[Conversation takes place over the phone on July 5th, 2015 at 2 PM]
I'm sort of on this, uh, "hair of the dog" thing, you know? It was The Fourth yesterday and we had a giant Barbecue Party -- one you missed by the way -- and I was just, like, drinking and smoking all day [laughs]. You know, if there's one way to celebrate this country, that's how you do it. But, yeah, how was your Fourth?
Yes! Fuck yes, dude. You have got to be the only guy I know that would spend most of his Fourth reading David Fucking Wallace. [laughs] You like that? I think I'm pretty clever*. I've got to say though, that's a righteous fucking choice. Way to go on that. You know, people don't [sips a beer], people don't really know who DFW is, you know? And I know that you don't really know either because, what the fuck, you just started reading, what, fucking yesterday?
At least you admit it, man. Like, a lot of the people I've met here up at school, they don't know shit about David Wallace, man. They don't fucking get it. Not one bit. They're busy reading Vonnegut and getting that stupid fucking tattoo** from Slaughterhouse-Five, like what the fuck? You read one book, congrats.
Yeah, I'm pretty drunk [laughs]. Whatever, I don't care. And you know, I've been reading your writing and I know exactly what your fucking doing, man. I can tell you just read DFW and you're like, "fuck, I want to do that" and you know what? If anyone can do that it's you, dude. You got it. You're so good at that shit. And you know, you recognize what you're doing. And that'll get more people interested in reading the actual DFW and not the probably, maybe version of him [laughs].
And you know, there's that movie coming out this summer too. With, um, Freaks and Geeks and The Social Network, they're in it right? Anyway, that shit is going to be real good even if the movie is fucking bad because at least David Foster Wallace'll be in the subconscious mind of America. Like here's this guy, this brilliant fucking guy, this goddamned genius, right? Who wrote amazing stories and novels but he was also like us, you know?
I mean that he still suffered*** from the same shit we do. And I guess it's sort of fucked up, you know, since he killed himself and everything and I'm not trying to romanticize it or make it seem like it's cool that he did that. But part of that, for me, makes me feel a little at ease, like yeah, I'm fucking depressed, you are too but here we are doing really cool shit. Like everyone needs to know who Wallace was and is, you know? Not enough people do.
Yeah, I guess I'm excited for the movie. I'm more excited that it exists, it's really fucking cool. Like we wrote songs based off his shit, you know? He's our fucking hero, man. And he gets a movie. I'd say that's pretty cool. This is probably what people feel like when their team wins the Super Game or whatever. Like, it's weird that Forgetting Sarah Marshall is my man, but whatever, it looks pretty fucking believable to me... Hold on... Yeah, I'll smoke...
Hey man, I gotta go do something. I'll talk to you tomorrow alright? Send me pictures dude. I miss you man, I love you. Talk soon. Keep doing what you're doing.
*He isn't clever. Actually, he's been drinking since 11 AM and he didn't really mean to call you at all. You haven't heard from him in weeks and, yes, it's true when he says that he misses you but remember, he's drunk and miles away from you. If you want to know the truth, he called you by accident. He was grabbing at his phone and for some reason you're still on his Favorites list, so like any drunk would accidentally do, his thumb tapped the end of your last name. As he saw the phone start the call he whispered a quiet "oh shit to himself" but instead of ending the call. He hoped you wouldn't pick up but you did. And here you are.
**A lot of people seem to like Slaughterhouse-Five and while you like it as well, you understand his sentiment. You -- unlike him -- have a lot of tattoos. And you think too many people have that "Everything Is Hurt and Whatever Forever" tattoo. There are so many books and pieces of art that people could get tattooed on themselves and it still amazes and astounds you that people choose Vonnegut over everyone else. There's DeLillo, Saunders, McCarthy, Kerouac, Ginsberg, Hemingway, Diaz, and so on and so forth. There's so many people yet everyone picks Vonnegut. You don't get it.
***You two have been friends for a long time and leaned on each other for a lot. You met each other at the exact right time because you both needed a stronger support system. He and his family were going through traumas that you don't ever recall because they make you feel uneasy and you hate that all of this happened to your friend in the span of a few weeks. Unfortunately, you went through your own traumas a little after that. Traumas that you constantly think about because there's something going on with your brain that tells you to remember all the pain you felt/caused. Your best friend, the one on the phone with you right now helped you through it. You remember the way he would walk in to your house uninvited with coffee in hand and sit on the corner of your bed until you got up. You'd curse and scream and yell at him but he'd continue to sit there and help you out of the pit you've driven yourself into. And you did the same for him. Shortly after your collective traumas, you were at a family party where someone asked your mother if he was your best friend. And she responded, no they aren't friends they are brothers. And that's still true today. Even if you only call each other when you're drunk. You are brothers.