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Exquisite Corpse
Issue 8A Journal of Letters and Life


From the Land of Strange Fruit: Confessions of a Lascivious Durian-Eater
by Eddie Woods

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When I strolled into the restaurant she was already sitting there, polishing off something very rich and creamy. She was also reading a book, or had been before her dessert arrived. It was a thickish tome with print much too fine for her wide, opaque eyes. I quickly seated myself at a free table, the only one not cluttered with either dishes or conversation. Of course it was next to hers.
      She was a homely creature. Pleasantly plump but wearing a printed smock and a style of stretch trousers that made all the right places seem wrong. A strangely narrow face drained into her rotund figure, though her long red hair was luxuriantly smooth, her fingers delicate. She seemed happy, in a common sort of way.
      And what a delightful affair she was having with an astonishing mass of white goo that dribbled over the edges of a frosted sherbet glass, slithering then into a shocking pink saucer that trickled from the edges of her soft, silly smile and back onto a waiting silver spoon. It was a dessert as sensual as she was and both of them seemed to know it. I thought of a pagan princess taking communion with her own body fluids and of occasions when I had done the same with mine. And I thought of the durian, the most exquisite fruit known to man, and instantly knew that this beautifully bulbous woman would simply adore it.
      In no time at all she would whiff her way past the odor that many find nauseating...but which to the aficionado, the addict (if you will), the true durian lover, signals incipient ecstasy. For the durian is the only fruit--in this world and, I strongly suspect, in any other--with which one can truly unite; the only one large enough, soft enough, with enough of itself to give, so as to actually invite a genuine mystical experience.
      When durian-eaters sink their hands into the custard of a single pod; when they smear their tongues and worshipfully lick clean their fingers to taste the sublime mixture of strawberries, roasted almonds, caramel and cream cheese, or whatever else they may imperfectly imagine a durian's flavor to resemble; when they hold intimate converse with a durian, they also become one with it. Have I not known durian-eaters who often dream of metamorphosing into the perfect durian, primarily to offer themselves to some initiated fellow being and thereby transport the beneficiary, however momentarily, to a special corner of heaven which is surely reserved for the connoisseur of this tropical miracle? Verily, I have had such dreams myself, fantasies woven around the thorny fruit, so majestic as it waits to fall from the high palms of Sumatra, Java and the Malay Peninsula; so humble and yet ripe with serene passion, even whilst revealing its innermost self to the bewitched eyes of a loving devotee.
      The durian, of course, cannot be exported to temperate climes. Robust though it be--and while perfectly ripe durians have even killed local peasants who paused from their toils to forgetfully sit awhile at the base of a palm, crushed their skulls with those sharp spikes that are tricky to touch let alone have drop on you from many meters up--the fruit is fragile. Oh, yes, it is done, or at least tried on: force-ripened specimens sent refrigerated to Amsterdam and a few other places, then sold at exorbitant prices, almost always to disappoint. No, those who would know the durian's splendors must go to the source: to Bali, to Thailand, to southern Burma or the jungles of Borneo. I was acquainted with a man, a fanatic perhaps, who spent a large fortune trying to cultivate durians on a plantation he'd purchased, for that very purpose, just a little ways down the archipelago from Bali, in Flores, only to learn that the trees refused to flourish there. He accepted his loss and returned to other parts of Indonesia, a wiser person. For everything good, for everything rife with purity, one must travel to the source, always to the source, never dallying too long en route.
      This lady would like the durian, that I knew. I knew also she wanted very badly to fuck. There are those who have studied the science of body language, and therefore learned how to interpret the movements people make. I have not, yet still I know. It all starts with simple observation, with attention to what is and to what shifts and wavers, what changes and how. Though I may not be able to decipher the symbols as they are taught, I can surely feel the vibrations. These, seeping as it were into my sensibilities, finally relate the whole story to my conscious mind. Caressingly, in the manner of an inspiring tune.
      She spoke first, just as my meal appeared. She wondered aloud what it was, so I handed her my fork.
      "It's tempura. Would you care to try some?"
      She poked at it a bit but eventually declined, saying she was quite full. Hardly surprising, I thought. She patted her puffed tummy. I ate, slowly and without speaking. She went back to her book, which I could now see was Sartre's Being and Nothingness. Somehow, despite the morose philosophy of her literary companion, she appeared content with life.
      Later, over coffee, I offered her a cigarette, but this she also refused.
      "Can't stand menthols," she said, "they scratch my throat."
      "Strange," I replied, "I find them quite soothing."
      Thus we began chatting. Soon she had moved from her table to mine. Then, in less time than it would take to relate the journey, we had left the restaurant, walked the several blocks to my flat, and were rolling all over both my futon and each other. Sometimes it happens that way.
      Her nakedness revealed many more layers of fat, and far smoother skin, than I might have imagined while she remained dressed. And each new layer was a more welcome sight than the one before. This lovely fat, like the flesh of the durian, like her cream delight, veritably oozed; only now it oozed around my slender frame, making me a part of her. Not only did she want to fuck, but being skilled beyond compare in that wondrous art, she quickly proved herself to be fuck incarnate. And suck. And cuddle. And nibble, drool, bite and make slimy and warm from head to toe, back to front, inside and out.
      The last thing we did before going separately to dinner, she with the weighty mind of M. Sartre, I with a young Thai boy I had recently met and for whom I would certainly have scant sexual energy left; the last thing we did was stay locked in a very long, very slow and deeply penetrating embrace, even while she pressed her chin against my shoulder and loudly slurped a chocolate eclair I had thought to save for my own bedtime snack.
      Her name, this dynamic superdame, was Rhonda. And beyond all doubt, she was the most total woman I had met in years, a female Ganesh with the innate instincts of Divine Mother: Kali with all the blood inside and the severed heads transformed into red corpuscles; swimming, flowing to the tip of her long fiery tongue, through her toes and fingers, down her daringly haughty nose and up from the sacred recesses of her womb and her bowels. Rhonda's vagina, all the more so when I lapped it clean, burned with the fever of a completed sacrifice. Were she never to go to Southeast Asia to meet the durian, it would not matter in the least. She was a durian, the biggest one I had ever encountered.
      I lay back and watched her dress. First she bound her heavy, mother-of-the-world tits, imprisoned them in the most rigid of brassieres. Then came the knickers, harsh nylon wardens that crawled laboriously over the bands of bulging lard within which her navel stayed hidden. By the time she got round to pulling on her girdle--Jesus H., a girdle! I'd no idea they still made such things--I could stand no more.
      "Why do you do it?" I cried out.
      "Do what?" she said in a puzzled voice, trying with great effort to stuff her bulges into the rubbery straitjacket.
      She was really in the dark, this girl. My big fat Kali durian mama was utterly benighted concerning the needs and nature of her own wonderful body. I thought she would kill herself trying to yank an undergarment even I couldn't handle over the most voluminous part of her still-tempting torso.
      Suddenly, I switched mental places. Now I was the one getting dressed, while the observer was a certain Frankfurt whore I had once known, albeit too briefly. It was years ago, at a time when I'd not yet learned to appreciate the full and varied spectrum of human loveliness. She had picked me up on the Kaiserstrasse, near the old Fischerstube bar, then driven me in her Volkswagen 'beetle' to a small, tastefully furnished apartment on the other end of that rattlesome town. It was an expensive early-morning taxi ride back to my cheap hotel behind the Bahnhof.
      Very small and roly-poly she was, sporting judicious breasts that would have truck with only the flimsiest bra, and wearing panties that easily expanded to whatever circumference her buttocks and belly demanded. Pretty after a fashion I could not then perceive. Buoyant and bubbly and very fond of a pink pussy that peeped, somewhat pertinaciously, from between billowing thighs--especially when she lay back in a shallow bath, whimsically dangling her legs over the polished sides of an old porcelain tub.
      "Why didn't you save it for me?" she asked afterward, having sadly watched as I spurted forth my seed on the floor in front of her. "I would have loved to swallow it. Come, I will make you hard again. Or first get some rest, we'll play later. You can stay as long as you like and you needn't pay me a penny. I've had a good week and don't need the money. But what I do need is some fancy fucking, and you're my type. Come."
      Instead I went. I went as surely as nearly a decade later I would run from the durian, and keep on running throughout my two-year stay in Bangkok, so loathsome did I find a smell I would later come to cherish. That change of heart and soul occurred in Bali, when a white-robed, long white-haired and white-bearded Swede named Photon, a dropped-out physicist he was, cornered me in my room, stuck an opened durian under my nose and ordered me, in no uncertain terms, to partake. "Eat!" he commanded. And I ate. And I kept on eating, eventually rising much earlier than I would otherwise have done, only to get to market ahead of Photon's girlfriend Annele and select the best durians before she got to them: feel them, shake them, sniff and sometimes bounce them, knowing full well that even my growing expertise in this art would usually guarantee me no more than four absolutely delicious fruits out of maybe five I'd chosen. It was always worth the risk; just as later on, in Jakarta, it was definitely worth paying a substantial premium to be given a taste beforehand (scooped from a triangular wedge cut by the seller from the hard, spiky shell) and know for sure what joy you were buying. Ah, paradise!
      And so I left the whore's apartment. I simply couldn't get into it, and could on no account bring myself to get into her. My departure felt more like an escape. The dawn air was cold, the local Tschibo not yet open for stand-up coffee. And--deservedly, I might add--it would be quite a while before I again chanced upon so frolicsome a bed partner. And now there was Rhonda.
      After much persuasion, which included personally stripping everything ludicrous off her luscious frame, I happily beheld my sweet mountain-like lily regarb herself minus all those dreadful undergarments. Walking alongside her as she wallowed toward the street corner where we would part company till the morrow, I proudly felt myself a true liberator. Silly me.
      "By the way," she asked, retucking her book between armpit and bosom, "what do you think of Sartre?"
      Indeed. It was a question apropos of the humid evening air that was gradually enveloping us.
      "I think..." I began, hesitating a moment while my recollective faculties reached back in time to the hours I had wasted plodding through the dour Frenchman's metaphysical masturbations; "I think we'd all be happier and better informed had your friend Jean Paul enjoyed durians in the East Indies, or playfully tickled his balls beneath moonlit palms, instead of mentally jerking off in an existentialist purgatory. Yes, that's exactly it."
      "I don't understand."
      "He wouldn't have either, I'm afraid. You've read Nausea? Mysticism stood on its head, with the author experiencing all creation as a huge, ugly gob of verminously pulsating protoplasm. Without admitting it, he really did accept God's existence, you know. Only for him God was a universal monster, perpetually creating new worlds in his own horrid image; that is, in Sartre's image. No, Rhonda, your buddy would hardly have appreciated you. You're too earthy, too vibrant, too full of good old-fashioned fun. I'd let him go if I were you. He belongs in the dustbin along with your girdle and bra."
      "I'm not so sure about that," she replied, a touch perplexed but jaunty withal. "Well, see you tomorrow. And thank you. Bye."
      I gazed after her as she wobbled off, thought once more of the Frankfurt whore--whose name I've long since forgotten and whose pleasures I can now enjoy only with the aid of memory; and I thanked the gods for having lead me, in due course, to the charmed lands of the durian. Even though--except for once in a blue moon and with great good luck--I cannot indulge in its custardy goodness here in the West, the lessons of the thorny fruit will never be forgotten.
      Without the durian, I could never have savored Rhonda. And she, for her part, would still be bound and bundled in a carnage of corsets rather than freely advertising her beauty and reveling in the natural bounce of unburdened flesh. Never mind what the shortsighted reckon, those who are also bound, but in their case to anxious notions of what constitutes beauty. As with the durian, Rhonda is not for everyone. She is for the gourmet.

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