So I’m half-way through my first week of American reality. American reality, just so you know, involves the things you’d think it does: driving, eating-in-the-car-on-the-run-wherever-you-can and it’s not usually remotely healthy, working, waking early. Maybe it’s not so different from my Italian reality, but there were no cars and the food was better. On the flip side, I’m actually making money here, so America has that going for it. I’m happy, I’m sad, yeah, this is life again on this side.*
But this week, something interesting happened. It’s going to sound heartless, but stay with me. The interesting thing is David Foster Wallace killed himself. And because of a jig-saw series of events after his death that began with Darryl asking me if I’d heard of him on Sunday and ended with me sitting here Wednesday night trying to relax and wait for Jon Stewart to come on while I’m bored and restless, I was led to the transcript of Wallace’s commencement address at Kenyon State in 2005. Wow. This is it. What he’s talking about is the dividing line. Thinking and how we think is what separates us. It defines our life. My hair is on end and I’m happy. And yes, it’s terrible this is coming to me posthumously from a stranger, someone who can’t edit it or take it back. But then again, that’s it right? The beauty is that he wrote it. He used the black and white magic to put it all down and that is the glory. He wrote and so he isn’t dead. He just can’t change his mind. It’s beautiful. I don’t agree with it all, I mean there is the whole “this is about ME” thing that I usually attribute to the generation before me, but then again, I’m the one ranting about how this (unfortunately newly deceased) writer has put it all in a way I can think about now. None of this will make since unless you read it. So just read it. And think about life. And water.
This is water.
*After realizing that I mention a suicide, and then considering some of the things he says and then me saying I’m sad, for those of you (I’m really talking about mom here) who would worry that I’m sad and relating to David Foster Wallace, please know, I’m happy and not suicidal and am, if anything, very much alive and breathing and stupidly ecstatic about these things. I love the fact that I’m in water and I love the fact I found these words so that when I do become (what is the word?) darkly pessimistic, I will be able to put it in a frame. I can now take the dark picture and examine it and think about it and love it and love the fact that I’m able to experience it, think it and possess all of the scraps and crumbs that make up my bit of water here. So, to reiterate, I’m happy. Hope you are too.