Thursday, November 11

Blame "Infinite Jest"

[adapted from an email to my friend Sophie, revised and expanded for blogging]

Yesterday afternoon, we had to make an excursion to our lawyer's office for Gini to sign her will (as in last will and testament, & living will, & durable power of attorney, etc). I should set the stage here by noting how big a deal this is: the lawyer's office is an hour's drive from here, in difficult traffic. And we've been procrastinating about the will for months and months. So it was a big day for us, a big outing. Clearly, we don't get out much. ;-)

After the signing, we ate dinner at a Chinese buffet. Mmmmmmm.

As we were coming home, I asked Gini if there were any bookstores along our route, because the other day -- in the online version of the NY Times Sunday Book Review -- I had read David Foster Wallace's review of a new biography of Jorge Luis Borges. I didn't want to buy the biography, but the review reminded me how much I adored Borges' "Ficciones" when I was about 17 or so... So I wanted to recapture that bit of my youthful enthusiasm.

Anyway, Gini drove us to the Border's bookstore in Saratoga. While G waited in the car, I went in and bought a new translation of JLB's collected fiction (lots of stories I've never read!), as well as the movie tie-in of "Bridget Jones - The Edge of Reason" for Gini. A group of young people crowded the sidewalk, coming in the other direction, and it probably triggered my fight-or-flight response, just a little. I quickened my pace to get back to the (illusionary) safety of the car and then...

Something *very bad* happened inside my right foot.

It had been hurting for a couple of days, but suddenly the pain intensified so that I couldn't put any weight on it at all. Fortunately, the car was only a few more yards away.

It must be a stress fracture, that's all I can think. I've been keeping it up and icing it, and using my old cane to hobble around. The weirdest thing is how hard it is to adapt to using my cane with my left hand. In the wake of the car accident, I had become so accustomed to holding the cane in my right hand; the opposite feels so very wrong. The mind is a funny thing.

I blame David Foster Wallace for this... No, no, not really, I don't. I blame Borges... No, no. Not him either. Let's see. My own stupidity and fear? Closer, but that's still not it. No. It's craving -- for a book, for the illusion of safety -- that leads to suffering... Once again:

It's craving's fault!!! Blame craving!!!


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