Tumours and Pus

Tumours and Pus – Why do you not eat durians?!

The smell was repulsive. It snuck up my nostrils and into my lungs without gaining my permission for access. The oddly-shaped shell was grotesque. It was green, like moss, maybe like grass. It was spiky and somewhat dome-shaped, like one of those badly styled hairdos that stuck. People wore gloves when pinning them down, stabbing them with choppers or knives. They worked like butchers, chopping down hard, rearranging their meat into another choppable position, and then withdrawing bloodied intestines or fats and throwing them into a nearby dustbin. The only difference was a pale, flesh-colored lump was fished out from the shell instead of bloodied intestines. It was sticky and residue stuck to the hands of those who fished them out of the green tumour, the colour of which reminded me of the pus that burst out from squeezing an infected pimple. They tossed the solid pus into a plate, and then tossed it over to my table. I stared at the man and then at my Godmother, who looked expectantly at me. She picked one of the solid pus out and put it into her mouth. I turned to a dustbin next to me, which was filled with what was left of the green tumours and the nucleus of the solid pus. My lunch came up in a sort of liquid bile that looked and smelled no different from that solid pus she was putting in her mouth.

“I don’t get how you can eat stinky tofu and not like this, Ellie,” was her kind and gentle remark. “Here. Try one. You will love it.”

I winced as I cleaned my mouth. I took one from the plate and nibbled a little. Some of the residue stuck between the gaps of my teeth in strands. I retched. When my Godmother turned, I tossed it into the dustbin I puked in. It sank beneath my lunch and blended in. She could never tell.

Tumours and Pus © 2013 by Auby Sparksfield. All rights reserved.


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