people I never knew that I miss intensely

On the fifth anniversary of DFW’s death, a quote from one of my favorite essays by him that pulls together, in a very David Foster Wallace way, David Lynch and Laura Palmer and our own sad human muddiness:

This is what Lynch is about in this movie: both innocence and damnation; both sinned-against and sinning. Laura Palmer in Fire Walk With Me is both "good" and “bad,” and yet also neither: she’s complex, contradictory, real. And we hate this possibility in movies; we hate this “both” shit. “Both” comes off as sloppy characterization, muddy filmmaking, lack of focus. At any rate that’s what we criticized Fire Walk With Me’s Laura for. But I submit that the real reason we criticized and disliked Lynch’s Laura’s muddy bothness is that it required of us an empathetic confrontation with the exact same muddy bothness in ourselves and our intimates that makes the real world of moral selves so tense and uncomfortable, a bothness we go to the movies to get a couple hours’ fucking relief from. A movie that requires that these features of ourselves and the world not be dreamed away or judged away or massaged away but acknowledged, and not just acknowledged but drawn upon in our emotional relationship to the heroine herself—this movie is going to make us feel uncomfortable, pissed off; we’re going to feel, in Premiere magazine’s own head editor’s word, “Betrayed.”

—"David Lynch Keeps His Head,“ 1995

Boyfriends

You were a joker, always showing off for people that weren’t watching, always strutting your stuff for me, but I didn’t care about that side of you. When we fell against each other and laughed and laughed, that was when I knew you. You left me over the phone, the laughter in your voice breaking and I knew you would miss me as much as I missed you.

You were a friend first, sweeping me up in a whirlwind of power, your intense eyes always boring into me, but never somehow seeing me. I didn’t see myself, then. It’s hard to know where you stand when you’re trying to prove yourself to others. I came up short. Or you did. I still don’t know. I left before it could hurt more for both of us.

You were the guy of my dreams. I couldn’t feel anything. I didn’t care anymore. I wanted to fuck you, to fuck, to be fucked, to get you out of my system. I did. We did. I’m glad I did.

We rekindled our friendship over video games. You wanted to move back up north to be with me. We said I love you one night over the phone, regretted it slightly but knew it was right. Your words left me tongue tied. I couldn’t find the strength to speak up for myself. We still argue, but I’ve gotten a bit better at knowing what I want, what I deserve. I’m trying not to see the others in you, the mystery that drew me to them no longer alluring. I like how we communicate when we’re ready to. I’m alone right now. We fought before I wrote this. I’m on our couch in our apartment thinking about how we got here. It’ll be 3 years with you in 2 hours. Somehow, I still love you. I’m not as broken as I thought.