One more thought before bedtime:
Though I think tattoos are cool and all, I doubt I’d get one. But if I did, it would probably be ”this is water,” after the commencement speech given by David Foster Wallace at Kenyon in 2005. And as much as my love of DFW worries my mother (she frequently says “emulate the writing, not the rest, okay?”), it’s based on the fact that his articulation of his particular private griefs and chemical strangenesses make me feel like I’m not, in fact, a satellite floating alone through the universe, catching seconds of human broadcast at a time.
I remember reading Brief Interviews With Hideous Men when I was in high school, maybe tenth or eleventh grade. And I remember laughing over his essay about John Updike (Consider The Lobster) with my mother earlier this summer. There are a lot of memories of reading. And, most of all, the memory of slogging through the absolutely interminable footnotes of “The Depressed Person” with increasing frustration and annoyance until I realized that my frustration and annoyance were familiar; that that was indeed what it’s like. That was in high school too. Given the kind of kid I was, and am, the knowledge that this awful, inexpressible thing could be vocalized was life-changing. Maybe even life-saving.
I’m linking the speech here, though I’ll note that the Guardian cut his closing line: “I wish you way more than luck.”
This is water. This is water.