Watching a clip of David Foster Wallace speak and dreaming of shaved sea otters,* I begin to envision my head as an overripe piñata. No figure of speech can conceal what we all know, which is that self-destiny has gone defunct. Connected we all are and will be, forevermore, connection a kind of thrill of tribulations, mindfulness an excuse to fuck.**
I never heard anyone call my name because they had trepidations - who is this man with the intense eyes looking outward yet seeming to speak inward, unresponsive to whatever it was that started this cavalcade, name-calling. The inner self gentle, the outer self turmoil, the eyes unresponsive - this is how we protect ourselves.*** We dream of shaved sea otters, unnaturally naked and self aware as the oil slick creeps in and jagged sticks point toward mere despair.
This is your mind on David Foster Wallace. It can go on forever, beware. And though you will catch your mind humming in places it ought not to, like Calvin in his saucer exploring barnacled surfaces of planets inhabited by T-Rex, volcanic fiery lava, you will not despair. Because you are pulled back into some semblance of the now and the life that you imagined was most present is proven, once again, to be a stage for liars to proclaim whatever they desire - to fill the minds of the innocents with fear, trepidation, and to make the world hum along set lines.****
What of the lines that are not mimicking the way things should be, but rather forcefully leading us toward extermination? If the aim of this clatter and car-fed entropy is really the absence of life, a grateful death as we vanish trailing some star. What the earth birthed in its suicide was not for us, the usurpers….*****
* Obviously I am not referring to shaved sea otters, though in a way I am. It is only a matter of time before something else so patently unnatural becomes part of the new mythology.
** This is not at all how DFW would have it - he would point instead to the small epiphanies to be had through completely thinking through the roots of one's anger, petty antagonisms, and sadness - finding commonality in the mundane, the flow. This works exactly up to the moment you hang yourself (humor raises its mordant head, as always, on exactly the wrong occasion).
*** This is a vision of DFW as I saw him in the first five minutes that I watched of the 2003 interview with the German television station, ZDF. A type of self-consciousness and tendency to overthink that I overcame at age 23, for the sake of sanity. Now a fervent believer in found art.
**** What I might have said to DFW, had I known him, to somehow rattle his cage and get him to shift gears. Not so sure it would have worked, no matter how utterly persuasive. But he could have directed intellect outward, to changing things. Despite tortured zen acceptance.
***** Externalizing that within, understanding how the lines of evolution that we are so dimly aware of mirror the crisis of consciousness in our own souls. There is perhaps no capsule as I once thought, no myth to get us off this planet alive. We have set in place the forces of our own come-uppance.