jerky

once upon a time
there was a sister
there was brother

and every time they saw a bee cheng hiang (美珍香) store in the mall they would race to get free samples of bak kwa

fingernail-sized coins of driedup, brightred porkjerky
stabbed carelessly with toothpicks
limply oxidizing in a translucent plastic cylinder
on a counter almost too tall for them to reach

this ritual of giddygreedy healthy sibling rivalry always caused the parentals a fair amount of distress, because (a) it always involved shrieking (b) it never involved a purchase (c) children sans iphone sans anyphone running amok in high-density mall…yeah

(the jerky always tasted so good
especially if you won)

but after a while
the counter got less tall
she wouldn’t eat meat let alone pork
he wouldn’t talk let alone shriek
and naturally the ritual came to an end, i am sorry to say

and time passes

and and and i wish i could run to that store and pull out my wallet and buy you a big fat glistening pack of cured pig
and feast like royalty

soon 🙂

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