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From back when I had time to read anything but school books

Posted by on September 3, 2003

Dear David Foster Wallace:

I’m trucking through Infinite Jest for the second time, even though it’s hard to read on the subway. My nearly-symmetrically-named friend Sean Keane has a theory that the jest the title refers to is that the book goes on and on with an all you can eat buffet of footnotes but then doesn’t really resolve the plot threads or tie them together in any way. The jest in this case being a big yoke’s-on-you to the reader.

I would like to think that you are not actually such a dick, especially after I read your essay, “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again.” I, too, am a slight agoraphobic with a real hatred of waiting in line to eat. For a while after reading your essay I had a daydream wherein I wrote you this letter and you wrote back and we started a whole correspondence based on mutual fears, which eventually led to us meeting in a coffee shop of my choosing where you would be sort of surprised and taken aback by how I am fairly pretty and this would make you shyer even than I am, thus allowing me the rare delight of feeling like the gregarious and socially adept person in the conversation. But I eventually gave this up because it seemed sort of far-fetched.

But not that far-fetched, since I have a history of attracting and being attracted to fairly morose, withdrawn men with enormous vocabularies and passions and interests and talents, and for all I know you are one such man.

But on the other hand even though I am more or less in love with you for using so many words I have to look up, I do have a boyfriend who is gregarious and charming and sort of, to be honest, kind of loud at times, but certainly good looking and friendly and brave. So this letter is to inform you that I have entirely given up my wish of corresponding with you and possibly meeting you in a coffee shop, unless you are inclined to write back and tell me what the hell you thought you were doing with the ending of Infinite Jest.

Yours sincerely,



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