By Richard Marshall.
Both Flesh And Not, David Foster Wallace, Penguin 2012
His entry on Asmodeus: ‘demon in Tobit book of Bi ble; “Asmodius flight” in Lesage’s Le Diable boiteux. Asmodius takes Don Cleofas to steeple of church, highest point in city, and all the roofs of all the houses open and they can see private stuff going on in everyone’s house. A kind of voyeurism-of-the-gods. From Brewer, p 55.’
Skeptical of claims of – dreamed, imagined or actual, even if just low key, as in ‘kept in mind’ – our ability to control and know words, to know what language knows, David Foster Wallace turns his gaze back on goblin language and forcibly tears its flesh from its own body in a literary act of avulsion that is both surgical and traumatic, and in each torn piece we find ourselves, through his gaze, looking back on the very medium and finding beauty, surprise, rare epiphanies, a last schism of wills, weird sweets of precision and instances of goof mixed with highbrow musings on mildly distracting obligations of language that become birls spinning away, through sheer whip speed, finesse and balance, the deadly machismos of dogma, and all, as if a scrutinised distraction, becoming mysteriously, unfathomably, centre-stage, nothing.
It’s then you realise that each performance is all substantially about coming ‘at the aesthetic stuff obliquely, to talk around it, or – as Aquinas did with his own ineffable subject – to try to define it in terms of what it is not.’ These essays form a portion of an autopsy report that is a warrantless surveillance of a creature that, horrifically, won’t stay dead. In the last fragment ‘Just Asking’ from 2007 his fearful questions perform a needling sceance: ‘Have we become so selfish and frightened that we don’t want to think about whether some things trump safety? What kind of future does that augur?’
His response to these semi-hysterical teeterings was to draw on certain knowledge from the echoey inner cells of writerly abjection. His op was to patrol his lexicons, listing literal meanings and maintaining a vigilant scrutiny over each through vestiges of felt and dreamed up – even literary – experience – through rangy books and essays of intense verbal beauty and over-attention that haunted themselves with psycho-drama, pique, left-handed philosophy and sometimes prim moralising blended with a Jimmy Stewart-like aimiability always screwed to the edge of a tempestuously rich verbal crack up, or otherwise.
Beauty is not obviously their goal but each sentence is nevertheless a prime venue for the expression of such – so we find dramatised versions of writing becoming, with immense concentration and willing, the complete metaphor for tennis where the sport’s relation to beauty is, as he himself insists on throughout all his work – ‘roughly that of courage to war’ – and then loops back to leave us with an exacting and perfectly believable gritty humour, motivation and tonic looked at from the edges of actual contact with popular culture and tastes. We find part of his diagnosed fastigium the erosion of distance from popular culture alongside a respect and nostalgia – kind of- for ‘genuine refinement and genuine liberalism’ which can’t be found in generations later than the 60s but which was commonly found in those generations between the 40s and the 60s, imagine.
His 24-year-old essay on ‘Fictional Futures and the Conspicuously Young’ is an attempt to pressurise responses to a certain literary milieu through the lens of language’s watchability. The issue is sideways on but definitely there: he disputes the unconscious cultural reinforcement that insists that language is not watchable, that the significant isomorphic relationship with our own ‘metaphysics of being’ assumes an exacting reversal of language’s condition so that whereas we have become rooted in the phenomenon of watching and being watched, language is au contraire thus denied watchability and thus any idea of its own independent metaphysics, and is supposed to be, in some fundamental sense, not an object independent of whatever we suppose it to be. In short, language repels TV.
Just as ‘precious distinctions between truly being and merely appearing get obfusticated’ through a TV culture he finds obliterating and nihilistic in a yuppie draftpool state of affairs which seems, to Wallace in 1987/88, ‘to have reduced interpretation to whining’ at a juncture where ‘precisely the state of affairs that explains a nihilistic artistic outlook makes it imperative that art not be nihilistic’ and , well, it ends with him finding the TV/creative writing workshop relationship conspicuous and, frankly, sinister.
As ever there’s a sense of the overknowing geek-fest going very far inwards so that his targets are blown up to proportions – I wouldn’t want to say out of p. but there is, nevertheless, a sense of scale being tied into a bowline that never, once knotted, ever slips into anything less than at least over-moderate. The particular critique of TV is itself a complaint if never a whine and ironically too Grand Guignol to cognise the state of things now, where TV culture is merely one lame platform in a proliferation of platforms where slacker browsing is dense with multi-modal avenues for retrack and revise, where upload and download remix texts as signs – read as instructions – back into a semblance of something akin to scrutiny – and where everyone, from Pepsi, Tampax, NY Times, Russian brides, Google, Haagen Daz, a Zevra Avraham Messianic Synagogue, etc etc blah blah blah has a foot in a vast corporate and semi gouge-stained Fuji-Blimp virtuality effluence with no docent but rather just a vast unimaginably banal disincarnated spirit, more a flophouse for the numbing of vast civilisation – and the overcoming, at last, of meaningful sex through the removal of all impediments, than an emporium of cyborg wonderment, but which nevertheless can be and often is giving terabytes of morphing software and graphics eerily multiplying avenues of cognitive bravura with Lynchean pazazz.
Wallace doubts this, associating the techno-explosion with a generic sadness he feels, as if the technology is draining out the value of human life. As if a symbol of this Wallace registers a fusty dismay at the new homo erectile ‘will to fuck’ which he contrasts, disapprovingly, with the put down, ‘Any animal can fuck’ and continues in imagined BIG GLOWING K.C.S. luminous yellow marker pen letters for emphasis -gasp !- ‘But only humans can experience sexual passion, something wholly different from the biological urge to mate’ which lacks any of the gravid musth that might have driven its bland moralism to the required rate of energised obloquy. ‘Urge to mate’ is being used as a synonym of ‘will to fuck’ and both to contrast with ‘sexual passion’ but ‘urge to mate’ is not the same as ‘will to fuck’ – and whatever the latter means it seems a lot closer to ‘sexual passion’ than ‘urge to mate’ ever will.
This is from the 1996 ‘Back In the New Fire’ essay which reads weirdly like he’s some old guy clothed in filthy stained moreen who just hates new stuff because he missed out and has been left in a lonely forgotten room remorselessly making notes on weird halcyon memories of the square when the future was just whatever was unsullied by imagined parades of prolific youngsters; well, perhaps there’s some shrewd strategy in this that explains Wallace’s narrow-ledged stance here, and perhaps it’s an all too American paradox in the driving seat, the self-contradictory dread and love of free spirits refreshing themselves. Does DFW’s strategy this one time involve honouring the dread so that, sometime elsewhere, the love will get aired right? Well, there’s no doubt that here the dread is fixed good and fast, fixed close to mistaking hard conjunctions for loveless clarity and harsh finality.
After all, although he denies it, he gets mighty close to implying that AIDS is a good thing because its riveting payoff has been to bring back an old saw he heartily approves of, that sex should be difficult! Good grief! He writes; ‘I mean no offense. Nobody’d claim that a lethal epidemic is a good thing…’ (except that, hey, shoals of people do say that, and whole religions are dedicated to Gods that say that, and people have been killed for not saying that) so when he adds: ‘That hundreds of thousands of people are dying horribly of AIDS seems like a cruel and unfair price to pay for a new erotic impediment. But it’s not obviously more unfair than the millions who’ve died of syphilis, incompetent abortions, and ‘crimes of passion’, nor obviously more cruel than that people used routinely to have their lives wrecked by ‘falling’, ‘fornicating’, ‘sinning’, having ‘illegitimate’ children, or getting trapped by inane religious codes in loveless and abusive marriages. At least it’s not obvious to me’ he just makes it sound like all these other things are also ok in terms of this twisted double-entry calculation.
Not only is the prose horribly lumpen and bored to death, but the flat, dead and insipid payoff reminds us that this is an American giant writing, and for all his willing it to be not so, makes it seem like ‘you can take DFW out of Mary Tyler Moore, but you can’t take Mary Tyler Moore out of DFW.’ His is a prim, flyover-state Puritanism, and it accounts for why sometimes all he’s doing is washing his hands like a priest before the Eucharist, too luxated to find any comedy, and priggishly moral. I feel a twist of consternation and then some recognising this about him, but then note that at the very least this is all done without scheming. DFW stood from first to last in the open.
But the situation he misses through his self-imposed or maybe culturally conditioned, despite himself, or maybe fearless, humour by-pass, is like this – we now watch over ramifying tracks, programmes, episodes, semi-shifts whatever – and get them fixed and brooded on so comparisons are made through deep attention across spheres that heed episodic virtues of, say, New Girl mixed with Fringe and Homeland and Dexter and Big Bang Theory and Grimm and American Horror Story the awesomeness of 30 Rock to sarcophagi-like bookmarked sites of commentaries, blog comments, reviews, tweets to self-created privacy-orientated soundtrack MP3s and lorgnette porn and instant pics of religious callipygian vacancy like smarter gurglings in the critical tracts, wefts of freedom and soul-blank fillings-in, some with and some without score-sheets depending on your particular poison see; and it’s all much, much, MUCH smarter and tighter than TV ever was, (do you get that it’s smarter?) done even in loco through undergrounds and cars and buses and trams and pedestrian stridulation on phones and devices of immediate intelligent cargo and rapid repetition or alteration – you select your maledicted fancy, fancy – of single or multiple tones – and all honest-to-god humorous, even damned ridiculously comic, no one going nuts over this but having a ball and being closer to appreciating culture than ever was possible before, I’m certain this is right, so billions appreciating, critiquing and in wild combining, being happily amfractuous outside of jealous or prejudicial limits.
TV was once just about switching over. But now we order our own verso and dexter and compile our own obiter dicta like we’re just mixing nutrients before the coming threat, frankly – and so the process these days is a process of coaming, a nautical term describing the raising of a rim or border around an opening to keep water from coming in, which inevitably seems strange at first, a situation that looks as if we find no differentiation between root, stem and leaf, but given all the charged noises could be just obviously inevitable, like a special kind of inflammation we don’t mind so long as there are advantages, surrounded by this oceanic sweep of spiraling data. Literally organising and becoming a part of the flood. Which we have to manage, and do so with varying degrees of satisfaction.
This is our context and is post-TV and DFW might have missed how the wrack of TV evolved into more not less focus and so, perhaps, we might moderate his worries and poke back at him his fave latin phrase – ‘Tu enim Caesar civitatem dare potes hominibus, verbis non potes’ – ‘Caesar, you can grant citizenship to men but not to words’ because there’s a little tincture of vaunt hanging around him that has, to say the least, possibly been what has provoked Bret Easton Ellis hasn’t it, and pissed-off Bret might have, well, a little point to his ire, yes? And we may simply mind to say that this modern hive is no worse and may be in some dimensions better and DFW’s focus is awry here now and maybe even then and whether we can read and write books as a meditation or as instead merely washed out signs depends on who the hell the ‘we’ is referring to and probably always was, given that the idea of psychic abandoners and unconsciousness are more the universal condition than you’d guess from reading these.
No matter. None of this means I am not praising DFW. An occasional misfire is worth the price of entry to the gorgeous self-delusions and self-interrogative transparency of a darned ingenious and giddily imaginative type who was always just the tonic when the compelling mood for an uplifting thing struck, and malice through art defeated.
His artful position is poised on the brink of neo-Platonic idealism that he understands as opposing atomism in its most fruitful and responsible form, which is both an indication of his learned style making some feel, well, trepidations about venturing on with him, whilst others get irritated and wonder whether the learning is any good or just sciolism done as decorative skive. Hard to say. It’s prominent enough to say that the scholarship is meant to be more than just nettles for his own conceits, means more to him anyway and so it should to us too, and largely it does. There’s a purpose to it that is very contemporaneous in this, a sense that we’ll never be without an apt axle or shaft of Wikki fact but also a moderate anxiety also, that although the difference between noise and information is how things are processed, there’s a worry that we can’t always tell and so we need signs, and anyway, so much is corrupt so that everything has the taint of a faintly embarrassing disease.
DFW’s constant grinding the bones of his stock is partly to secure a limbus of discoloration that will stain his language and make it fitting for the high design he has all the time and throughout everything, and to hold back for as long as possible just sheer unimaginable dread. In this, when reading these essays as with the novels, you feel how much at the threshold he held himself, constantly, so that reading is rather like feeling a red scar and guessing how beautiful the skin was prior to its injurous state, for which gratitude is his due, surely, alongside stupid brutal asides wishing just legato, no haul. But hey, writing’s not wallpaper.
His piece on the Wittgenstein novel is bravado and camber: combining philosophy of language in archly done high-brow with deceptively judgmental carnassialising pick pick pick that in a smaller bird would have been quaintly bitchy but comes off here as earnestly wading in without an eye on consequences. And also, whilst we’re noticing the overall comportments in this, there’s tremendous fun in reading DFW’s awesome bravura e.g. ‘The big emotional thing is that, whether her treatment of linguistic constructs as existents is out of touch with reality or simply an inevitable response to reality, the solipsistic nature of that reality, as far as Kate’s concerned, remains unchanged. A double bind to make Descartes, Shakespeare, & Wittgenstein all proud’ which when we delve in a bit can’t help but seem a little autobiographical because we sense that even if he forgoes the coccyx-neutral chair and lamp there were things that made him see a strange doubleness in his figure of Markson’s Wittgenstein’s Kate of this ‘The Empty Plenum’ novel, a sort of strange and uncomfortable doubling as in, say, Nabakov’s ‘Despair’, and the internal apophasis of atonal music and psychoanalysis right there in the works, which alongside the fun makes it also a touch harrowing, as with e.g. : ‘desperation underlies her near-anal obsession with names – of persons, personages, figures, books, symphonies, battles, towns & roads – and it accounts for what Markson communicates well via repetition & tone…’ which then detonates into this clonus: ‘her attempts at ontology-thru-nomination are a moving synecdoche of pretty much the whole history of intellectual endeavour in the whitely male West. She, no less than was Wittgenstein, or Kant, or Descartes, or Heredotus, is writing the world.’ Four years after this he wrote that he thought the poet Herbert ‘succeeded in marrying the stuff of spirit and human feeling to the parodic detachment the postmodern experience seems to require’ and that American writers hadn’t.
But we see DFW’s zen poppy style Amerika relishing that challenge and some of it comes off ok and other stuff isn’t bad but sometimes doesn’t rise up enough to ripple through to the shock horror recognition receptors in the head that really have to be touched if a discussion of tennis is really going to do what is done in, oh let’s say Moby-Dick, Brothers K, War and Peace. Play Hard because Life is Short, blue and white Fila t-shirts, LL Bean fishing hats, jeweled bandeaux, pointillist-neon Evian ads, decoturf and chlorine blue tarp white proper nouns ‘Fujifilm, Redbook Magazine, Massmutual, Infiniti, Tampax’ are asked to be more than attachments to narrative and critical formations, but to play roles right up there in the box alongside Vronsky, Ahab and Alyosha, more so than the actual tennis player characters that are like springtime early colonialists standing out against former dulled values and wintry stereotyped effects of byegone adventures – and that’s because DFW is making the definite conceit work, excavating out of a mean, narrow, provincial place i.e. how tennis ‘fiscally speaking, it exists largely as a marketing subdivision of very large corporations, and not merely of the huge Tour-underwriting conglomerates like IBM and Virginia Slims. The hard core of most professional player’s earnings comes from product endorsement. Absolutely every venue and piece of equipment associated with pro events has some kind of ad on it’ a whole novelisation; and then with this political awareness scuffing up his big play for art in the drama of a coiled irreconcilable tension between this corporate financial nexus block (it’s hugeness revealed through enormous ticcy footnotes of lists of the company names in eccentric abundance, like Melville with his cetological rerouting of the whole phenomenology and lexicography of the novel, and his other way of placing footnotes above the ground, so to speak, so they are just embedded as part of the natural flow of all he’s saying, as if he’s not wanting anyone in the end to think they can choose to turn on or off their psychic resources whilst reading, you know, refiguring footnotes as an option of concentration, no, he’s wanting this to cleave to everyone, even if it tramples some down, which is how everything really does seem overwhelmingly huge and not always in a good way, but always impressive and goading) and the acute beauty or, more accurately, romantic style of the players themselves, dished out economically but then performing to the imagination alone, kind of junket free and hypnotic, is what he means or rather what he hopes is possible to mean.
But that’s only half: DFW appreciates the commercial opportunities and its limitlessness, just as Melville appreciates his whale, and so he creates momentous pieces that uplift and break apart any hard and fast line a reader might expect to be taking so ‘some of the time it’s hard even to know what it is you’re seeing taking place’, which is self-depreciatory and a kind of metaphysical hinting too. Reading Infinite Jest after this proves him right: up there as a great American novel, proving it can be done, a great American will, an Original triumphing out of his paltry mean articles, bigger than his own inner persecutions, despite everything showing that life is for eating not leaving. Ditto IRS & The Pale King.
But how modern is he? He has a typically American puritanical modernity as a base-line default, as we’ve already noted. He likes struggle and hard and barriers and test. He really can’t stand decadence and ease and his encomiums are swift and self-revealing: Omensetter’s Luck is ‘bleak but gorgeous, like light through ice’; Steps ‘unbelievably creepy little allegorical tableaux done in a terse elegant voice that’s like nothing else anywhere ever. Only Kafka’s fragments get anywhere close’; Angels ‘a totally American book, its also got great prose, truly great… like “All around them men drank alone, staring out of their faces”’; and then too his precise understanding of the diciness of writing, scuffed up as fun in an 1998 piece which again lets him rip and riff on how unfun is required if the fun part, notwithstanding, is not to be hideously missed. Again, he redeems his puritanical side with luxury prose veering off madly to a kind of magnificent poetry: writerly fun is ‘what it is is a gift, a kind of miracle, and compared to it the reward of stranger’s affection is as dust, lint.’ America is modernity, so this is a tactical modernity, like the best often is, seeking to clear out the debris and establish the new, rather than be presumptuous. As American debris, isolated from other writers and easy publishing, an incorrigible clumsiness of ambition that is pawky, ironically in the British manner – and so a tad undermining – DFW makes his style considerate and clean, as he sees it, as best can be expected given the circumstances. This is a full spirit.
He does a creepy bland thing with 24 words just to keep the whole show rolling, you sense, because this kind of tireless scrutiny and ideas-pumping is if nothing else bone-jarringly hard and never guaranteed to deliver its promise given his determination to cohabit inside the profusion of a lexicon that is tediously colossal, mysterious, eccentrically recoiled from bread-and-butter spontaneous use and which, when thought about for just a moment, damned frighteningly strange. He dissects ‘utilize’ – a puff-word – ‘gratuitously fancy writing’. Shows two ways of how to mess up using ‘if.’ Use it as ‘whether’. ‘The second kind of snafu involves a basic rule for using commas with subordinating conjunctions (which are what if is one of). Muses on the paradox that the ugliest noun refers to a kind of beauty – ‘pulchritude.’ Notes that the adjectival ‘mucous’ is not synononymous with ‘the unmentionable stuff itself’ but the secreter of mucus or else something resembling it.
Contrasts the British ‘towards’ and the American ‘toward.’ Comments on widespread ignorance about how to use ‘that’, whereof mistakes become ‘the grammatical equivalent of wearing NASCAR paraphernalia or liking pro wrestling.’ Says dictionaries and usage authorities haven’t caught up with realities of the use of ‘effete’. Insists ‘dialogue’ should not be used as a verb despite a) Shakespeare did and b) lots of nouns get verbalised in English, eg diet. But his reason is wise: ‘as of now it strikes most literate readers as affected and jargonish. Same with transition, same with to parent.’ Advises on the use of ‘privilege’ where he gets in a funny dig: ‘The contemporary form of this subdialect originated in literary and social theory but has now metastasized throughout much of the humanities. There is exactly one situation in which you’d want to use ‘to privilege’, ‘to situate’, ‘to interrogate’ + some abstract noun phrase, or pretty much any construction that’s three times longer than it needs to be – this is in a university course taught by a prof. so thoroughly cloistered, insecure, or stupid as to believe that academese is good intelligent writing. A required course, one that you can’t switch out of. In any other situation, run very fast the other way.’
Other words: ‘myriad’ – adjectival use commoner but only started in the Nineteenth Century, ‘so it’s a bit of a stumper. It’s tempting to recommend avoiding the noun usage so that no readers will be bugged, but at the same time it’s true that any reader who’s bugged by ‘a myriad of’ is both pernickety and wrong – and you can usually rebut snooty teachers, copyeditors, et al by directing them to Coleridge’s “Myriad myriads of lives teemed forth.” ‘Dysphesia’ appeals as a medical noun with ‘timely non-medical applications,’ and ‘unique’ is treated as one of the ‘uncomparables’ alongside precise, exact, correct, entire, accurate, preferable, inevitable, possible and false – he reckons on there being two dozen in all. At which prescient note let’s leave it there. You get the gist. It’s like overhearing some intense writing class instructor ordering his menus in a dream characterised, unremarkably, by gappiness and delusive scary cred.
Like a Julee Cruise voice ordering regular decaff coffee and an espresso, also decaff, to add to the coffee, both small, to go, in the coda to ‘The Art of being a Girl>’ song which sounds all at once like a Hopper ‘Nighthawk’ phoning in an order with Escher scale and perspective distortions and the guy on the other end of the phone Berkeley’s God making reality through sheer will. Does the voice of Berkeley’s God stave off solipsism? The well-coordinated mutual dream of God prevents the splintering of the world into inconsistencies, into entirely separate worlds, and DFW is experiencing the vivid pressure of the thought that with different theories we might be forced into incommensurate worlds where all our recorded data are transformed by theoretical commitments into intense canons of loneliness, vast and infinite labyrinths of such, where what you took to be Berkeley’s God is an answer-phone message you remember yourself making some time before, even though the voice is distorted. The sinister implications of such a memory can’t be overestimated. What lurks in all these channeled essay-mazes is extraordinary terror.
This is all strong and peculiar, putting his allegiances right where they need to be, in method, punctuation and grammar, sacrificing all of the scenery of writing, so to speak, and placing all his pityless weight on writing itself. He is looking out for its quotas and counting their frequencies. He presses up against its outer and inner limits like the exoterrestial alienated Truman Burbank in The Truman Show, seeking an exit, either from it or for it, depending on the diagnosis, resisting its traumatic and uncanny eeriness. This, then, is David Foster Wallace working in the opposite direction to his culture, gaping on language to see it as consciously as he could, to make it more available, perhaps escapable, even though it eludes him like some visitation in a dark fairy tale glimpsed only in the rapid eye movement of a species of subliminal horror story. See it like this: DFW takes language to be a malicious goblin perhaps more intelligent than we humans, certainly as heinously vicious, perhaps more so, and when unattended it slips off the morgue table to work its own circuits, needs and willfulness, plotting lengthy, monstrous and vile fates far away from human authorial intent. Perhaps the language goblin is a virus of ours or we are its. What’s certain: it’s perfection is an uncanny belvedere of insane autonomy.
Whatever, the consistent feature you notice in many of these pieces is that of organiser and winnower purposely making absorption an evocation, seeking a mystical recognition. Mostly, of course, we know that these non-fiction pieces are somehow connected to what elsewhere is fiction and as he says, ‘Writing-wise, fiction is scarier, but non-fiction is harder – because non-fiction’s based on reality, and today’s felt reality is overwhelmingly, circuit blowingly huge and complex. Whereas fiction comes out of nothing. Actually, so wait: the truth is that both genres are scary; both feel like they’re executed on tightropes, over abysses – it’s the abysses that are different. Fiction’s abyss is silence, nada. Whereas non-fiction’s abyss is Total Noise, the seething static of every particular thing and experience, and one’s total freedom of infinite choice about to choose to attend to and represent and connect, and how, and why, & c.’ So his evocation is just this, of an abyss.
In his brief review of a Borges biography of which he is pardonably disheartened DFW is neither disgraced nor dismal in his way, keeping his subject a kind of stranger and friend, his subject not Borges, whose writing he clearly adores, but rather a kind of gruff acknowledgement that you can’t blame a character for what his author says, that biography is just a vague country where time goes and things disappear, and that writing’s a matter of needing four seconds and taking two, just to avoid banal supervenience. Here, as elsewhere, what DFW is wanting to fiercely guard against is any knowledge that merely adds up to incremental degrees of ignorance and displacement and, multifariously, in his own terms, infection by the goblin’s ‘cloistered dialects.’
‘Federer Both Flesh and Not’ is the collection’s clear masterpiece but benefits from the bent hindsight given by Infinite Jest‘s accomplishments. ‘The Best of the Prose Poem’ is chilling like worm-like spell marks of script found on Ionic columns and various ancient masonry. ‘Rhetoric and the Maths Melodrama’ is obliging and deadly accurate but oddly self-regarding and self-protecting, as if, through a secret sub-text coding his own achievements, the taint of his own sustaining ‘megalomaniacal self-pity that creative people everywhere know and dread’ might be exculpated.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard Marshall is still biding his time.
First published in 3:AM Magazine: Thursday, November 8th, 2012.