David Foster Wallace… Everyone’s Favorite Infinite Jester, Aunt Linda and Resting Freak Face

Greetings from the hot, stinky city…pardon the hiatus… I’ve been hibernating… working on (or obsessing over not working on) the next book–an essay collection about creativity, electricity and the brain. I’ve also been on the David Foster Wallace diet plan… loads of pancakes and overthinking… Dear, doughy DFW… tragic literary genius… subject of the new film… everyone’s favorite DB… lover of rockin’ pooches and patron saint of writerly white bros… the man who once referred to John Updike as “just a penis with a thesaurus.”


Yes, the DFW pancake regimen has been critical as of late… Btw, I could give a whole disquisition on the glory of the pancake… how pancakes should be their own food group, etc., but I’ll hold back (for now). The fact of the matter is that anytime anyone comes near me with anything remotely resembling a scalpel (you could be holding a paperclip at this point) … I drop multiple dress sizes and start looking seriously like a bug, so with September’s final surgery looming, I’m carb loading. This muffin top is ultra intentional.

A number of you have written to ask what I actually I broke… I broke both sides of my face near my ears, right where your upper and lower jaws come together… and then shattered my lower left jaw. My resting freak face (RFF) isn’t actually that bad (I think), but talking is still a doozy, so I was recently sent to see this team of Yale surgeons who specialize in facial nerve reanimation. I know… Fancy! I was so excited… the prospect of being able to feel again and to talk… like a normal chatty Cathy who doesn’t sound like Kirk Douglas… seemed just so close at hand … It was a gorgeous fall-like day as I scurried across Central Park to their retro-tech Starship Enterprise offices. I had my massive binder of cyborg x-rays and scans and these were the people to see. They handled New York’s “jumpers who live.” I hadn’t jumped off anything–surely they would be able to help. Surely they could graft a nerve or two, so that I could at least feel my lips again. After I filled out loads of forms, they all held tablets and moved in a herd-like manner examining me and snapping pix. They told me that there was nothing they could do… They could give me Botox to deaden my whole face and create more symmetry, but that was about it. The nerves were toast. Congratulations, you are a living, breathing Botox mishap…

I know there are probably acres of middle aged women who would easily swap a handy for a couple of strategic jabs in the forehead and furrow, but I actually want to be able to move my face. I don’t care if I look old. So, I cried (as best I could) all the way home to the assisted living community that is the Upper West Side… and I have been bummed out ever since and dangerously close to morphing into Aunt Linda…


In August, New York is packed with Aunt Linda’s… But it takes me as I am. People hearing me for the first time still ask what country I’m from… for a while I was making up all kinds of “-istans” “‘burgs” and “‘gravias” … then new regions from Game of Thrones. Last week… I was Belgian.

I’ll snap out of it soon enough. Stay cool ladies and gents…

xoxo – auntie gg

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