Links I Like

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Does Twitter count as links? I’ve decided yes, it does.

This week I felt grateful that I follow Saeed Jones and Thomas Page McBee.

In “Into the Fold,” Thomas Page McBee writes, “I understand that in the aftermath of tragedy, bystanders feel helpless. I felt helpless. I feel helpless.”

In “Stunned in Silence,” Roxane Gay goes to the page. She describes the silence as too much openness and shapelessness.

This week I did not write. This week I lost my voice.

I’m a woman who sings when I’m alone. I sing while driving and cleaning and editing. I sing all the time, basically. This week I listened to songs and couldn’t join in. I opened my mouth and my voice sounded dry, barely there. I closed my mouth and placed my left palm on my throat. I relaxed my jaw and sang nothing.

This week I coughed and coughed. I don’t have a cold. Something is stuck, and part of me is holding on and part of me is letting go. Actually, that kind of coughing has been going on for months. Actually, it happens after I orgasm.

I cough after I fantasize about being bound and helpless. After I fantasize about being his good girl and his toy, I cough and nothing comes out. This is what I know: healing takes time.

I want you to read Micah Perks essay. Then I want you read it again and then one more time. Her essay is eerie. The mood is desperate.

In the essay, she writes, “What in our culture has been morphing, melting, darkening and shifting? Isn’t that the war on terror? In an age in which the violent crime rate continues to drop, why do we have to be alert to our surroundings if not because of terrorist wraiths? How could the primal wounding of 9/11 and the subsequent hypermasculinist war on terror not be the secret engine driving these female fabulist narratives?”

This week I lost my voice and spent time in the openness and the shapelessness. I watched the silence gather around me and inside me. I suppose I wasn’t watching. I was waiting. I waited for something to arrive.

Yesterday evening I sat down in an easy cross-legged position and completed seven minutes of alternate nostril breathing. After my breath deepened and lengthened, my body began to move. I began to dance and the dance lasted a long time.

How would I describe the dance?  It might resemble this. But more than that: the dance was what I was waiting for.

In a recent interview with Amy Fusselman, I asked what inspired her writing and she said dance. She shared this video of Lil Buck.

This morning, I heard Gillian Welch’s ”The Way It Goes” and was able to sing along. I was able to sing again.


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 →