September 1, 2009

Page 554

Lenz likes him, and there's always this slight hangnail of fear, like clinging, whenever he likes somebody.  It's like something terrible could happen at any time.  Less fear than a kind of tension in the region of stomach and ass, an all-body wince.  Deciding to go ahead and think somebody's a stand-up guy: it's like you drop something, you give up all of your power over it:  you have to stand there impotent waiting for it to hit the ground: all you can do is brace and wince.  It kind of enrages Lenz to like somebody... But you don't come right out there and let somebody hear you say you think they're OK.  When it's a girl your'e just trying to X it's a different thing, straightforwarder; but like for instance where do you look with your eyes when you tell somebody you like them and mean what you say?  You can't look right at them, because then what if their eyes look at you as your eyes look at them and you lock eyes as you're saying it, and then there'd be some awful like voltage or energy there, hanging between you.  But you can't look away like your'e nervous, like some nervous kid asking for a date or something.  You can't go around giving that kind of thing of yourself away.  

Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace

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