0: No Pain. Feeling Perfectly Normal.

Flash-Nonfiction by Laura Ingram

The invention of zero has, at the very least, two supposed points of discovery. Absolute zero, the temperature at which molecules stop bumping shoulders, is negative 273 degrees colder than the freezing point of water. Zero resides among numbers, between their measured, often insignificant infinities, but zero does not behave as a number must. Zero, indivisible as an atom, arose, as religion arises, shrouded in mythos and, for the most part, unproven.

Zero, in tennis, is said by some to be a misinterpretation, of course by Americans, of the French world ‘l’oeuf,’ or ‘the egg,’ referring to the shape zero takes at its almost tangible. Others argue that zero in tennis is love, with only love of the sport keeping scoreless players on the court. Zero, the dress size, is anywhere from an inch and a half to half an inch larger than double-zero. Triple-zero, across the few major retailers that carry it, runs the same as double zero.

Watching my pants pool at the ankle, I divide myself by the space left over when I sit on a bus seat. I am nothing, an answer undefined.


Laura Ingram is a tiny girl with big glasses and bigger ideas. Her poetry and prose have been published in over fifty literary journals. Her first collection, Junior Citizen’s Discount, was released with Desert Willow Press in May 2018. Her children’s book Stand Up was subsequently released with Nesting Tree books in August 2018. Laura loves Harry Potter and Harry Styles. She is a sophomore creative writing student.

This piece is part of a larger work called Wong-Baker Faces.

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