"yeah… nah, aye.", drawls Tuff Nutt as they walk away from someone offering to come over and cook them dinner, "got plans”. There's too much to do - they've gotta head off to hand out sandwiches and muesli bars at the soup kitchen around the corner. Tuffie does this every Friday night from 4-8pm. Nobody ever knows where they've gotten to - they're worried someone might find out they used to be on the receiving end not too long ago.
There is no independence like Tuff Nutt's world; having moved around so much as a kid, then there was that stint sleeping in their car. Cool, calm, collected and probably a bit too self-sufficient, Tuff Nutt swore that if they got out one day, then they'd do anything they could to help those in the same spot.
You can find Tuff Nutt setting up a rally with the spare speakers they keep in their beat-up faded orange van every other week. Come to think of it, they really only go out anywhere when it's for their people; otherwise, they're growing strawberries, often stopping to chill on the ground for a minute just to hang out and catch their breath with the lil' red guys. Their light-filled house has a wall that's just homemade pickles, separating their pantry items from their meticulously labelled herb collection. Hiding their shitty recycling system is a pile of crocheted blankets thrown across second-hand furniture in preloved condition. After being unsettled for so long, home is Tuff Nutt's sanctuary and not just anyone is allowed in.
That doesn't stop them from breaking into people's gardens to water their plants, always stealing a suspiciously clean trowel or a garden gnome for their time. What kind of monster can't even keep their mint alive? Rotating lovers like their gardening tools; they've always got a few on the go – all of whom know each other as well as they know Tuff Nutt.
This gets them into trouble approximately once every three months, but luckily Tuff Nutt's one true love is their veggie patch, and their love language is space. Laying with their eyes closed on those multi-coloured crocheted blankets, in a pool of sunshine coming through the window, Tuffie's phone vibrates with a text "we need u". They don't pause; it's time for action. They leap into their old van and head off to where they're needed most.
Written by Haneen Martin Mahmood and Isobella Caruso