The Odds Of The New Nun

by Tara Collins
The Odds Of The New Nun Tara Collins is a badass who writes and does other artwork as a means of maintaining their own sanity. The only true recurring motif in their artistic identity is their love and hate for the human condition, as it is what they create about and for.

“It’s approximately 3 AM, and I have walked miles in pain from a motel that I vaguely remember was in Iowa. Oddly so, a laugh begins to find its bearings on my body, and I begin an uncontrollable cascade of belly laughs that alleviate all of my momentary anxieties. Your body begins to display these erratic behaviors even in its sleep once you’ve put it through what I have.”

It’s approximately 3 AM, and I have walked miles in pain from a motel that I vaguely remember was in Iowa. Oddly so, a laugh begins to find its bearings on my body, and I begin an uncontrollable cascade of belly laughs that alleviate all of my momentary anxieties. Your body begins to display these erratic behaviors even in its sleep once you’ve put it through what I have.

I can’t tell you the hardships of such shleps to the nearest drugstore to find some kind of medicine I can say with minimal doubt won’t kill me if I overdose by two or so dosages in the midst of a potential panic attack. Mild paranoia resurfaces at the sight of such tall grass and vegetation lining these roads, because the one time I got a camping trip invite from the resident rich goddess every contemporary high school seems to develop, I got a tick bite. However, inducing sleep to avoid my pain is the most innovative solution I’m capable of producing at the moment. I have no time or money or energy to value things that people with their human rights intact are capable of valuing.

Sleep has ended. Abruptly. Not in the way that supposedly sane mothers wake their teen offspring at the crack of dawn to attend the eight hours a day of insanity known as school. Even that is mildly sane in comparison to my situation. I can tell soil has crept into the crevices of my nostrils and mangled pockets of ripped, almost jagged skin on my fingers as I raise them slowly into the sunlight overhead. A street sign has reflected the light of the sun back as an eerily green color, like an undertone in a grainy photo of someone you keep telling yourself you used to know but don’t any longer.

Such a light is not a sight for sore eyes… and with the slightest of a meager spring in my step, I got up and walked several miles with breaks only when my body broke down without the thought of asking me. I reached a town… Meagerflower was the odd but soul-pleasing name I see on the various signage as I enter on foot. A chain pharmacy was distinguishable from the rest of the droopy looking businesses in this area because of how it’s in a franchise’s nature to have sufficient funding for large, scream like fluorescent lettering on their awnings. I stumble almost drunkenly towards sliding doors that, again, seem out of place in such a meager and idle town. As I enter this place that I assume is reflective of the cocktail of odd items that such a town’s population would need from a drug store, I get shocked by the urgency of a solution to my pain, and stealthily pursue a rack of medication bottles. They mustn’t see me, for money was a thing of my past, but yet a thriving part of today’s society that I am now ill-equipped for.

My choices seem to be made by the wind or some unnamable energy of the heavens, so if the sequence of events continues in its odd ways, I must start to walk further into this town in hopes I’ll find something or someone to provide an aid to my ability to sustain myself. I walk a few paces down the road until the road diverges from being a road and derails into a pasture full of lights and a myriad of bodies and voices to accompany them. Metal parts clanked as though their function was to hoist things up. This space, this carnival seemed to exist much farther up from the ground than people of this sort would seem to enjoy being. Children were running around screeching the announcement that it was opposite day, and Emily’s were being called Martins and Martins called Emilies. This was truly a festivity held by an elated lunatic to rid this town of it’s drear for a few moments.

Nuns’ headscarves were taken off, their heads unsheathed like the weapons heads can be, and better yet the dopamine from minds as close to the sky as they’d probably ever be floated to the ground and elation coated the air at all altitudes of the landscape. In awe, I told myself, “To the ferris wheel we go.” But in fear of the ticket master, I proceeded to crawl around the very base of the contraption’s rear end and began to climb the cold steel the structure provided me with to as close to the very top as I could get. I settled in the basket weave of a lonesome car, and ducked down below the seat so the crevices and imperfections in the construction could provide me a window to this world with the hope that not a single breath of mine would be detectable from here. My ignorance caused by lack of unobstructed viewership that the rightful customers were worthy of was actually quite pleasurable. The fog up here had a taste and smell that was like raindrops on tongues from childhood. I could feel how seized up the clouds must be, almost ready to rain. It was tiring to feel the basket sway in what little winds existed here, and soon I fell asleep.

Awoken by a black clothed face with hair neatly tucked away into the dark fabric, I sat up, the wind jerking my hair out of my face immediately. She whispered, “We musn’t camp out here for much longer. I know you’re weak because you’ve overdosed by two days of sleep, and surely such dreams can make hunger seem nonexistent. But you’ve got to get down. I had the same idea as you, but luckily I figured out the pasture is being cleared. The deflation of all the structures have been loud as fog horns. I’m thoroughly surprised you weren’t roused.”

The urgency of her voice got to my head as we were in cramped quarters, and her voice was fast and breathy, almost as though she were recovering from hyperventilation.

“O-okay,” I croaked due to a combination of grogginess and dehydration.

We started descending, and she warned me of the rusting the rungs had developed, and precisely every thirty seconds she looked at me. It wasn’t a protective gaze… she seemed to know of my history of rabble rousing and the scraped knees one expects from such drunken frolicking sprees in the middle of nowhere. She wasn’t afraid for me imminently. She knew so much, but my urge to question it had been dulled. Basking in this sense of comfort seemed too good of an option to move away from.

We made it down to solid ground, and though reality existed near enough to comfort my human mind, my eyes were enslaved by this dreamscape. I felt a pain in my chest due to my fear of getting far too lost in this, so I began the run of the mill small talk questioning I thought of when I got too tired of this lull in our conversation. She rejected every question. As did I. The town we were in. Felt like a place where people were resting. I felt a fear of disturbing this rest. I felt every current of these winds thicken, they held my breath back as though they had convinced me I could breathe without the inevitability of my next breath in I had always unconsciously anticipated. Words were not needed. A breath in being wasted on speech was an action that of a heathen unto this world. Emotions dispersed themselves evenly within this air. The sharp, garbled nature of human speech was an infection to such purity.

I shall say the same thing time and time again in a slightly altered dialect of human language, but my darling all I feel is a love for you, and a land fit for such a love has been eons in the making. You know we are larger than life.

 

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