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a sad day for blooming

September 16, 2008
last of the Valentine color till next year

in memory of DFW

I wish that the only thing troubling me was that last night’s howling wind snapped the best of the zinnias from Andrea and cosmos from Dave right at the ground, killing them in their lusty red glory, all full of new buds. And the wind did howl. I lay awake half the night as pine cones and boughs rained on the roof, fearing what the supernatural sound yawing over the house meant to the trees and car windshields. The morning sky was still roiling and dark, but the damage here was not too bad. None of the pots outside were broken, the large already-broken branch still hung on, nothing seemed to have been carried off in the night, but there are no more zinnias.

Then I got to work (early), a busy stressful deadline day, to read that David Foster Wallace hung himself last Friday. And there in the grey cube, it all stopped, the stress, the momentum, the workplace decorum, and I sat in tears and shock over a dead man I never met, but whose joy and humility, playfulness, grammar snobbery, wit, and wild intelligence (highly formatted and ranging wide in all those footnotes) made me love language more for what a mind like his can do with it. And his language made hundreds of thousands of people consider, and love, more than they might have without him. It must have been a powerful darkness to stop a force like his.

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