freed from the grip of smelly fingers

i did something i thought i would never do again tonight.

i ate durians. with my parents. at home.

it has been 14 years since the last time something like this happened. i don’t know what got to me this afternoon but i had cravings for durians. (!!!) i tried to brush off the craving, telling myself i must be crazy to want something which i didn’t dare touch for 14 years.

a walk to my balcony further fueled my cravings – perched on green thorns at the corner of my balcony were not one, not two but more than 5 durians. my eyes sparkled and my mind immediately brought me back to the durian dessert i had at goodwood park hotel a few weeks ago. (strictly speaking, i didn’t avoid durian totally, though i consumed it very sparingly, in the last 14 years – i only ate it when it took the form of an ice cream or cake.) i thought about it all evening and when i could no longer bear it, i went to ask my dad how long more do i have to wait before we could start eating the durians. even my mother was surprised to see me eating durian with my dad in the living room.

amazing, ain’t it?

i wonder how much of it is caused by hormones and how much of it is caused by personal growth.

my aversion towards durians started when i was around 14. unable to sleep one night, insomnia was a friend in my teenage years, i started to take notice of the smell on my fingers – it smelled like the durian i ate earlier that evening. quite surprisingly, i found the smell offensive and i couldn’t get rid of it no matter how hard i tried to wash it off.

and that did it for me. because of the smell on my fingers, i decided to quit durian forever that very night. how very dramatic. it was startling to both my parents and myself because i grew up loving durians and i turned my back on it over something as trivial as, in the whole scheme of things, a bad smell on my finger.

i had the same issue with chicken wings, or anything that requires you to eat with your bare hands. chopsticks, spoon, fork and knife are my weapons against food that leaves a lingering bad scent on your fingers and i do feel very vulnerable without them. perhaps, it’s my OCD nature, i cannot stop smelling the smelly finger and knowing that my finger smell bad causes me immense grief. my fingers will be the only thing i am thinking about, kinda like obsessing over a stain on your shirt, a little like letting the spot on your shirt decide the fate of your day.

it wasn’t without effort but i have outgrown that period of my life. little by little, i will myself not to be overwhelmed by the smell of food lingering on my fingers, hair or clothes. these days, i can eat chicken wings with my hands without feeling a strong sense of discomfort.

do my fingers smell of durian now? yes, but it doesn’t have a hold on me anymore. life’s good and bad moments is all about how you react to it!

but having said that, a cockroach is not just a small brown bug to me. it terrifies me. it still has a hold on me. ha.ha.


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