A few weeks ago, I received a package wrapped in brown paper at work. It took me a few moments before I recognized the return address; from the woman who birthed me (I prefer not to use the term “mom” anymore). I didn’t want to open it, because my first suspicion was that it was a box of ears. Why ears? Well, I’ve seen Oldboy, and let’s just say that in the movie, the main character does something similar as an act of penance to someone he wronged.
This woman can also have a twisted sense of logic, and it wouldn’t me surprised if she cut off her ears, along with someone else’s, to show that she was trying to make up for the way she treated me by punishing herself, along with another poor, unfortunate soul who donated their ears to the cause. But it was heavy, and curiosity frequently gets the best of me, so I opened it, and discovered it was a box of mooncakes. Four mooncakes, to be precise, and the expensive kind with the double yolk. Then I realized it was the Mid-Autumn Festival, so this kind of delicacy wasn’t so out-of-the-ordinary.
My next thought was that they were laced with arsenic. Who knows what this woman is thinking; every now and then she goes fucking crazy. I told my office-mate, who said, “They aren’t poisoned! Your mom’s just trying to reach out to you.” I didn’t believe her, so she said she’d take one home and feed it to her family to prove it to me.
Unfortunately, my co-worker is only in the office once a week. So there I was at home on the weekend, with these delicious, though potentially poisoned, mooncakes on my counter, waiting to see my co-worker in six days so she could tell me if she started developing any signs renal failure.
Part of me was also thinking I should just throw them out. By eating them, I was accepting the gesture by this woman — in other words, forgiving her — which was definitely not the case.
The thing is, I’ve always had a weakness for mooncake. Those heavy, delicious little pastries that are only made more special by the fact that they’re only available twice a year (the other time being Chinese New Year).
So I told myself she was just repaying part of the debt she caused from mental anguish, and there went my pride. I ate just eat a little piece — an eighth of one cake — and waited a few hours to see if I started experiencing vomiting, nausea, or seizures. Then one piece led to another, and by the time I knew it, half a cake was gone.
This was supposed to be a picture of a box of mooncakes, but this is all I have left now.
I’m still alive.