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< Two Months

It’s less than two months until the one-year anniversary of Wallace’s death. I learned of his death first I think from a twitter status update, and I couldn’t believe it, figured it was a hoax or misinformation. I kept very close tabs on wallace-l thereafter and got confirmation late on the 12th (probably very early on the 13th) of September last year. So many of the voices on wallace-l have impressed me, not only for their erudition and acuity w/r/t Wallace’s work (and reading in general — I spend a lot of my time reading the list feeling like an all-caps RETARD), but also for their basic humanity. I have two old friends I haven’t successfully communicated with for years (though I’ve tried a time or two) who were born on September 12. They also happen to be married (I also have another pair of married friends born on a different same date, and I once randomly met a guy with my same multi-spellable name spelled just the same as mine and born on the same date as me — is this my super power?). That’s not really important. I mention it just because the date has a whole new meaning to me now, a more personal one in a way, however strange that is since I knew these friends for years (one was my best friend as a child) and never knew Wallace personally (I also, by the way, happened to grow up in a town named Wallace). As I read the sad sad comments re Wallace’s possible and then probable and then more or less confirmed death roll in to wallace-l, I remember thinking that I wished I could get on the phone with these people and just listen to the sniffling and the breathing, share their misery, sniffle and breathe back at them, connect in some way closer (though not much closer) to real life. I wanted an emotional connection with people with whom I already shared something of an intellectual connection. Infinite Summer ends a week or two after the anniversary of Wallace’s death, I think, and as I contemplate the ends both of Infinite Summer and of Wallace, I find myself wishing again for that connection, that shared misery and acknowledgment, wishing to hear the sniffles of people as profoundly affected by Wallace’s work and the personality that work projected as I’ve been.

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