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BIMA & Hiatus: disjointed by Natalie Kinkead

BIMA is excited to announce a new partnership with Hiatus Magazine, an online compilation of quarantined teenagers’ most creative works. On BIMA’s social media, we will be featuring pieces from Hiatus’ spring 2020 issue featuring works by their teenage contributors created and imagined while sheltering at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Any written works will appear here on BIMA’s blog for you to read in its entirety! You can also see all the works from Hiatus’ most recent issue on their website here.

Hiatus is currently looking for contributions for their next fall issue focusing on DEMOCRACY!  Are you a teenage creator? Or do you know someone who is? Submissions are due by November 1. Learn how to submit your work here!

Now on to today’s featured work!

Content warning: This work references anxiety and depression and contains vivid imagery.

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disjointed by Natalie Kinkead

My neighbor was born at age eleven. They took the abyss that I’d always lived in, so I had to crawl out of it using the ribs as a ladder and burrow in the chest, where nobody else was living. 

Where the abyss was quiet, the chest was loud. The lungs took up so much space, expanding and deflating, the heart made so much noise wringing the blood out of itself. Sometimes, when the organs angered me, I’d hit the heart to control the endless drumming or squeeze the lungs to make them smaller. Living in the chest ended quickly. 

It took me a year, but I eventually got over the abyss thing. I moved from the chest to the hands, which were quieter, and rocked back and forth. 

After around three years, my neighbor started to drag themselves out of the abyss to keep me company. We played this game where they took one eye and I took the other. We could peer out and admire the world from inside, but it made the body lose its balance and run into things. The body nearly tipped over one time, and I got scared, but it was the first time I’d seen my neighbor smile. They wanted to do it again, but I was afraid enough for both of us and they crawled back into the abyss and didn’t come out or talk to me for weeks. 

So I get along okay with my neighbor now. 

It’s easier for me to stay in one place at one time, but my neighbor likes to settle 

throughout the entire body when they need to stretch. Occasionally they sit in the head and stay there for days, watching for any stray neurons they can squash -I wonder if the head to my neighbor is the chest to me. Everything moves slower those days, so I go to the legs and the twitching toes, just to get some entertainment. 

When my neighbor is in the abyss and the rest of the body is too loud, I explore the bones. It’s pretty nice, but dusty. I started to shake the bones from the inside, just to see what would happen. It terrifies me to do it, but I’m almost addicted to hearing them cracking -sometimes I wonder if I’d feel relief if everything just broke open. 

The other day, the head was too noisy when my neighbor wanted to sleep, so I ran on top of the skull, over and over again to keep it quiet. Just months ago it had made my neighbor pleased, but that day they thought I was only adding to the noise. 

I think I used to like my neighbor more, but I don’t know if we’ve really been getting along as well as I’d thought. Sometimes I want them to stay inside of the abyss forever, but sometimes I wish they were laying inside of the hollow bones with me. 

If they wanted to tip the body over again, I wonder if I’d help them break things open. 

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Be sure to follow Hiatus Magazine at their Instagram and check out all the work on their website here.