“Red Cooked Meat”

It was that time of the year when women rushed around in the majestic kitchen while men played mahjong and gambled and smoked and talked of big things that will never be carried out. I stood in the middle of the kitchen and my mother, my aunts, my relatives rushed around me, each busy with their own doings. I snuggled tighter in the old, bulky army jacket that my dad grandfather stole from the army when he ran away from the 100% fatality rate battle-front against the Japanese and came home. I can still smell the remnants of his cowardice, but I didn’t care, my blood seemed to be frosting up from the ubiquitous presence of the piercing winds. These winds always find a way to climb up from the legs of my pants, to attack the holes in my knitted sweaters, dive in from my neck and nestle around in my collar bones. My ears.. or do I even have ears? I can’t feel them.

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