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death fruit photo

my parents drive around our home city, in the off-season, looking for fresh durian, durian which my brother and I think smells like

(i) death

(ii) shit

(iii) those fetid socks at the bottom of our school bags

the ones that we forgot to fish out before the end of term, before we got pulled early from school to revisit our home country, before we stood in lines not talking with our backpacks on, before we sat in plane rows not talking with our headphones on, before we poked around the minibar and watched bad hotel TV, before before before before

and my parents fight over what food to get and whether it’s worth going out or staying in because it’s late and we’re jetlagged and jumped up on soda, and my dad blew his cash at the airport casino and my mom doesn’t want to talk anymore, but they still drive around all evening looking for fruit that reminds them of

(i) childhood

(ii) everything up to, but not including death

which fortuitously, they find in the off-season in a janky roadside stall, and they sit on plastic chairs eating their death-fruit and not talking, while my brother and I wait in the car making faces, waiting for before, waiting for before, waiting to watch bad hotel TV

image: Crow Jonah Norlander


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