I am currently on page 695 of Infinite Jest, having come back from a very necessary pile of cigarettes.
My brother in arms has a great deal of scorn that is masking something else, probably anger and pity, with regard to my List of Dead Men I’ve Loved, a list that he has expanded for me to include Dave Foster Wallace. The list was a joke, once, a “can you believe this? This is true. This is absurd. I can’t believe this. But it’s true,” type of thing, to ease people into my strangeness by just going ahead and showing them how strange I really am and laughing at it, which I’ve found is just the easiest way, this balls-out “I say weird shit, and I’m always right and always honest when I do so you can’t be mad at me or hate me” thing that for whatever reason (on this I only speculate privately and briefly) a lot of people find endearing. The thing no one has pointed out to me yet is the grand coincidence that most of the people on my list lead absolutely miserable lives, internally. When I expand the list and go over the people who I have felt most sympatico with, people who I could point to, whose art or whose lives I could point to, and say “they get it,” it’s startling how many of them chose to, as DFW would say, eliminate their own map for keeps. I am not suicidal and am not so given to idolizing anyone anymore that this strikes me as romantic. It’s just an unfortunate coincidence, or less than that, an abstraction, the fact that we are all, the people on this list and me, insanely fucking lonely on some almost primordial level, cosmically fucking lonely. What has enabled me to endure is mysterious to others and almost beside-the-point, it is so stupid and simple. There is no question in my mind that it will continue to allow me to endure, if only for sheer stubbornness. But, I mean, fuck, man. You have to look at it and see the coincidences, and when I go through the list of living people with whom I identify, wonderful artists and people whose talent could make our lives mythic, there are a handful that I know will probably be added to this list of mine for all of my efforts, and the whole thing, the endurance and the failure of it in others, well. It just makes the loneliness all the fucking worse.