Frozen Places

By

Saturdays Belong to Zoë Ruiz is a bold statement. I have a trouble with things belonging to me. So I tell myself, Saturdays, I belong here. I tell myself, Saturdays, you belong here, and I think, We’re in this together.

If you asked me why I am doing this work, I would have a lot of answers, and all my answers could be boiled down to one word and that word is: Joy.

***

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.
-Franz Kafka

I read to heal the frozen places in my heart, but I don’t need books to be cold and sharp. These days I’m in desperate need for a little tenderness.

Amy Fusselman’s books find their way into the dark and frozen places of my heart. Her words are rays that warm the frozen sea, gently and slowly, little by little.

When I read her writing, the dark and frozen places of my heart become fluid. The salty water comes out through my eyes, and then I’m crying. I feel grateful that I am crying; I think, Damn it. I hate crying.

Naturally, I contacted Amy Fusselman and asked if she would contribute her writing to The Rumpus.

She said, Yes.

***

Go where the love is. That’s what Melissa Chadburn once said.

Go where the love is. I need those words like I need a little tenderness. Desperately.

Some nights, I take out a pen and paper and write down a secret. Then I fold the paper and place it in an envelope and mail the secret to Melissa. She is the first person to know my secrets and when she knows my secrets, I feel like I release my shame. I decide, they are not secrets, they are stories, and suddenly I can tell my stories to anyone.

I emailed Melissa and said, I have another secret. I am The Saturday Rumpus Editor for January. Do you want to contribute an interview?

She said, Yes.

 ***

“And what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures?”
-Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

I wanted to give you more. I wanted to give you a story with pictures. I asked Yumi Sakugawa, an LA-based comic book artist and illustrator, if she would like to contribute comics in January.

She said, Yes.

The first one will appear today, and she will contribute three more this month.

***

Saturdays, I belong here. Saturdays, you belong here. We’re in this together, and I am filled with gratitude.


Zoe Ruiz is the managing editor of The Rumpus. Her work has appeared in The Weeklings, Salon, and Two Serious Ladies, and she has a bi-monthly column on Ohio Edit. She studied creative writing at UC Santa Cruz and now lives in LA. More from this author →