She lies in the jungle for four days, fingers interlaced across her chest, like a lunatic.
She thinks about the telling of time, ordered by a clinical calendar of due dates/thank yous/bills adjustable for 72 hours in either direction. The obsolescence of the lunar.
She thinks about the death of Elliott Smith. She strives to recall whether his name is spelled with one T or two.
She does not eat; she feels hunger.
She breathes the freshest air ever breathed, damp with earth, exhaled by the leaves of impossible plants. The way fish are to other fish, each graceful and alien, she wonders how plants breathe underwater.
She thinks of how her mother used to say “jungle,” scoffing, eschewing the left-wing “rain forest” with its delicate, non-violent precipitation drizzling through layers of benign undergrowth.
She thinks that creation is the only thing that ever made sense, the beautiful inert, more than orgasming, more than legacy. She thinks of God resting. How God must rest.
She hears noises, vicious and immediate, unsettling in their disembodiment. She wriggles her toes.
She wonders if Scotch ever made her smarter. She bets it did.
She feels a millipede crawling across her face, a thousand gentle legs cresting the bay of her right nostril. She plucks its little body, compact and curled in her fingertips. She delivers it to a patch of soil, a new continent.
She abandons the experiment, alive and profoundly bored.
This is no way to live, she thinks.
Amanda J. Bermudez is a writer and director based in Los Angeles, California. Her work has been featured at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, the National Winter Playwrights Retreat, the Yale Center for British Art, and in a number of literary publications, including Concis, Sick Lit, Spider Road Press, and Iron Horse Literary Review. She is a National Merit Scholar, recipient of the Jameson Prize, a Writer’s Digest National Award Winner, nominee for the Spotlight Culture & Heritage Award, and winner of the 2017 Cinequest Film Festival screenwriting award.