“Backbone”, by David Foster Wallace.

More DFW: a story over at the New Yorker.

No one ever did ask him. His father believed only that he had an eccentric but very limber and flexible child, a child who’d taken Kathy Kessinger’s homilies about spinal hygiene to heart, the way some children will take things to heart, and now spent a lot of time flexing and limbering his body, which, as the queer heartcraft of children went, was preferable to many other slack or damaging fixations the father could think of. The father, an entrepreneur who sold motivational tapes through the mail, worked out of a home office but was frequently away for seminars and mysterious evening sales calls. The family’s home, which faced west, was tall and slender and contemporary; it resembled one half of a duplex town house from which the other half had been suddenly removed. It had olive-colored aluminum siding and was on a cul-de-sac, at the northern end of which stood a side entrance to the county’s third-largest cemetery, whose name was woven in iron above the main gate but not above that side entrance. The word that the father thought of when he thought of the boy was: “dutiful,” which surprised the man, for it was a rather old-fashioned word and he had no idea where it came from when he thought of the boy in his room, from outside the door.

Read the whole of “Backbone” by hitting the link.

[via The New Yorker]

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1 Comment

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One response to ““Backbone”, by David Foster Wallace.

  1. Pingback: Rojak: The Words That Maketh Murder | Who Killed Lemmy Caution?

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