Tag Archives: River Teeth

A Meditation on Pain

Ira Sukrungruang | River Teeth | Fall 2014 | 15 minutes (3,767 words)

River TeethFor this week’s Longreads Member Pick, we are thrilled to share an essay from Ashland, Ohio’s narrative nonfiction journal River Teeth. Longreads readers can receive a 20 percent discount off of a River Teeth subscription by going here.
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“And once it comes, now that I am wise in its ways, I no longer fight it. I lie down and let it happen. At first every small apprehension is magnified, every anxiety a pounding terror. Then the pain comes, and I concentrate only on that.” –Joan Didion, “In Bed”

It’s happening, says the woman I love to someone in the other room. The someone is most likely her sister, and I hear the shuffle of clogs on the ruined carpet, the swish and swirl of her turquoise dress. I feel the shadow of her body in the doorway. I hear her breathing, tiny bursts of air through the nose and mouth. I feel and hear everything, but I am not a body. And because I am no longer a body, I do not register sound or voice. I do not register anything. Even my presence on the scratchy carpet. I do not know that I have been lying in the lap of the woman I love as she soothes my sweat-drenched hair, as she whispers that this will pass. I do not hear her because I do not have ears. I do not have eyes. I do not see the hazy outline of her humid-frizzed hair or the worry etched in her face or how she looks down at me and then out the window, out past the dilapidated houses of this rundown block in Lafayette, Colorado, past the Rockies rising in jagged edges to snowy peaks, past logical explanation. Because right now, I do not register logic. Because this pain is not logical. This pain makes me whimper, makes me produce a noise that is octaves higher and sharper than I can otherwise make. I become a supplicant to its needs. I have a mouth. Of this I am sure. I have a mouth but it acts without my guidance. Saliva seeps from corners. Lips chapped as cracked earth. The woman I love feeds me water. I sip from a straw, but all of it dribbles out from the corners of my mouth. All of it wetting my cheeks and chin, like a child sloppy with food. I am a child. I am helpless. I am without strength. I am without will. I believe I might die. That this might be the end of me, this moment. I believe that death would be a relief from it all.

Hang on, she says. It’s almost over, she says. The end is in sight, she says. Read more…

Longreads Best of 2014: Our 10 Most Popular Exclusives of the Year

This year, Longreads worked with a group of outstanding writers and publishers to produce original stories and exclusives that hadn’t been previously published online. It was all funded with support from our Longreads Members. You can read them all here.

Here’s a list of the 10 most popular stories we published this year. Join us to help fund more stories in 2015. Read more…

Falling: Love and Marriage in a Conservative Indian Family

Debie Thomas | River Teeth | Summer 2013 | 17 minutes (4,194 words)

River TeethFor this week’s Longreads Member Pick, we are thrilled to share an essay from Ashland, Ohio’s narrative nonfiction journal River Teeth. Longreads readers can receive a 20 percent discount off of a River Teeth subscription by going here.
Subscribe to River Teeth

Download .mobi (Kindle) Download .epub (iBooks)

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