Issue 3 cover

Counting Nuns

by Christian A. Dumais

Issue 3 :: Autumn 2008 (reports)

There are as many bees as there are gypsies in Wrocław, just as there are as many spiders as there are nuns. It’s not anything I’d generally notice, but if you’d seen these things as often as I have in the last two months, you’d make a note of it too. In fact, I go out of my way to count how many nuns I see every day. It started out as a private joke; now it’s become part of my routine.
I’m in the shadow of a cathedral. The shadow feels cool. It’s about three hours past dawn. I’m sitting on a bench with a cup of my urine sitting beside me like some kind of twisted imaginary friend that everyone can see. There’s a man playing the flute across the way, his hat sitting on the ground in front of him like a hungry dog with its mouth wide open. A nun walks past him in a hurry. Four.


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"Counting Nuns" is roughly 2600 words.

For the last five years, Christian A. Dumais has been living in Poland, where he is an English lecturer at the Wroclaw University of Technology and is currently working toward a PhD. His most recent academic article, "Burst or Die: The Rise of Burst Culture and the Decline of Print," was published in Systems. He is currently working on other pieces with shorter titles. Christian can be reached at and found at…">….