What to do when a bird gets stuck in your house


Pas facile
16 August 2012, 2:41 pm
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Kind of lost my shit today at work, staring at a box on the screen, reading the words sent over an ocean as reality sunk in.  Lourd.  That’s how I feel.  Heavy and sad.  My whole concept of the country is now different; when I travel to my “second home,” by best friend will no longer be right down the street.  No more moto rides across humid nights, palm wine I probably shouldn’t drink, marveling at his ever-pregnant wife’s expanding belly and secretly hoping it’s a girl this time.

This is silly, indulgent.  No one is dying.  He is moving to another town, took on a position that will likely pay him more than we ever did.  Even now, I know, this reaction seems overblown.  This is simply the end of a chapter, one of so many that preceded it, but still.  Il y aura une vide, I say in my bad French.  Il n’y a personne comme toi.  He responds, the words stringing together in a line that crosses the Atlantic, gently.  Please, I will cry.  In English.

I stop, hands resting on the edge of my desk, thinking how much easier it is to be brave across time zones.  Or maybe it just makes it easier to not have to admit: I’m already crying.

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drunken admiration, nights of
15 September 2008, 2:13 pm
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I’m having a tough time concentrating on much today, mostly because I can’t stop thinking about David Foster Wallace’s death over the weekend. R sent me a link this morning, and since then my mind’s been reeling in a hundred different directions – his brilliance kept him high on my list of top authors, his works so interwoven with specific events and places in my own life, his death so sad and far away.

There is a unique love, I think, for people we will never meet: it expands, shifts years and time; it forgives; it inflates your own devotion to almost-spiritual significance. I hauled Infinite Jest to Paris, and, heart breaking at the thought of leaving it there, hauled it back. I once read that he edited 500 pages from it at an editor’s insistence and can’t imagine his feeling of (yes) infinite loss.

In hindsight, I suppose, that pain is the opposite to the chasm that led him to his last effort; that pain, at least, was filled with words and pages and passion and life. The world is peering into that chasm now, Mr. Wallace, and we will miss you greatly.