Friday, September 02, 2016

Poor Yoricks' Summer - Infinite Jest, Pages 755-795

755-769: November 11. Mario walking around ETA, with his Bolex H64 camera strapped to his head and filming. He chats with LaMont Chu, who wants to know what happened with Hal's meeting in Tavis's office, but Mario does not have any information. Mario makes his way to Avril's office where he has a serious talk with his mother. "How can you tell if somebody's sad?" It's a heavy question, and what does Avril immediately do? She corrects her son's grammar: "You mean whether someone's sad." Then - with that out of the way (the response does not bother or phase Mario at all) - they have a serious conversation. Avril wonders if Mario is referring to his younger brother, Hal. Avril:
'My point here is that certain types of persons are terrified even to poke a big toe into genuinely felt regret or sadness, or to get angry. This means they are afraid to live. They are imprisoned in something, I think. Frozen inside, emotionally. Why is this. No one knows, Love-o. It's sometimes called "suppression,"' with the fingers out to the sides again. ... 'There may be some persons who are born imprisoned. The irony, of course, being that the very imprisonment that prohibits sadness's expression must itself feel intensely sad and painful. For the hypothetical person in question. There may be sad people right here at the Academy who are like this, Mario, and perhaps you're sensitive to it. You are not exactly insensitive when it comes to people.'
769-774: Hal and Mario in their room, talking (perhaps later that evening?). Hal mentions Pemulis, Orin, and various types of liars. Hal concludes:
'I think I no longer believe in monsters as faces in the floor or feral infants or vampires or whatever. I think at seventeen now I believe the only real monsters might be the type of liar where there's simply no way to tell. The ones who give nothing away.'

'But then how do you know they're monsters, then?'

'That's the monstrosity right there, Boo, I'm starting to think.'
774-782: Marathe and Kate Gompert are at "Ryle's Inman Square Club of Jazz". Kate entered the nearby club after being mugged and is now getting drunk. Marathe apparently came in to use the phone to pass on some information ... but to whom? Remy tells Kate the story of how he met the woman who became his wife and how rescuing her also saved his own life. He also promises Katherine something:
I am thinking: what if I were to claim we might leave and I could lead you only three streets from here and show you something with this promise: you would feel more good feeling and pleasure than ever before for you: you would never again feel sorrow or pity or the pain of the chains and cage of never choosing. I am thinking of this offer: you would reply to me what?
Kate assumes Marathe is referring to sex. Remy says he is not, and adds: "If my claim, it was true, you would say yes, Katherine, no? ... Yes?"

782-785: Mario and Hal, continued. Hal explains about the meeting with Tavis and how Pemulis was able to secure a delayed urine test. Hal knows that Pemulis lied not in his own self-interest, but for Hal. Hal confesses to Mario about smoking pot in secret and apologises for lying and keeping it from his brother. Mario says he is not angry and Hal gets mad at Mario's easy acceptance. Hal is also terrified of what would happen if their mother learned of his secret drug use.
'Hey Hal?'

'Yes, Mario.'

'I'm sorry if you're sad, Hal. You seem sad.'

'I smoke high-resin Bob Hope in secret by myself down in the Pump Room off the secondary maintenance tunnel. I use Visine and mint toothpaste and shower with Irish Spring to hide it from almost everyone. Only Pemulis knows the true extent.'

'...'

'I'm not the one C.T. and the Moms want gone. I'm not the one they suspect. Pemulis publicly dosed his opponent at Port Washington. It was impossible to miss. The kid was a devout Mormon. The dose was impossible to miss. Sales of Visine bottles of pre-adolescent urine during quarterly tests have been noted, it turns out, and classed as a Pemulis production.'

'Selling Visine bottles?'

'I'd be immune to expulsion anyway, obviously, as the Moms's relative. But I'm suspected of nothing other than ill-considered moral paralysis out there on I. Day. My urine and Axhandle's urine are just to establish a context of objectivity for Pemulis's urine. It's Pemulis they want. I'm almost positive they're going to give Pemulis the Shoe by the end of the term. I don't know whether Pemulis knows this or not. . . . And of course you're hurt, Boo, that I've tried to hide all of it from you.'

'I'm zero percent hurt, Hal.'

'And of course you're wondering why I didn't just tell you when of course you knew anyway, knew something, the times hanging upside-down in the weight room with a forehead Lyle didn't even want to get near. You sitting there letting me say I was just really really tired and nightmare-ridden.'

'I feel like you always tell me the truth. You tell me when it's right to.'

'Marvelous.'

'I feel like you're the only one who knows when it's right to tell. I can't know for you, so why should I be hurt.'

'Be a fucking human being for once, Boo. I room with you and I hid it from you and let you worry and be hurt that I was trying to hide it.'

'I wasn't hurt. I don't want you to be sad.'

'You can get hurt and mad at people, Boo. News-flash at almost fucking nineteen, kid. It's called being a person. You can get mad at somebody and it doesn't mean they'll go away. You don't have to put on a Moms-act of total trust and forgiveness. One liar's enough.'
785-787: November 17. Johnette Foltz has worked five straight night shifts during Gately's absence. A little after 0800, there is a knock on the door and Foltz talks with a young man, clearly Hal Incandenza:
His talking had a burbly, oversalivated quality Johnette knew all too wicked well, the quality of somebody who'd just lately put down the pipe and/or bong. ... The boy stood there very straight with his hands behind his back and said he lived nearby and had for some time been interested in sort of an idle, largely speculative way in considering maybe dropping in on some sort of Substance Anonymous meeting and everything like that, basically as just something to do, the exact same roundabout Denial shit as persons without teeth, and said but he didn't know where any were, any Meetings, or when, and but knew The Ennet House was nearby, that dealt directly with Anonymous organizations of this sort, and was wondering whether he maybe could have — or borrow and Xerox and promptly return by either e-or fax or First-Class mail, whichever they might prefer — some sort of relevant meeting schedule. He apologized for intruding and said but he didn't know whom else to call. ...

Much later, in subsequent events' light, Johnette F. would clearly recall the sight of the boy's frozen hair slowly settling, and how the boy had said whom, and the sight of clear upscale odor-free saliva almost running out over his lower lip as he fought to pronounce the word without swallowing.
787: Note 324. November 17. Pemulis and Hal discuss Hal possibly quitting Substances. Hal worries he needs the drugs, and may be an addict. Pemulis: "That's just a word."

787-795: Molly Notkin is interviewed by Chief of Unspecified Services Rodney Tine and talks a lot about her relationship with Joelle and what she knows about Joelle. There is a ton of interesting information in this section, but Notkin's information cannot be fully trusted.
— Molly Notkin tells the U.S.O.U.S. operatives that her understanding of the apr├Ęs-garde Auteur J. O. Incandenza's lethally entertaining Infinite Jest (V or VI) is that it features Madame Psychosis as some kind of maternal instantiation of the archetypal figure Death, sitting naked, corporeally gorgeous, ravishing, hugely pregnant, her hideously deformed face either veiled or blanked out by undulating computer-generated squares of color or anamorphosized into unrecognizability as any kind of face by the camera's apparently very strange and novel lens, sitting there nude, explaining in very simple childlike language to whomever the film's camera represents that Death is always female, and that the female is always maternal. I.e. that the woman who kills you is always your next life's mother. ...

— That Madame Psychosis and the film's Auteur had not been sexually enmeshed ... That in fact Madame Psychosis had loved and been sexually enmeshed only with the Auteur's son ...

— That Madame Psychosis had been present neither at the Auteur's suicide nor at his funeral. That she'd missed the funeral because her passport had expired. That nor had Madame Psychosis been present at the reading of the late Auteur's will, despite the fact that she was one of the beneficiaries. That Madame Psychosis had never mentioned the fate or present disposition of the unreleased cartridge entitled either Infinite Jest (V) or Infinite Jest (VI), and had described it only from the perspective of the experience of performing in it, nude, and had never seen it ...

— That the completely secret and hidden substance-abuse problem, the one that had now landed Madame Psychosis in an elite private dependency-treatment facility so elite that not even M.P.'s closest friends knew where it was beyond knowing only that it was someplace far, very far away, that the abuse-problem could have been nothing but a consequence of the terrible guilt Madame Psychosis felt over the Auteur's suicide, and constituted a clear unconscious compulsion to punish herself with the same sort of substance-abuse activity she had coerced the Auteur into stopping, merely substituting narcotics for Wild Turkey, which Molly Notkin could attest was some very gnarly-tasting liquor indeed.

— No, that Madame Psychosis's guilt over the Auteur's felo de self had nothing to do with the purportedly lethal Infinite Jest (V) or (VI), which as far as Madame Psychosis had determined from the filming itself was little more than an olla podrida of depressive conceits strung together with flashy lensmanship and perspectival novelty. ...

— That the by all reports exceptionally attractive Madame Psychosis had suffered an irreparable facial trauma on the same Thanksgiving Day that her mother had killed herself with a kitchen-appliance, leaving her (Madame Psychosis) hideously and improbably deformed, and that her membership in the Union of the Hideously and Improbably Deformed's 13-Step self-help organization was no kind of metaphor or ruse. ...

— That it seemed pretty unlikely to her, Molly Notkin, that the Auteur's widow had any connections to any anti-American groups, cells, or movements, no matter what the files on her indiscreet youth might suggest, since from everything Molly Notkin's heard the woman didn't have much interest in any agendas larger than her own individually neurotic agendas ...
And that Joelle van Dyne -- whose real name was supposedly Lucille Duquette - had been deformed by acid, a beaker of which was thrown by her mother at her father, whom the mother believed had been molesting his daughter (Joelle).

The beaker was thrown - and the father ducked, as did Orin Incandenza, who was also there - and the acid had struck Joelle in the face. "And that it had been everyone's failure to press any charges that had liberated the mother from Southeast-KY custody and allowed her access once again to her home's kitchen, where, apparently despondent, she committed suicide by putting her extremities down the garbage disposal — first one arm and then, kind of miraculously if you think about it, the other arm."

787: Note 332. Michael Pemulis is called into a meeting with Aubrey deLint, Tony Nwangi, and Tex Watson. The news is not good.
DeLint said 'I was given to understand you can either finish out the term for credit or you can hit the trail with your little sailing cap full of pockets on a stick like a bandanna to some other O.N.A.N.T.A. institution and see if they'll take a senior without any kind of positive reference, which the sense I get is the administration says fat chance on any kind of reference. ... And something about you're invited to shout whatever you threatened the administration to shout about from the highest hill you can find, which pretty soon won't be this one.' ...

The little deck-of-cards riffle of the wings of the Shit Fairy, which he privately envisions as a kind of violet incubus with the Da's saggy frown. Pemulis scratched very coolly next to his ear. 'And this affects the WhataBurger, my chances?'

DeLint told Pemulis he just fucking slayed him while Watson looked from face to face and Nwangi rocked and wheezed and slapped at his knee, and Pemulis, close-mouthed and breathing with terrible ease, found their good humor almost infectious.

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