The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The rules are simple – turn to page 56 in your current read (or 56% in your e-reader) and post a few non-spoilery sentences.
This week’s quote is from Vox by Christina Dalcher, a dystopia in which women in the US have been forced to wear bracelets that count the number of words spoken. If a woman goes over 100 words each day, it starts shocking her with increasing intensity for each word until she stops. Women also aren’t allowed to read or write. The book is terrifying and enraging.
He trained the counter to my voice, set it to zero, and sent me home.
Naturally, I didn’t believe a word of it. Not the sketches they showed me in their book of pictures, not the warnings Patrick read aloud to me over tea at our kitchen table. When Steven and his brothers burst in from school, full with news of soccer practice and exam results, while Sonia ignored her dolls, mesmerized by her new shiny red wristband, I opened the dam. My words flew out, unbridled, automatic. The room filled with hundreds of them, all colors and shapes. Mostly blue and sharp.
The pain knocked me flat.
Our bodies have a mechanism, a way to forget physical trauma. As with my non-memories of the pain of birth, I’ve blocked everything associated with that afternoon, everything except the tears in Patrick’s eyes, the shock – what an appropriate term – on my sons’ faces, and Sonia’s delighted squeals as she played with the red device. There’s another thing I remember, the way my little girl raised that cherry red monster to her lips.
It was as if she were kissing it.