Things on my mind:
The isolation that comes with walking one’s way in the magic world, and the isolation that comes of being unable to utter yourself to someone who can’t see beyond their drama, however dear. The soothsaying joy that comes of being able to share that magical world. What constitutes friendship. Sphinx.
I am not in the sphinx place now — or rather, I am, but she is not hunting me — though I am witnessing something going down there. All around me, in fact. I was aware, once, of holding a kind of sphinx place for Kila, his voice hobbling across a continent of telephone wire, stripped bare to his festering riddles seeping questions I couldn’t answer for him, and he would beat against me with his words and I would sit with the phone pressed to my ear like living stone. Sphinx is what happens when in between you and your true nature is a terrible, terrafying question.
The word sphinx comes from the Greek Σφίγξ, apparently from the verb σφίγγω (sphíngō), meaning “to strangle”.
This name may be derived from the fact that the hunters for a pride of lions are the lionesses, and kill their prey by strangulation, biting the throat of prey and holding them down until they die.
The word sphincter derives from the same root.
However, the historian Susan Wise Bauer suggests that the word “sphinx” was instead, a Greek corruption of the Egyptian name “shesepankh,” which meant “living image,” and referred rather to the statue of the sphinx, which was carved out of “living rock” (rock that was present at the construction site, not harvested and brought from another location), than to the beast itself.