Lately, on principle, I’ve stopped eating octopus because they’re so intelligent and I love the animal so much. Also, it’s a symbol of the best thing that’s happened to me in my adult life [possibly referring to her dating pianist Josh Paxton], so I can no longer eat octopus.
That looks like a fresh octopus tattoo on your leg?
Yes. I specifically wanted a mimic octopus. They have these stripes on their legs, and they can look like many other creatures, like a sea snake or a stingray. If you look closely, you’ll see how Jimmy [Black at Abracadabra on Freret Street] laid out the stripes.
I wanted them to look like the black keys on a piano. And there’s a reason I wanted him to make the eye blue… Call me smitten.
Beth Patterson’s new book The Wild Harmonic is at the Louisiana Music Factory.