; that would have been the rational thing to do. Something deep inside me lurched and my stomach joined the fight to expel the foreign invader. No. Not yet. I could do this.
My eyes and nose were running profusely. It was like I had just ingested the demon that causes the flu and he was starting a fire to keep warm. Keep squishing, I thought. Squish it down to a reasonable size and just swallow, how hard could that be? I think the flesh of my cheeks had begun to slough off at this point.
If my gums weren't bleeding, they wanted to. Perhaps it was only my blood's fear of touching wasabi that stemmed the tides there. I began to think the quantity is where I had misfired on this challenge. No one said 2 tablespoons anywhere. And these weren't even tablespoons. These were heaping globs. I'm going to be honest, I don't even know what the fuck a tablespoon measurement means really, I just mixed it with a big spoon. It was doubled up on the spoon like ice cream when I ate it. Yes, that was my error. Hubris. So like Lucifer: proud, beautiful, and now burning. Burning so very badly.
I swallowed hard. I want you to know that I resolved this problem by swallowing. That was what I thought was the right thing to do. I consumed the wasabi. Feel free to laugh now if you know what happens in the next paragraph, which will take place about three hours after I swallowed that wasabi.
Remember me as I was: an idiot.
My digestive system has never been a point of pride for me. I can eat all kinds of filth, but I pay a price. That time I went to the fair and ate all that garbage? I was useless the next day. But the wasabi? Merciless. It was only a few hours later when my stomach was making sounds that were audible to passersby and, in some languages, the foulest of curses. I won't terrify you with descriptive details of what came next, save to say that either I have a fire-breathing dragon in my colon or I am not meant to eat wasabi. I spent much of the rest of the day within a panicked few steps of the bathroom, my eyes still watering ever so slightly.
But I won. I owned that wasabi challenge. So I've got that going for me.
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