The Infinite Jest Deathmarch, Stage 20

'...the closest Gately'd ever come to Xing a celebrity was the ragingly addicted nursing-student with the head-banging loft, who'd borne an incredible resemblance to the young Dean Martin.'

Begin: Page 896 (“I was going to go back up to see about Stice’s defenestration…”)
End: Page 941 (“Oh shit yes very much.”)

Start Date: 2/19/11
Finish Date: 2/25/11

Note Profile: We’re almost done with the notes at this point, so discontinuing this feature.

The finish line looms. The remaining pages are dwindling, as are the remaining Marchers. I just got a guilty phone call from another dropout, but I’m not holding it against anybody. People have lives. I’m just grateful for the hardy few who have stuck it out. Meanwhile, it’s a rainy day, perfect for reading – to the café!

6 Responses to “The Infinite Jest Deathmarch, Stage 20”

  1. Computilo Says:

    Very, very long story, but a recent experience helped me catch up with IJ and made me feel like one of DFW’s characters. On Friday, I took the day off, planning to get some doctor’s visits and other errands out of the way and settle in for a long 4 day (Presiden’t’s Day) weekend. On my way to my first medical test (ok, a mammogram) scheduled for 7:00 a.m., I inadvertantly got stuck in a huge traffic jam, during which one entire chunk of the Indianapolis interstate was shut down for 2 hours, due to some yokel (probably named Lenz) flipping his car over and over and over again. No exit. No nuthin’. Just a quote helicopter party as all the news copters huddled around the mess and described the line of traffic of which I was one of the middle victims. So, I canceled my test, read some IJ by interior light, hoping against hope that I had enough gas (THANK GOD I HAD IJ WITH ME!), and barely made it to my other doctor’s appointment at 9:00 a.m., having been in the car and having had to pee since 6:20 a.m. Having rescheduled the test for 11:00 a.m., I decided to have breakfast between the doctor’s appointment and the test. Off I went to a so-called Pancake House near the hospital and read some more IJ over coffee and crepes. I then went to the hospital, reached for IJ, and discovered that it was MISSING! I had left it at the So-Called Pancake House. And, I was just getting to the good parts following Gately’s hospital stint. I couldn’t make it back to the Pancake House, so I then ended up in a long line of potential mammogram people, including 3 men and 12 women. Of course, one of these people had some sort of problem that required multiple views, multiple radiologists, so we were backed up for another couple of hours. Without IJ, I was forced to read Entertainment Weekly. Well, the Pancake House is only open for breakfast and lunch, so by the time I was finished at the hospital, they were closed. Desperate to make a comment during week 19, I called my public library and asked if they had a copy. They had one that was due Friday, so I could pick it up on Saturday! I must say that I wondered if it was Fate that left my dog-eared, crepe-stained copy of IJ amidst the crispy bacon, omelettes, and hash browns, and that perhaps I wasn’t meant to be one of the finishers. However, here I am, still one of the faithful marchers. Still making totally inane comments. Here’s this week’s: I totally related to page 876, the “Partial Transcript of Weather-Delayed Meeting…” I hereby submit to you my Partial Transcript of Traffic-Delayed Mammogram. (And you thought this was the whole story….)

  2. JES Says:

    I’m desperately waiting for the wrap-up and, if anyone tells you different, “it’s a godammed lie!”.

  3. bobdee Says:

    Great story Computilo. I have had similar times when I was happy I had IJ with me. Like waiting for trains, planes, Limos or cars. But I cheat I have it on my iPod touch. I also have been using a library copy but I can only get it for 3 weeks at a time. Cant renew because it is continually on the hold list. Somebody must be reading it in our town, or at least they are curious to see what it is.

    Much more revealed about Gately’s life. The girlfriend Hoffman-Jeep is unfortunately quite pathetic. One would like to think that a girlfriend could have helped Gately alot. Alas, that would be a fairy tale, and DFW is just not cut out for writing fairy tales. A little glimpse of what may be coming in the final scenes – they got Joelle. But really it is getting pretty late in the day for an exciting finish to develop. I am just now at the point where I am having trouble putting this down, mostly because the end is in sight and I am anxious to see where everything is leading. Usually this kind of push to finish would come much earlier in a book. But no matter, I see the light at the end of this infinite tunnel. (Just Jesting!)

  4. Computilo Says:

    Bobdee: I totally agree….and I’m very glad that I’m finally at the stage in the book where I can say that I can’t put it down. Despite all the sludge we had to get through to get here, I think I’m actually going to have to agree with whoever said that IJ was a work of “infinite genius.” Until after the halfway point, I was so weighed down by the approach (and the GD NOTES!) that I didn’t take time to recognize the beauty of DFW’s language. Throughout the later Gately episodes, I really came to appreciate DFW’s mastery of language, as well as how he presented the Quebecois translations of American idiom.

    Although it won’t happen in 2011, I actually plan to read this thing again just to pick up what I missed when I was stubbornly trying to hate the book. (Somebody call the Goon Squad now. Please.) And, I’m very very glad that I didn’t quit when I really wanted to.

  5. Debra Says:

    nothing new….will blast to the end

  6. Matt Says:

    So close I can taste it. And it tastes salty, like my sweat and tears.

    I’m reserving any worthwhile thoughts from this week for the finale.

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