John Hollins

[CREATIVE NONFICTION] Why I’m Not Religious and passed Algebra I

There’s a point when you’re on your knees asking for forgiveness and crying into raggedy couch pillows after pleasuring yourself that you start thinking: this might be a little ridiculous. A point where you stop feeling guilty for finding it funny that the kids who didn’t study the entire week think they’ll pass because they prayed before the test. When they fail, the cycle repeats, and you realize that Let go, Let God doesn’t apply to Algebra, nor does it apply to being suicidal after questioning whether killing firstborn children is a justifiable moral action. You begin to understand nothing, and no one seems to be comfortable with that answer. But eventually, you realize that marking I don’t know on a question with thousands of answers is valid. Letting go isn’t your aesthetic, whether it’s an F or an A—it is yours. Life is yours and you won’t ask for forgiveness for enjoying it. So you pick up a book and study.


John Hollins work has been featured in 1114 Pinehurst Review and The Phoenix. He is pursuing a B.A in English at the University of Southern Mississippi.

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