Thursday, February 19, 2015

the last book I ever read (David Foster Wallace's A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, excerpt seven)

from A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments by David Foster Wallace:

We’re about 100 yards shy of the Poultry Building when I break down. I’ve been a rock about the prospect of Open Poultry Judging all day, but now my nerve totally goes. I can’t go in there. Listen to the untold thousands of sharp squawking beaks in there, I say. Native Companion not unkindly offers to hold my hand, talk me through it. It’s 93° and I have pygmy-goat shit on my shoe and am almost weeping with fear and embarrassment. I sit down on one of the green pathside benches to collect myself while N.C. goes to call home about her kids. I’ve never before realized that “cacophony” was onomatopoeic: the noise of the Poultry Bldg. is cacophonous and scrotum-tightening and totally horrible. I think it’s what insanity must sound like. No wonder madmen clutch their heads and scream. There’s also a thin stink, and lots of bits of feather are floating all over. And this is outside the Poultry Bldg. I hunch on the bench. When I was eight, at the Champaign County Fair, I was pecked without provocation, flown at and pecked by a renegade fowl, savagely, just under the right eye, the scar of which looks like a permanent zit.

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