This year I completed an imperative task in the life of a voracious reader: I started (and finished) David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. While I’ve long been familiar with Wallace’s essay “Water”, a commencement speech given to Kenyon College graduates, I began Infinite Jest with very few expectations of what I was getting into.
I pull my jacket on, trudging up the stairs from BART to emerge onto Market Street. It’s my second week in San Francisco and I’m on my way back from Oakland where I’d been visiting a friend. It’s late, I’d caught the last train, and I pause to reflect for the first time on the reality that this city can, somehow, feel cold at 55˚. Market Street is humming with its strange late-night beauty, the noise of the freeway a low drone off to the east through SOMA and a light fog giving an altogether ethereal look to the downtown.
Laura Cogan is editor of Zyzzyva, *a *San Francisco journal that prints quarterly a selection of poems, short stories and creative nonfiction by writers in the Bay Area. I’ve been receiving it for almost two years, and my heart races when I come home to find the new issue waiting for me.
I fly tomorrow, back to San Francisco over the Great Lakes and frigid plains of the midwest.
I was out to breakfast with my parents and sister last week when this exchange happened. Our food arrived at the table and we each eagerly eyed each others selections: tofu rancheros, french toast with ginger maple butter, a vegan benedict. Dad took out his phone and snapped a photo of my sister’s plate.