The life of Nous

Might we unchain ourselves?

Vae O’Neil, A&E Editor

Nous opens their eyes. They see a loud, violent, unforgiving world, whose beauties and terrors share the same awe-striking monochromatic vibrancy. Seeing no other way to pass the time, Nous begins to walk, and they quickly notice that they are disproportionate; one of her arms is larger than the other, and as time goes on and as she moves forward. Nous notices that their body is ever-changing. Patches of skin bleeding from her original dark to lighter and lighter shades, hair growing from thicker to thinner, darker to lighter and back again. The identity of Nous is as stagnant as the stably-shifting of their appearance and mood. Though the smaller arm still remains. Nous begins to idly rive at the flesh of his smaller appendage.
On their travels, Nous meets many creatures they adore, despise and are disgusted by. Some they eat to live, some they keep for companionship, some they kill for pleasure as they laugh and weep. Some creatures Nous never sees again. Nous is indifferent and mewls for their loss.
Much time has passed. Long ago Nous had bound his lesser arm to his side, and for countless centuries he had mauled their own flesh and had stolen from themselves. Hidden things from themselves. Let one toe rot and let a nearer finger heal.
More time passes. Nous tries to run; 1-foot trips the other, and they stumble. They try again, but it’s now more of a mad scramble forward. Nous grows larger, fatter, thinner and smaller. Nous loves themselves and hates themselves. Nous wants to die and loves to live. Nous is a hermit who burns down their own home and builds a new one out of self-pity. Nous is a crippled, powerless fledgling god who is capable of endless destructive creation. Nous is an unnoticed mote of dust, cherished and feared. Nous has lived, lives and will live. Nous has died, is dead and will die.
“Vae victis,” Nous whispers through-hardened jaws and softer smiles, as they trudge through their ever-courser sands of time.
Throughout it all, Nous had hated and killed themselves and their surroundings more than they had loved and nurtured. Nous will die their final death should they keep themselves captive, under siege. Nous’s self-inflicted wounds are necrotic and gray, and their lungs are filled with smoke from fires they started. Something needs to change. Nous needs to fly unfettered, or they will fall with a splat, and drag down all of that which they love and hate, out of sentiment and spite.