another hog at the internet trough (rambert) wrote,
another hog at the internet trough

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He was the only contemporary writer with the stylistic chops to pull-off an Axl Rose bandanna.

I was kidding when I made fun of it. I was jealous, we all were. I'll miss him.

Tags: axl rose, bandannas, david foster wallace, fuck, suicide
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     He remembered kicking the bird for weeks on the floor of a Revere holding cell, courtesy of the good old Revere A.D.A. Locked down tight, a bucket for a toilet, the holding cell hot but a terrible icy draft down near the floor. Cold turkey. Abrupt withdrawal. The bird. Being incapable of doing it and yet having to do it, locked in. A Revere holding cage for 92 days. Feeling the edge of every second that went by. Taking it a second at a time. Drawing the time in around him real tight. Withdrawing. Any one second: he remembered: the thought of feeling like he'd be feeling this second for 60 more of these seconds--he couldn't deal. He could not fucking deal. He had to build a wall around each second just to take it. The whole first two weeks of it are telescoped in his memory down into like one second--less: the space between two heartbeats. A breath and a second, the pause and gather between each cramp. An endless now stretching its gull-wings out on either side of his heartbeat. And he'd never before or since felt so excruciatingly alive. Living in the present between pulses. What the White Flaggers talk about: living completely in the moment. A whole day at a crack seemed like tit, when he came in. For he had abided with the bird.

     But this inter-beat present, this sense of endless now--it had vanished in Revere holding along with the heaves and chills. He'd returned to himself, moved to sit on the bunk's edge, and ceased to abide because he no longer had to.

     His right side is past standing, but the hurt is nothing like the bird's hurt was. He wonders, sometimes, if that's what Ferocious Francis and the rest want him to walk toward: abiding again between heartbeats; tries to imagine what kind of impossible leap it would take to live that way all the time, by choice, straight: in the second, the now, walled and contained between slow heartbeats. Ferocious Francis's own sponsor, the nearly dead guy they wheel to White Flag and call Sarge, says it all the time: it's a gift, the now: it's AA's real gift: it's no accident they call it the present.

--Infinite Jest (859-60)


A tall heavy Afro-American fellow with a gold incisor and per­fect vertical cylinder of Afro-American hairstyle peeled away from a sort of group-hug nearby, he'd spotted Erdedy, and the fellow came over and estab­lished himself right in front of Erdedy, spreading the arms of his fatigue jacket for a hug, stooping slightly and leaning in toward Erdedy's personal trunk-region.

Erdedy raised his hands in a benign No Thanks and backed up further so that his bottom was squashed up against the edge of the Conference-Approved-Literature table.

'Thanks, but I don't particularly like to hug,' he said.

The fellow had to sort of pull up out of his pre-hug lean, and stood there awkwardly frozen, with his big arms still out, which Erdedy could see must have been awkward and embarrassing for the fellow. Erdedy found himself trying to calculate just what remote sub-Asian locale would be the maxi­mum possible number of km. away from this exact spot and moment as the fellow just stood there, his arms out and the smile draining from his face.

'Say what?' the fellow said.

Erdedy proffered a hand. 'Ken E., Ennet House, Enfield. How do you do. You are?'

The fellow slowly let his arms down but just looked at Erdedy's proffered hand. A single styptic blink. 'Roy Tony,' he said.

'Well Roy, if I may call you Roy, or Mr. Tony, if you prefer, unless it's a compound first name, hyphenated, "Roy-Tony" and then a last name, but well with respect to this hugging thing, Roy, it's nothing personal, rest as­sured.'


Erdedy's best helpless smile and an apologetic shrug of the GoreTex an­orak. 'I'm afraid I just don't particularly like to hug. Just not a hugger. Never have been. It was something of a joke among my fam-'

Now the ominous finger-pointing of street-aggression, this Roy fellow pointing first at Erdedy's chest and then at his own: 'So man what you say you saying I'm a hugger? You saying you think I go around like to hug?'

Both Erdedy's hands were now up palms-out and waggling in a like bon-hommic gesture of heading off all possible misunderstanding: 'No but see the whole point is that I wouldn't presume to call you either a hugger or a nonhugger because I don't know you. I only meant to say it's nothing per­sonal having to do with you as an individual, and I'd be more than happy to shake hands, even one of those intricate multiple-handed ethnic handshakes if you'll bear with my inexperience with that sort of handshake, but I'm simply uncomfortable with the whole idea of hugging.'

By the time Johnette Foltz could break away and get over to them, the fellow had Erdedy by his anorak's insulated lapels and was leaning him way back over the edge of the Literature table so that Erdedy's waterproof lodge boots were off the ground, and the fellow's face was right up in Erdedy's face in a show of naked aggression:

'You think I fucking like to go around hug on folks? You think any of us like this shit? We fucking do what they tell us. They tell us Hugs Not Drugs in here. We done motherfucking surrendered our wills in here,' Roy said. 'You little faggot,' Roy added. He wedged his hand between them to point at himself, which meant he was now holding Erdedy off the ground with just one hand, which fact was not lost on Erdedy's nervous system. 'I done had to give four hugs my first night here and then I gone ran in the fucking can and fucking puked. Puked,' he said. 'Not comfortable? Who the fuck are you? Don't even try and tell me I'm coming over feeling comfortable about trying to hug on your James-River-Traders-wearing-Calvin-Klein-aftershave-smelling-goofy-ass motherfucking ass. And now you go and disrespect me in front of my whole clean and sober set just when I gone risk sharing my vulnerability and discomfort with you?'

Johnette Foltz was sort of pawing at the back of Roy Tony's fatigue jacket, shuddering mentally at how the report of an Ennet House resident assaulted at an NA meeting she'd personally brought him to would look written up in the Staff Log.

'Now,' Roy said, extracting his free hand and pointing to the vestry floor with a stabbing gesture, 'now,' he said, 'you gone risk vulnerability and discomfort and hug my ass or do I gone fucking rip your head off and shit down your neck?'

well, all right, Jim, ah'll hug ya