25: David Foster Wallace

There's no coming back from suicide. Obviously this is a literally true statement, but it is unavoidably true in grand narrative form as well.

Suicide makes your life a tragedy. You can't avoid it. It can be a beautiful tragedy, but the thing as a whole – your entire life, if you chose to snuff it out, shall be eternally marred by your final volition.

David Foster Wallace was the best writer in America since maybe Herman Melville. A long time ago, I picked up his magnum opus, Infinite Jest, read all 1200 odd pages, end notes and all. As I read the epic tract, I was bored, grossed out, unamused, disenchanted, lost, frustrated, and skeptical that this universally lauded work of genius could ever live up to the hype. Here's a secret to be told in the dark: the book doesn't live up to its hype. Not while you're reading it. But with time; years later, the words, the design of those words; they remain. When all else begins to fade with mediocrity and memory, Infinite Jest, does not.

It haunts me.
It laughs at my menial triumphs, it mocks my routines.

Mr. DFW you made this. You made this. You made this. Why did you go? Why did you choose to end your story with tragedy?

Some say that all stories eventually end in tragedy. This writer doesn't know if that's true or not. Maybe when I quit sucking air, you'll all turn to me, point, and mock my pitiable death. Maybe. But until that day, I can play comedy. David Foster Wallace can't play comedy anymore. Why did he choose to not play anymore?

REMEMBER REMEMBER: This world is merciless. It kills us all. But try to play. Everyday. Play with the innocence of a newborn. Play, play, and play until the world steals your breath. Don't force tragedy's hand. I beg you.