Some women straddled the fine line between intense cramps and diagnosed endometriosis. And as she did yet another imitation of a contortionist in her bed, Nadine wished she was one of them.
Not because she particularly liked the idea of her insides shredding themselves every few weeks, but because those women got The “send me to sleep and I’ll awaken in a few hours to birds singing Motown ditties and (washed) squirrels de-tangling my hair like nothing even happened” Good Drugs®.
She – like most women in their commune – got standard painkillers and was scared to death of becoming addicted to the “next level” stuff. Namely the standard intermediate solution before The Good Drugs® were brought up in a professional setting. In theory, anyway.
In practise, when she felt her disappointed uterus throwing a tantrum and messing with her pelvic floor muscles, she wished she were an “intermediate period painkiller” junkie.
Chebet, who lay on the other side of their bed, was one of the very few women in their very synced-up commune to not have debilitating cramps. She knew all their time-of-the-month groans quite well, and yet...
“Are you SMILING right now?!”
Chebet laughed and nodded.
They had built their house together; designed everything. Even budgeted – to the kilogram – how much soil they’d pack together to make the walls. The tapered, earthwork dome was home.
Nadine picked up her bedside alarm clock and threw it at the far wall. Had Chebet not ducked, she’d have lost an eye but attained a mild concussion. A few pieces of the shattered clock landed in her short hair, but she brushed them off.
“What the HELL is wrong with you?!”
The slender woman was still grinning when she rose from the floor. “I have a surprise for you.”
“If it’s not chocolate, I want a divorce.”
“If it’s not EDIBLE: I WANT A DIVORCE.”
“Something even better.”
“Why’re you holding your arm out like that?”
“Come with me.”
They hobbled. At first Nadine thought they would end their journey in the kitchen, where she’d proceed to be fed, but Chebet knelt under the tree in their living room to put their feet in boots and it hit her.
They were going outside. Across the courtyard and mini-streets with the other tapered-dome huts to the damn thorn-wrought fences. And beyond: to the land their community had acquired the week before.
“Chebz...are you for real right now?”
Some other women were standing or sitting in various positions around a particularly ugly abandoned office building.
Standing before it – in what would have been considered pride of place in the fascist era – was an even uglier statue.
“We got official permission yesterday,” Chebet explained, “but they weren’t delivered ‘til this morning.”
Nadine – despite the pain – was grinning. “That would explain the men.”
The women outnumbered them, but there were quite a few. Standing a respectable distance from the site. Chatting. Waiting to see what would happen.
Chebet handed Nadine a hard hat. “You know what to do, right?”
Nadine set her jaw, put the hat on her head, climbed into the bright yellow cabin and swivelled the neck of the crane around when she was sure everyone else had moved a safe enough distance away.
The walkie buzzed: it was the woman who shared her bed.
“We’re taking turns, so don’t get carried away. Declare your intentions and have at it.”
Nadine smirked. “I’m starting with his shololos.”
The wrecking ball collided with that exact spot between the statue’s legs. Its trunk was dislodged – much to everyone’s amusement – in a strange imitation of what had happened to the man on whom it was modelled.
When it had flown approximately fifteen meters in an almost horizontal locus, the object came to rest in a set of fresh spiderweb cracks on the wall behind it.
Destruction, it seemed, was a better distraction than chocolate.