Wednesday, 30 March, 2022

I can’t believe it’s already been a week. I haven’t been writing enough. I feel like every day I don’t do it, it gets harder. This is wrong, this is going wrong... every night after dinner I’m supposed to go up to my dorm and write. That’s what Bebe told me to do. There’s been a lot going on, but mostly it’s been the sort of stuff that’s hard to put into words. For example, right now I’m looking out the window, down at the big Sunflower Field, I feel like I’m dissolving. I feel like I’m dissolving more gently than ever before. It’s not supposed to happen like this. I told Bebe I didn’t want to work in the vegetable gardens anymore, so now I spend ten hours a day assembling bunkbeds for the new dormitories, even though I don’t think there is anyone to sleep in them yet – but they will come, if Bebe says they will. At the moment I only have Jacques helping me, so it takes a long time, but we have time. What else have we got to do while we wait for The Bomb to be finished? We listen to music from the Outside and we talk loudly about slightly obscene things, because that’s what we’re supposed to do, as Newcomers. Jacques has been here longer than me. Unlike me, he doesn’t come from the Outside. He comes from the big fields. He goes back often to visit his family, which is probably why he’s still considered a Newcomer. I don’t understand how anyone can stand living in the big fields. It’s just that they’re so big, and empty. Maybe they just seem empty because they’re big. When travelling through them, you can never tell where you are, all there is to guide you is the infinite horizon no matter which way you look. I haven’t told Jacques any of that, though. To be honest, I still haven’t been telling much of anything to anyone, even though Bebe keeps saying I should. I don’t think I’m ready, and I do have a hard time believing that they would let me live here and assemble bunkbeds and dance naked under the sprinklers if I started telling everyone everything that goes through my head. Besides, Bebe says Jonah and I are In Love and that is something I don’t want to risk losing - I know it’s obscene, but I do love him. Maybe not in capital letters, though, which is why I’m afraid of talking about it. He has such nice hands.

I haven’t seen Jonah much the past few days. I hardly see anyone other than Jacques outside of mealtimes. Jonah spends most of his time in the kitchen and they don’t really like to have Newcomers around there. I’ve had sex with Jonah three times since I arrived. I am now going to describe the first one of them, because it was the most memorable. This is the first time I’ve ever written about a sexual experience, so I am counting it as considerable progress in my personal process of dissolving.

After the meeting of the Us, five days ago, Jonah asked me if I would like to have sex with him. I said yes, and he laughed nervously. He asked me where I’d like to do it and I said I didn’t know and that gave me this weird, horrible feeling around my stomach, like I was turning into concrete. It was the opposite feeling to dissolving. We walked to his bedroom in silence. I took off my clothes down to my underwear and lay on the bed. He laughed nervously. He asked me why I still had my underwear on. I blushed and took off my underwear. I felt like I was turning into concrete. He took off all his clothes and lay down next to me. He started kissing my neck, then my mouth, and I felt like I was turning into concrete and feathers. Half concrete, half feathers. It was odd, and beautiful, as Bebe always says it should be. Every patch of skin he touched immediately turned into feathers. Then he entered me, and the feathers turned into, I don’t know. He said my name once, in a kind of gasp, and it sent a sharp shiver up my spine: Alejandra! I was in love with him, probably not in the way Bebe expects me to be. He ejaculated on my stomach. We lay quiet for a few minutes. We never talk after sex. He handed me some tissue to wipe it off. That was it. I walked back to my dorm, past the big Sunflower Field. It was getting dark. The sky was purple. I felt happy. I felt like I had done the right thing. I fell asleep before long.