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12617163 No.12617163 [Reply] [Original]

Join your fellow /lit/izens this February in reading (or re-reading) David Foster Wallace's posthumously published novel of American ennui and tax codes, The Pale King.
As of today, we're officially on week one of the group read (Sections 1-9) so until we reach week 2 (February 24) please try to limit discussion to content in those specific sections of the book. I know some people read at a pace that allows them to devour a book like TPK in short order, but limiting discourse to the specified sections will hopefully assist in more in-depth discussion, as well as better allow those who are following the reading schedule more closely (whether out of choice or necessity) to participate.

Strawpoll to see where everyone who wants to read along is in terms of their experience with David Foster Wallace (mostly just for fun now seeing as it was originally supposed to gauge interest):
https://www.strawpoll.me/17340889

Reading schedule (stolen from the Pale Winter group read on The Howling Fantods)
>Week 1: (2/17 - 2/23) Sections 1-9
>Week 2: (2/24 - 3/2) Sections 10-21
>Week 3: (3/3 - 3/9) Section 22
>Week 4: (3/10 - 3/16) Sections 23-27
>Week 5: (3/17 - 3/23) Sections 28-45
>Week 6: (3/24 - 3/30) Sections 46-50, Notes and Asides

Previous thread:
>>12537487

>> No.12617264

I find the idea of ice cream trucks, complete with ice cream truck drivers in little paper hats, being used by the IRS for surveillance to be incredibly funny in an absurd sort of way.

>> No.12617521

>>12617163
Does anyone else like to think they would be friends with Leonard Stecyk?

>> No.12617828

>>12617521
Stecyk is somewhat idealized, especially as DFW-character describes him as an adult. I've had a friend rather like he's described in his youth. Great person, but rather off-putting in conversation.

>> No.12617867

>>12617828
>rather
>rather
Give a rest. I've resolved not to ruin any more of the book during my acid trip for the sake of not actively destroying this thing but I still say 6 weeks is an incredible length of time for an imageboard's conciousness and I'll be shocked if we make it to the end boys

>> No.12618137

>>12617867
Literally what

>> No.12618145

>>12618137
sneed

>> No.12618184

What do you think of Chapters 1 and 2.

What's with the line "Read these"?

>> No.12618223

>>12618184
>What's with the line "Read these"?
'Read these lines made by worms in baked dry shit' doesn't make much sense, does it? I thought when I first read it maybe it was meant to be a joke, like, I sucked you in with the beautiful prose in this first chapter, now read the rest of this book (which of course has much more difficult sections) but I don't actually believe that's what it is. Maybe it becomes clear later on.

>> No.12618239

>>12617163
Started few pages. It's quite not harder than I memed before. Boring though

>> No.12618249

>>12618223
I think he's talking about more than just the worms, although that image of the worms links to the quotation prefacing the book ("We will forms...and are changed by them").

I think he's offering us a ton of images from a natural setting and asking us to interpret these beyond that rural setting, i.e. by comparing it to intricate human society (which is his focus; it's maintenance and so on).

>> No.12618256

>>12618249
Yeah that sounds right. Thanks

>> No.12618260 [DELETED] 

>>12618184
This is a good question.
My answer I would guess would be a combination of >>12618249
and the exact opposite, a strict impersonal reflection of a natural setting meant to stand in contrast to the stories next image: a chaotic plane cabin, a man-made cruciform shape in the sky.

>> No.12618274

>>12618249
>>12618184
This is a good question.
My answer I would guess would be a combination of >>12618249
and the exact opposite, a strict impersonal reflection of a natural setting meant to stand in contrast to the story's next image: a chaotic plane cabin, a man-made cruciform shape in the sky.

>> No.12618290

>>12618274
I don't think you actually disagree with >>12618249 he's saying Wallace is asking us to compare the rural setting to human civilisation, not that it's a metaphor for human civilisation

>> No.12618293

Something to look out for:
This Blumquist character, while easily forgettable, will actually play a key role in the story later on as a ghost (don't think he gave that up after Infinite Jest).
Note that Blumquist suffered in silence, unnoticed for 4 days. He was looking into medical partnerships when he died.

>> No.12618296

>>12618290
I'm not disagreeing at all.
I think it is both.
>>12618293
Sorry this is chapter 4.

>> No.12618311

>>12618260
Interesting about the cruciform, not sure if it's mentioned in the chapter. My analysis of Ch 2. is that it's intended to mirror Ch 1. just in a human setting.

Ch 1. starts from a perspective high above the natural landscape, observing the plains and blacktop graphs, but then descends until we are turning over rocks and observing the tiny lines created by insects underneath.

Ch 2. begins from a literal position miles above the landscape, and begins as in Ch 1. by observing an apparently tranquil, banal scene (slow traffic, clouds, etc) and then descends to Earth and reveals the true nature of traffic jams (not tranquil at all), the complexity of the airport runway's painted lines, the individual lives of the Midwestern businessmen, etc.

>> No.12618313

>>12618290
I think it is in part a metaphor for human civilisation, mainly because he uses various adjectives (what's the word for this?) in Ch 1. which tie the natural to the civilized (e.g. ale-coloured sunshine, electric insects), and because we later have to come to terms with our own colony of insects at business (literally) all the time.

>> No.12618322

>>12617264
Note that this Ice cream truck is a former Mr. Squishy truck.
If you read Oblivion, you'd know this as the company that is being sabotaged from multiple angles in an elaborate conspiracy perpetrated by various employees/employers against themselves for various reasons that are all ultimately at the expense of the american people. the story ends in an elaborate staged terrorist attack both from inside and unpredicted outside forces.

Compare this vehicle to a hearse.
The last two pages are interesting. They focus on Sylvanshine's response to Gerry Britton asking him "what he's thinking" which deeply upsets and violates him. He eventually resolves this with the fact that Gary's (or Gerry) character is simply that of an animal. The fact that he ultimately uses an ant is telling.

>> No.12618324

>>12618311
“ The whole ball game was perspective, filtering, the choice of perception’s objects. Sylvanshine tried to envision the small plane as seen from the ground, a cruciform shape against the old-bathwater color of the cloud cover, its lights blinking complexly in the rain. He imagined rain on his face. It was light, a West Virginia rain; he hadn’t heard one unit of thunder. ”

>> No.12618336

>>12618293
I think I read somewhere that Wallace based this on a real-life news story.

What do you guys think of the writing style in Ch 2.?

I think it in part reflects the actual story of the IRS office being overwhelmed by paperwork and just hiding it away in vents etc. We the reader are overloaded here with both physical observations, background information, tax-speak etc, much of it arriving randomly and having no relation to the preceding sentence. Already we're having to (as IRS workers - and wider society - have to) find a way to parse all this information without looking for a more simple distraction, means of enjoyment.

>> No.12618343

>>12618324
Nice one.

> The whole ball game was perspective, filtering, the choice of perception’s objects.

This is a big sentence too, as the book is essentially about learning to manage large amounts of data and transcending the boredom that inevitably comes with doing that.

>> No.12618346

>>12618336
I like the part where he compares looking out the plane window down to earth as like being underwater, moving in slow motion.

>> No.12618354

>>12618346
That metaphor is extended throughout the chapter, as when he lands he says the "old-coin-grey" sky etc gave the impression of being underwater, as if some booth had stamped on the landscape and it had flooded. Not sure what the point is here, other than to perhaps suggest depression.

>> No.12618843

>>12618354
bump

>> No.12618844
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12618844

>> No.12618859

>>12618336
I sort of touched on this last thread, but I feel like it's doing what an early chapter of IJ did with a drug addict's stream of consciousness in that it's a sort of vision of hell meets statement of purpose for the book. Compared to that I found this one more enjoyable, lots of observational humour especially about the aeroplane. On the other hand it's less convincing. I don't think anyone, even really stressed out people, has a brain like this.

>> No.12618917

>>12618844
Based.

>>12618859
Interesting, I've not read IJ so can't compare. I think Wallace in TPK is challenging the reader to continue reading, overcoming first a mass of data thrown at them, and then chapters of highly technical, boring legal jargon designed to train the reader into transcending boredom , as another poster mentioned above while pasting the quotation from Ch 2.: "The whole ball game was perspective, filtering, the choice of perception’s objects."

What does the old lady in the second chapter represent? Why does she get driven away in a stretched limo from the airport?

I feel like TPK in some ways represents DFW himself descending from the high plain of critical theory, meta-commentary, language games etc and attempting to pay closer attention (as the narrator does) to the more mundane details of a life he had until this book treated really just as a source for humour, slapstick, surrealism etc. The chapter (6?) about the young couple discussing abortion by that one lake is my favourite part of the book.

>> No.12619283

Reminder that the schedule doesn't matter

>> No.12619402

So many accounting terms for me to look up. Cool.

>> No.12619509

>>12619402
Anybody know if any actual accountants have read the book and said how accurate it is?

I know DFW got BTFO by mathematicians over his book on infinity.

>> No.12619668

>>12617521
>The boy's only real friends among kids are the damaged, the handicapped, the fat, the last-picked, the non grata - he seeks them out.
That whole section had me wanting to give Leonard a hug. He overdoes things, but that so many people would look at him hoping to see a reflection of their own dirt and darkness and lash out in retaliation when they don't; you would have to be incredibly cynical to read that section and feel more annoyed than sympathetic for this kid.
>>12617867
>I'll be shocked if we make it to the end boys
I plan to keep posting threads up until March 30th. We'll see how many people stick around, but I'll be here to the very end.
>>12618859
I don't think anyone except for maybe DFW has ever thought quite like a character in a DFW story, but at the same time, it's not difficult to find yourself relating to a lot of his characters in different ways based on certain aspects of their thoughts and personalities.
>>12619509
I know DFW was taking accounting classes and interviewing IRS employees and tax preparers during the writing process, but I couldn't speak to the actual accuracy of anything in the book.

>> No.12619678

>>12618859
>>12619668
I actually identified with that chapter a lot. That happens to me when I try go to sleep and I want to kms

>> No.12619706

>>12618293

Way to spoil both The Pale King and the twist of Infinite Jest

>> No.12619719

>>12619706
>spoil
Who gives a shit

>> No.12619740

>>12617264
i've loled multiple times while reading

>>12618137
he's the autist that read the whole book already and thinks everyone else should have, too

>>12618354
>"old-coin-grey" sky etc gave the impression of being underwater
that sky description in no way evokes a watery image

>> No.12619754

>>12619740
I've only read half of it so far

>> No.12620364

>>12619668
>you would have to be incredibly cynical to read that section and feel more annoyed than sympathetic for this kid

Doen't that bit explain why even they hate him though? This value-free universal love thing. It's a little like the mild revulsion of adults against the unconditional love of a parent. You imagine them acutely aware of why this healthy kid is seeking them out, probably while explicitly telling them that he values them for their other, unexceptional qualities. Which would only make it worse for anyone with a modicum of pride.

Fucking loved this shit.

>> No.12620447

>>12620364
I took it as the only people who didn't treat him like a plague carrier were the kids who he made to feel valued in ways that others didn't; it says that group were his only real friends. Probably the ones that came to his 11th Birthday Blowout Bash.
Unconditional love in the face of obstacles like deformity and being an outcast breed friendship of a type that the "normal" kids can't find in Leonard; rather than being standoffish and a little turd like most kids, all he shows is love and people don't know how to react so they react with hatred.
Leonard is so pure that with all the other references to religion, I'm a little worried DFW will use him as a sacrificial lamb down the road. Something in the vein of Isaac or Christ.

>> No.12620462

Uh... Yes I have something to say... uh that is a comment on the assignment and this group as a whole as it were.

>> No.12620751
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12620751

i bought the book for this thread bros but i had to stop after one page. I read infinite jest and loved it but it seems their is a limit to how much DFW a person can handle and i found the first page of the Pale King so desperate, so pretentious, so attention-seeking that i simply cannot continue.

>> No.12620822

>>12620751
nothing more pretentious than buying a book and not reading it

>> No.12620851

Why is everyone so angry in this thread?

>> No.12620862

Which chapter is leonard's childhood?

>> No.12620870

Is The Pale King any good? I want to know before I jump in because that other book of his was absolute garbage, and I traded it in at my bookstore. Infinite Jest was good though

>> No.12620876

>>12620870
I've read about 250 pages and I like it more than infinite jest. The character studies, absurdity and slice of life are better developed and it doesn't have an unruly amount of nonsense.

>> No.12620939

>>12620870
can you ask a more retarded question? don't read this book and keep out of this thread you pseud

>> No.12620960

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLXSwio7gCE

God fucking damn it, this is one pretentious event.

>> No.12621085

>>12620960
>144444
Nice time.

>> No.12621107

I'm late to the party, but will begin the works today.

>> No.12621117

>>12619509
Lit’s resident accountant here
It’s mostly accurate, I think, haven’t begun re-reading yet. For the most part it’s a bit amusing how he takes very basic accounting concepts and attempts to veil them in complexity, sometimes to the point of it not making sense

>The core accounting equation A=L+E can be dissolved and reshuffled into everything from E = A - L to beyond.

No, not really much beyond that, the only other variation is L = E - A. That’s just arithmetic. Sounds profound I guess

>> No.12621145

>>12621117
Can you explain further? I'm too lazy to do any research myself.

>> No.12621161

>>12620751
I've read the whole thing, didn't especially like it, but that first section is great.

>> No.12621370

>>12621145
A = Assets
Assets are the total of your Liabilities + Equities
L = liabilities (think debts, credit card bills)
E = equities (income profits, stocks and dividends)

If you have $30M liabilities and $70M in equities, your total assets owned = $100M

The basic arithmetic:
Find the value of equity; your total assets are valued at $80, you have $30 of liabilities. What is your total equity?

Plug into the equation A = L + E
Rearrange, E = A - L

E = 80 - 30

E = 50

>> No.12621484

>>12620862
5 lad

>> No.12621604

Fuk I'm a pretty slow reader and my library is closed sunday and today, didn't get my book before hand.

>> No.12621691

>>12621370
Don't you think it's fun to make really mundane and banal things super over the top? Maybe it was just his style of explaining things, I found that a lot in Infinite Jest.

>> No.12621787

>>12621107
Nevermind, I do not find the translated version for my language ;_;

>> No.12621946

>>12621117
The bit about getting a new SSN when joining the IRS is fake though. You cant fool me, bandana-man!

>> No.12622058

>>12620960
Pseuds really do ruin everything don't they

>> No.12622502

>>12619706
I have great faith in the fact that most people would forget Blumquist's name by the time the ghosts appear.
And I don't believe that's a spoiler at all in regards to IJ.

>> No.12623363

>>12618293
Possible spoilers ahead? I feel like the ghosts serve a much more significant role in TPK than they did in IJ, especially thematically (Like that great scene where Blumquist reveals himself to Lane Dean)

>> No.12623384

>>12618859
I remember really not enjoying that Sylvanshine section until the final multi-page sentence that just floored me

>> No.12623509

>>12621370
oh damn, getting my degree in accounting and im not sure how to feel about this. on one hand im sick of hearing about A=L+A (basically accounting in a nutshell) but it might actually be kind of cool since i might know what he's talking about instead of like in infinite jest where i just had no fucking clue what engineering shit he was talking about

>> No.12623517

>>12623509
*A=L+E
fuck me

>> No.12623728

>>12621117
Wait what wouldn't it be L = A - E

>> No.12623732

>>12623728
Wouldn't it be W.A.L.L.E?

>> No.12623734

>>12623732
It really is true what they say about tripfags

>> No.12623741

>>12623728
Nevermind I get it I'm just retarded

>> No.12623939

>>12623734
How's that?

>> No.12624203

>>12623741
>>12623728
no i think you're right, it would be L=A-E
A=L+E
E=A-L being the other two

>> No.12624720

>tfw the Pale King readalong turns into accounting general

>> No.12625058
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12625058

>>12624720
>implying they are 2 different things.

>> No.12625225

I might be too dumb for this. I'm out of my depth and not enjoying it much.

>>12620447
>it says that group were his only real friends
Even the loser kids stopped returning his calls. I don't think they liked him any more than anyone else, they just tried harder because they didn't have anyone else.
I don't find him very convincing as a human being, and it seems to me that's deliberate and what the other characters are reacting to. He's too good to be true, so he must be false. And thus in some way in need of a good kicking.

>> No.12625250

>>12624720
>tfw reading the pale king and wondering if being an accountant would be a good use of my autism

>> No.12625468

>>12624720
>assuming there's anything more heroic in the modern world than accounting

>> No.12626079

>>12624720
>>12625250
>>12625468
Aside from a couple equations there is very little about actual accounting in this book. The guy who complains about pages of legal jargon clearly just skimmed (it's not even a full page).
Again, it's mostly a metaphor.

>> No.12626091

>>12626079
Honestly fuck off dude

>> No.12626136

So when does the focused discussion begin?

Anybody want to discuss chapter 6 with me?

>> No.12626149

>>12626079

There's something so irritating about you. You're clearly not any sort of real authority on DFW, and are probably some dumb nineteen year old, but you posture this role by pointing out incredible obvious shit.

>> No.12626292

>>12626091
>>12626149
I guess this is what giving up anonymity on /lit/ means. Nobody would be getting upset if DFAutist was still incognito

>> No.12626762

>>12626136
Sure. It was probably the best chapter so far.
Got any insights to share?

>> No.12627501

>>12619283
Reminder that our lives don't matter

>> No.12627744

Tits?

>> No.12628058

>>12627744
Tits.

>> No.12628218

>>12626149
I am probably the only authority on DFW.
It's disgusting how much time I've dedicated.

>> No.12628545
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12628545

>>12628218

>> No.12628567

>>12628545
You might be mad, but it's true.

>> No.12629172

>>12628218
How would you rank his works? Do you like his fiction or his nonfiction better? Is Everything and More really just completely mathematically wrong? Is his book on rappers worth reading?

>> No.12629335

>>12629172
1. Oblivion
2.The Pale King
3. Brief Interviews
4. Infinite Jest
5. Broom of the System
6. Girl with Curious Hair
7. Supposedly Fun Thing
8. Consider the Lobster
9. Everything and More

Everything and more is just a cash-grab he attached his name to. He was never that invested.
David was always bad at math. Even in his famous fatalism essay from Amherst he had his friend Cory provide all the proofs.
There is bad math in Infinite Jest as well.

The rapper book is fun, but not particularly insightful.

>> No.12629622

>>12629335
infinite jest>supposedly fun thing>broom of the system>brief interviews>oblivion>consider the lobster>gril with curious hair
you're mad if you think girl with curious hair is better than supposedly fun thing or lobster
havent read pale king yet, thats why im here.

>> No.12629650

Is anyone else finding section 8 really confusing?

>> No.12629678

>>12629622
I prefer his fiction, as there is very little fundamental difference in essence (he over-composed most pieces), I prefer him when he's given completely free-reign.
I love a lot of the story concepts in Girl With Curious Hair, it's just the execution that usually falls flat. Still very interesting to read, especially if you are familiar with his early life and the time period.
I do think E Unibus Plurum is very important for young people to read.

>> No.12629683

>>12629678
prefer his fiction to the journalism and essays.

>> No.12629730

>>12629650
It's meant to be.
Just remember this is told from the perpsective seriously damaged person from a lineage of head-cases.
She is a recurring character and plays a significant role in the plot as one of the only two notable female characters (the dialectic of sex and marriage was going to make up a significant portion of the never written part 2).

>> No.12629750

>>12629650

There were a couple of times where I had to double take when a fact from what had felt like a purely atmosphere-building incidental sentence came back into focus. That was a lot more appealing than the random fact interjections in the aeroplane section though.

I feel like some of the language is shooting for a kinda-Faulkner gothic thing, with the girl's underdiscriminating reading habits used as a sort of part-justification for why someone from a non-biblical background would be tied to that sort of tone.

>> No.12629774

>>12629730
>never written part 2
AHHHHH THE FUCKING DOSTO WANNABE

>> No.12630526

>33posters
lower_than_my_digit.bump

>> No.12630944

>>12629335
Why would you say Oblivion is superior to IJ anon I've never read it? I think supposedly fun thing should be much higher but you said you prefer his fiction so each to their own I guess

>> No.12631066

>>12629750
yeah while being far more totally disjointed in prose than the aeroplane scene which just felt more - like you said - like sudden interjected scenes more for our benefit than building Slyvanshine, whereas the lack of clear structure in 8 really helped to give an impression of how her damaged mind works

>> No.12631134

>>12620751
i remember the first time i read that first page i think "now this is literature". so you can say is pretentious and glorious at the same time.

>> No.12631274

What do you guys think the title represents? I know that one of the characters has the nickname Pale King, but that didn't seem all that significant to me at all, certainly not worth naming a book over.
Maybe Autist is right and TPK is a suicide note. That's about the only way the title makes sense to me.

>> No.12631602

>>12630526
>2/3 chance of being correct and he still shits the bed
Like pottery

>> No.12631612

>>12631274
Maybe too obvious but I took it that the taxman is the pale king. We've had a bunch or references to taxmen as modern cowboys and other general assertions of unsung heros being the real heros of the world. Mix that with all the way in which the IRS have succeeded in passing outrageous policies for governments without being called up on them by using intentionally obtuse language so that the IRS has a way to rule without ever being caught in the spotlight making the taxman the pale king?

>> No.12631620

>>12631134
yeah same I've only just read it with this group but that first page felt the closest to Pynchon i've ever seen Wallace write.

>> No.12631781

>>12631274
Oh it certainly is, even the first page with the reference to the pack of crows not being "a murder" could tip that off.
The joke about "the pale king" is that he's not even around anymore. We never technically meet that character.

>> No.12631958
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12631958

> that foster wallace when you finished this book last week and /lit/ decides to discuss it

Stecyk doesn't seem like anyone I've known in real life, but more like a trope out of TV shows, but he does carry aspects that remind me of certain people I knew living in a predominately Mormon area. Almost disgustingly organized and put together.

Oh well. I don't have much to say. All the stuff I want to talk about happens later on. Really looking forward to seeing what other people have to say about section 22, and I'm glad you've devoted a whole week to it.

>> No.12631985
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12631985

>>12631958
If anyone hasn't read this by the way, it's a short read and well worth it. My favorite thing DFW ever wrote. Could be a good break from the (intentionally) dryer sections of TPK.

https://harpers.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/HarpersMagazine-1996-01-0007859.pdf

>> No.12631986

infanity in juice

>> No.12632688

I feel like often boredom comes together with fear. I've had jobs and felt like this at uni where on one hand I was scared of failing while at the same time bored by my attempts at preventing disaster. It's an odd thing, maybe TPK touches on that at some point.

>> No.12633655

>>12631986
wdhmbt

>> No.12634503

>>12631958
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/12/14/all-that-2

You technically haven't finished the book unless you read this story (consider it the final chapter) along with the extended edition with the 4 additional chapters (of which only the last one is complete, but was cut due to it weighing down the narrative and characters in a way that would demand more context that simply wasn't there at the time of his death).

Having done that, it become pretty clear that this was a suicide note. But there's more to that as well.

>> No.12634511 [DELETED] 

>>12634503
I should add:
"All That" (can you guess what commotion he's referring to is a bit on-the-nose in regard to David's mind-set. It's a shame they cut it, because it's a beautiful piece and in some sense, ties the whole thing together. But alas, I guess it was too on-the-nose.

>> No.12634516

>>12634503
I should add:
"All That" (can you guess what commotion he's referring to) is a bit on-the-nose in regard to David's mind-set at the end of his life. It's a shame they cut it though, because it's a beautiful piece and in some sense, ties the loose ends together.

>> No.12635478

>>12634516
For those of you who read up to chapter 22 something to know: Obetrol is actually just adderall.

You'll notice a trend of various characters getting into "deep shit" in college.
All of this overlaps in a way.

>> No.12635875
File: 4 KB, 125x110, one true kek.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
12635875

holy shit chapter 5 is hilarious. leonard stecyk is evil in a wholly unique way
>"after which the boy's PE locker along with the four on either side are destroyed in an act of pyrotechnic vandalism that everyone on both sides in the subsequent court trial agrees got totally out of hand and was not a premeditated attempt to injure the night custodian or to do anything like amount of structural damage to the Boy's locker room it ended up doing"
top kek

>> No.12635989

bump

>> No.12636045
File: 304 KB, 646x595, 1549937708742.png [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
12636045

bump for sweaty cusk

>> No.12636709

Bumping

>> No.12637015

>>12636045
someone with more time and gumption make a wojack "this party sucks, i'm sweating too much, I don't know the distance to all exits, the light is too harsh, I'm entering a sweaty feedback loop" meme w/ cusk

>> No.12637047
File: 7 KB, 250x186, 1545963217452s.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
12637047

>>12637015
>tfw thinking about getting primed gets you primed

>> No.12637306

Just picked the book up and finished chapter 2. I'm hoping to make it to chapter 9 by the 23rd, but it's a busy week. Anyways, chapter 2 is quite impressive in the way it portrays someone who both overthinks and does not focus.

>> No.12637358

>>12634503
>>12634516
I'm just going to filter you since you can't shut the fuck up and let people read the book, and I would suggest everyone else do the same
>Hey guys spastic retard here
>watch out for this part 3/4 of the way through the book!
Seriously fucking kill yourself you insufferable faggot

>> No.12637642

/lit/ finally doing something based and I am preoccupied with obligatory trivial shit.

>> No.12637746

>>12637358
youre a fag and won't understand the book anyway. The autist is trying to help.
Don't waste your time.

>> No.12637816

Is it safe to say that DFW had issues w/r/t his daddy.

>> No.12637829

>>12637816
more so with his mother.

>> No.12637959

>>12637746
>actually sticking up for some attention whoring tripnigger with this weak ass "y-you're dumb for being mean to him ;_;"
reddit. shut the fuck up. lurk and never post again, you cocksucking hugbox circlejerk retard.

>> No.12637998

>>12637959
What good does your anger do to you

>> No.12638005

>>12637358
>shut the fuck up and let people read the book
it's a read-through... autist isn't spoiling anything and actually adds to the discussion. you on the other hand should feel free to shut the fuck up and go read the book by yourself

>> No.12638036
File: 15 KB, 251x242, 1536096850426.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
12638036

>>12637959

>> No.12638046

>>12638005
>>12637998
Put your trip back on

>> No.12638150

>>12628567
Not the Daffy poster, but it's not true. Plenty of academic works have been written on Wallace, and there are actual Wallace scholars who don't just tripcode LARP on 4chan and post misinterpretations.

>> No.12638164

>>12619678
Persecutory voice anon, *sending you virtual hug* they are rough, not “real” though

>> No.12638188

>>12625225
Like crabs in a bucket, no wonder DFW killed himself, if Christ did come back no one would believe he actually cared about them. Sheesh

>> No.12638239
File: 351 KB, 1500x582, DFW futurism quotes.png [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
12638239

>> No.12638252

>>12625225
But humans have too a need to feel kind, useful, depended upon. Stecyk is denying them that pleasure, greedily taking it for himself.

If my lonely Grandma notices my shirt has a hole in a seam, and offers for me to stay around so she might mend it, wouldn't it be cruel to say "I'm perfectly capable of buying a new shirt. You don't have to worry about it."? Doing kindness to others is a gift itself.

DFW's article in Harper's about the cruise ship shows how awful it can be to be treated as an infant child, and this is how Stecyk treats others.

>> No.12638353

>>12629335
Good list. And now that you have made your epistemology know we can all relax

>> No.12638542

>>12637015
>>12637047
I lol'd

>> No.12638550

>>12637816
With his daddy, mother & c.

>> No.12638692

>>12617163
Reading chapter 9 and remembering how the sad sack once complained about people calling IJ a comedy - but this, this, is actually a comedy book, right? All these ridiculous interjections about how all the features of fiction are only being used as cover, the all rights reserved bit and how he's totally over any resentment he might have had about other people's wealth is just massive pisstake material.

Also, I think I remember the editor's foreword mentioning overuse of "tittypinching" as in imperfection, which is clearly a joke. Like you read it one time and it's a little weird, then he brings it back again like that's the exact and perfect adjective for the situation and no other word could apply.

>> No.12638698

>>12631612
Cool idea. Now are they people being heroes or like bees buzzing electric like his other metaphors, or does he maybe think it is both?

>> No.12638898
File: 38 KB, 354x99, nope.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
12638898

>>12638046
yeah... not autist

>> No.12638909
File: 39 KB, 355x236, 28-signs-you-might-actually-be-mark-corrigan-1-23938-1381156311-1_big.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
12638909

>Stecyk

>> No.12638950

>>12638692
By
>sad sack
did you mean sad stork? Yeah it definitely is more consistently comedic that IJ being constantly self aware.

>> No.12639250

>>12631985
About halfway through, love it. Thanks for posting. I think I prefer his journalistic writings, actually. Big Red Sun is another favorite of mine.

>> No.12640194 [DELETED] 

>>12638150
>misinterpretations
I have read everything there is to read about this man, and then some.
You're an insecure pseud and a fraud.

>> No.12640225

>>12631612
this is a viable interpretation, but I ultimately don't think it matters "who" the pale king is/was. His whole regime was about fooling people with joke nameplates. It's a meta-joke that ties into the repeated themes of fraud (which tie into the obfuscated memoir aspect of the story hinted at in subsection 9)

>> No.12640249

David Cusk is clearly a David self insert (what with the sweating and mental stresses), David foster wallace is an obvious one, and Chris Fogle is the most disguised and yet most true to his actual life (expressed in a metaphor).

>> No.12640261

>>12640249
You should really kill yourself

>> No.12640269

>>12640261
i warned people in a previous thread that people would get mad at me because i'm a know-it-all with no pretensions.

>> No.12640274

>>12640269
Time to kys

>> No.12640319

>>12638150
>implying because an academic writes about something it means they aren't just expressing an opinion based on their own interpretation usually without full context

As an autist I have vetted all my theories to a disgusting degree.

>>12640274
you're mad.

>> No.12640367

>>12640261
I for one like Autist here on these threads

>> No.12640377

>>12640319
time to kys
>>12640367
nice reddit-phrase, reddit

>> No.12640381

>>12640377
why are you mad exactly?

>> No.12640447

>>12640377
>nice reddit-phrase
??

>> No.12640464

>>12640319
>>12640381
>>12640447
reddit, please contain yourself

>> No.12640478

>>12640464
I'm far from reddit.
But you're probably the guy who got mad because I called out the pseud (you) who tried to make an skewed misinformed interpretation of TPK as a book about actual accounting and tax codes, which is actually retarded, truly autistic, and evident of very poor reading comprehension.

>> No.12640502

>>12640478
okay reddit

>> No.12640508

>>12640502
okay faggot

>> No.12640513

>>12640508
Did you have to ask discord for permission to say the faggot word
>I-its for a good cause
>I was d-defending a tripf-friend

>> No.12640517

>>12640513
>being this much of a proud edgelord
you're a fag.

>> No.12640566
File: 23 KB, 236x341, 1550680174325 (1).jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
12640566

>>12640513
It is truly a marvel and a wonder why people go into threads just to insult people. I will never understand. How are you feeling about this useless argument you've started?

>> No.12640592

>>12640517
>>12640566
>reddit IDF and yet another tripfag
wowie zowie

>> No.12640596

>>12640592
>wowie zowie
kys faggot.

>> No.12640602

>>12640596
reddit pls

>> No.12640605

>>12640592
>yet another tripfag
Is this better?

>> No.12640609

>>12640602
nice reddit-phrase, faggot.
time to kys

>> No.12640639

>>12640609
>n-nou
surprise surprise, the redditor's a leftie NPC

>> No.12640652

>>12640639
surprise surprise the dumb angry retard is a /pol/-troll

>> No.12640658

>>12640652
okay reddit

>> No.12640668

>>12640658
okay yourself with a noose, you butthurt angry cliche 4chuuuunz-lawl faggot

>> No.12640672

>>12640668
reddit pls, contain yourself

>> No.12640675

>>12640672
>reddit-tier wit and yet another shitpost
wowie zowie, faggot.

>> No.12640680

>>12640675
>yet another series of stunning nou from out pal reddit

>> No.12640686 [DELETED] 

>>12640680
that's ironic, but you're still a fag and I've never posted on reddit in my life (though I have browsed the front pages for news like any reasonable non-retarded tribal-minded /pol/ faggot

>> No.12640691

>>12640680
you're very, very stupid.

>> No.12640693
File: 99 KB, 565x500, 1540934141862.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
12640693

>>12640686
and the truth comes out, straight from reddits mouth

>> No.12640700

>>12640693
I said I had been there to browse recent news, but i realized I forgot a parenthesis and that you are actually retarded and get all your news and opinions from /pol/

>> No.12640703
File: 678 KB, 1080x1920, Screenshot_20190221-231515_Chrome.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
12640703

>he actually deleted it

>> No.12640705

>>12640700
go back

>> No.12640706

>>12640700
you have to go back

>> No.12640712

>>12640703
i explained that here:
>>12640700
and i wanted to make it extra clear that I am not retarded, tribal minded, or a pol faggot and express that those are all synonyms.
>>12640705
>>12640706
I was literally on /b/ when the mudkips shit happened in 2004 or 05 you pseudo post-scientology /pol/ reactionary neo faggot

>> No.12640724

>>12640712
reddit zoomer please. you're embarrassing everyone.

>> No.12640729

>>12640724
i dont even use gay neo-memes like that.
But you're definitely a zoomer if your main point of reference for things you hate is reddit.
4chan is a wasteland these days.
I just want to troll fags like you as revenge.

>> No.12640731

>>12640729
the ironing is of course lost on the reddit zoomer

>> No.12640734

>>12640731
I'm having fun too faggot.

>> No.12640744

>>12640734
Put your trip back on

>> No.12640752

>>12640744
Put yours on and i'll match you, you samefagging underage retard

>> No.12640757

>>12640752
>n-nou
okay reddit

>> No.12640761

>>12640757
>n-nou
okay faggot

>> No.12640769

>>12640761
bring out a new reddit bot, this one's totally fried

>> No.12640774

>>12640769
bring out a new faggot, this one's totally retarded

>> No.12640781

>>12640774
Look /pol/ I already told you I've been trolling tribalist naziweenies like you since before redmudkips were manning the harpoons with fire okay its time to go back

>> No.12640788

>>12640781
okay reddit

>> No.12640794

>>12640781
>t.faggot

>> No.12640797

>>12640788
>>12640794
cringe

>> No.12640798

>>12640797
faggot pls, contain yourself

>> No.12640805

>>12640798
>>>/b/
>>>/a/
>>>/c/
>>>/k/
2
>>>/pol/eddit

>> No.12640811

>>12640805
surprise surprise, the retards a faggot

>> No.12640825

>>12640811
strong words coming from reddit

>> No.12640830

>>12640825
yet another series of stunning nou from out pal faggot

>> No.12640847
File: 11 KB, 480x360, dfw.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
12640847

read a long turned to shit in under one thread. im impressed

>> No.12640853

>>12640830
fascinating reddit, fascinating

>> No.12640857

>>12640853
nice faggot phrase, retard
time to kys

>> No.12640860

>>12640857
time to kys nudditor

>> No.12640863

>>12640860
fascinating faggot, fascinating
>>12640798 (You)
>>>/b/
>>>/a/
>>>/c/
>>>/k/
2
>>>faggit

>> No.12640867

>>12640863
>>>/fa/ggit*
sorry, your retard mighta rubbed off a bit

>> No.12640870

>>12640863
>the redditor doesn't even know /fa/ is a board
yeah ur a real oldfag

>> No.12640871

>>12640870
im trying to forget you /soc/ faggot retard

>> No.12640878

>>12640871
>the redditor begins to digress all of the boards he's posted his dick upon before finding /lit/ last month

>> No.12640882

>>12640878
>>faggot probably wasn't even here when /lit/ launched in 2010
faggot youre retarded.
I was here before the greeks.

>> No.12640885

>>12640882
cringe

>> No.12640889

>>12640885
>cringe
time to go back.

>> No.12640898

>>12640889
big oof there sweaty

>> No.12640901

>>12640898
>sweaty
yeah ur a real faggot, retard

>> No.12640911

>>12640901
okay reddit

>> No.12640918

>>12640911
retarded faggot please. you're embarrassing everyone.

>> No.12640937

>>12640918
no, in fact, you

>> No.12640938

>>12640937
cringe.

>> No.12641103

>>12640703
>phoneposter derailed the thread by insulting the autist and bringing out the defense force

>> No.12641109

Today was David's birthday.

>> No.12641149

>>12635478
Can you expand Autist?

>> No.12641174

>>12641149
Essentially, this is first mentioned in subsection 9 (which we should be up to this week) when David confesses that while he was at Amherst he got suspended for taking part in an elaborate essay-laundering ring run by a bunch of irresponsible frat boys who essentially sold him out the same way he sold himself out to them in order to be accepted by people he didnt even like (this is a true story but not for this reason)

We will come two more significant, and traumatic college events that relate two different characters in subsections 29 and 42 (and to some extent 22) that are all autobiographical in a metaphorical sense

>> No.12641191

>>12641149
Also Obetrol is the drug that Chris Fogle (the novel's true protagonist aside from Stecyck) is in love with.
David was a stimulant addict in real life.

>> No.12641300

>>12640847
/pol/fags ruin everything they touch

>> No.12641748 [DELETED] 

>>12641109
>Foster Wallace all that anger on davids birthday
hopefully today thread gets back on track

>> No.12641757
File: 269 KB, 1223x1240, 1408081998353.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
12641757

>>12641109
>My Foster Wallace all that anger on david's birthday
hopefully today thread gets back on track

>> No.12641831

>>12641109
>>12641174
>>12641191
Time to kys
>>12641300
reddit, pls

>> No.12641851

>>12641831
please go back to r/the_donald, newfriend.

>> No.12641875

>>12641851
>the /pol/edditor desperately tries to fit in anonymously

>> No.12642014

I thought Section 9 was interesting in the way "David Wallace" described the Service's main obfuscation tactic as hiding the truth in plain sight but making it seem incredibly boring, while the actual material he was presenting was in all honesty boring stuff that he was hyping up to sound deeper or more interesting even if not exactly true.
The SSN business. "THIS STORY IS TRUE" and all that. Definitely adds an air of levity that was already there, but brought into clearer focus by DFW's really personal and easy to read written voice.
>>12641757
>>12641109
I hadn't realized reading would be happening on his birthday until a couple days ago, thought it was an interesting coincidence. That, and reading taking place right in the middle of tax season.

>> No.12642127

That chapter with the interviews was great. Especially the one about the play and the one about the dog.

It is such a pity he killed himself, I would love to read what he'd have to say about the current world.

>> No.12642129

David didn't actually work at the IRS, right?

>> No.12642278

>>12642127
Yeah what a shame another rich white privileged retard isn't whining about orangemanbad

>> No.12642457

>>12642129
he did not.
when he refers to "the service" he's mostly talking about his career as a writer.
But in a sense (and this is why the metaphor works, we all work for the IRS in some way or another.

>> No.12642502

>>12641174
Something to note as well:
David's actual writing career began while under "that" suspension.
He wrote a story for his then-girlfriend about some strange, perpetually-circling birds that fly into each other's asses or something along those lines.
Upon his return he would write that one about "Planet Triphalon" (mostly about his depression) which would be published in a school magazine, only adding to his then school-celebrity (his suspension seemed to have gotten some attention itself).

>> No.12642523

>>12642502
I think it was called "The Klang Birds" or something to that effect.
Too tired to pull it up.

>> No.12642607

>>12642457
>>12642502
>>12642523
shut the fuck up and KYS you self-important faggot

>> No.12642617

>>12642502
>>12642523
DFW was never suspended IRL though. He took a few semesters out because of mental health issues and returned, though he has mentioned being paid to write essays for peers in both TPK and TBOTS

>> No.12642686

>>12642617
he was suspended.
the mental-health break thing was a cover-up.
There is no mention of essay laundering in TBOTS.
>>12642607
you're still mad.

>> No.12642704

>>12642617
That also makes no sense...
Did you really read Broom?

>> No.12642717

>>12642617
You're basing this off D.T. Max's biography (I actually know this man), and you should know that he never explicitly states the root for the mental health issue for a reason. The only hint he provides is that his roommate walked in to find him crying in his bed and unwilling to explain. There's a reason.

>> No.12642731

>>12642617
Oh are you referring to Lavache's character?
Because if so, you're sort of on to something (as he is a clear self-insert) but at the same time there's more to the story.

>> No.12642739

>>12642731
Lavache means cow by the way.
He was being milked by his father similarly to how David was by his mother irl.

>> No.12642746

>>12642739
His nickname "the anti-christ" in the novel is a reference to his red-skin, an allusion to David's cystic acne.

>> No.12642862

So, there's a man crawling through the desert.

He'd decided to try his SUV in a little bit of cross-country travel, had great fun zooming over the badlands and through the sand, got lost, hit a big rock, and then he couldn't get it started again. There were no cell phone towers anywhere near, so his cell phone was useless. He had no family, his parents had died a few years before in an auto accident, and his few friends had no idea he was out here.

He stayed with the car for a day or so, but his one bottle of water ran out and he was getting thirsty. He thought maybe he knew the direction back, now that he'd paid attention to the sun and thought he'd figured out which way was north, so he decided to start walking. He figured he only had to go about 30 miles or so and he'd be back to the small town he'd gotten gas in last.

He thinks about walking at night to avoid the heat and sun, but based upon how dark it actually was the night before, and given that he has no flashlight, he's afraid that he'll break a leg or step on a rattlesnake. So, he puts on some sun block, puts the rest in his pocket for reapplication later, brings an umbrella he'd had in the back of the SUV with him to give him a little shade, pours the windshield wiper fluid into his water bottle in case he gets that desperate, brings his pocket knife in case he finds a cactus that looks like it might have water in it, and heads out in the direction he thinks is right.

>> No.12642872

He walks for the entire day. By the end of the day he's really thirsty. He's been sweating all day, and his lips are starting to crack. He's reapplied the sunblock twice, and tried to stay under the umbrella, but he still feels sunburned. The windshield wiper fluid sloshing in the bottle in his pocket is really getting tempting now. He knows that it's mainly water and some ethanol and coloring, but he also knows that they add some kind of poison to it to keep people from drinking it. He wonders what the poison is, and whether the poison would be worse than dying of thirst.

He pushes on, trying to get to that small town before dark.

By the end of the day he starts getting worried. He figures he's been walking at least 3 miles an hour, according to his watch for over 10 hours. That means that if his estimate was right that he should be close to the town. But he doesn't recognize any of this. He had to cross a dry creek bed a mile or two back, and he doesn't remember coming through it in the SUV. He figures that maybe he got his direction off just a little and that the dry creek bed was just off to one side of his path. He tells himself that he's close, and that after dark he'll start seeing the town lights over one of these hills, and that'll be all he needs.

As it gets dim enough that he starts stumbling over small rocks and things, he finds a spot and sits down to wait for full dark and the town lights.

>> No.12642876

Full dark comes before he knows it. He must have dozed off. He stands back up and turns all the way around. He sees nothing but stars.

He wakes up the next morning feeling absolutely lousy. His eyes are gummy and his mouth and nose feel like they're full of sand. He so thirsty that he can't even swallow. He barely got any sleep because it was so cold. He'd forgotten how cold it got at night in the desert and hadn't noticed it the night before because he'd been in his car.

He knows the Rule of Threes - three minutes without air, three days without water, three weeks without food - then you die. Some people can make it a little longer, in the best situations. But the desert heat and having to walk and sweat isn't the best situation to be without water. He figures, unless he finds water, this is his last day.

He rinses his mouth out with a little of the windshield wiper fluid. He waits a while after spitting that little bit out, to see if his mouth goes numb, or he feels dizzy or something. Has his mouth gone numb? Is it just in his mind? He's not sure. He'll go a little farther, and if he still doesn't find water, he'll try drinking some of the fluid.

>> No.12642884

Then he has to face his next, harder question - which way does he go from here? Does he keep walking the same way he was yesterday (assuming that he still knows which way that is), or does he try a new direction? He has no idea what to do.

Looking at the hills and dunes around him, he thinks he knows the direction he was heading before. Just going by a feeling, he points himself somewhat to the left of that, and starts walking.

As he walks, the day starts heating up. The desert, too cold just a couple of hours before, soon becomes an oven again. He sweats a little at first, and then stops. He starts getting worried at that - when you stop sweating he knows that means you're in trouble - usually right before heat stroke.

He decides that it's time to try the windshield wiper fluid. He can't wait any longer - if he passes out, he's dead. He stops in the shade of a large rock, takes the bottle out, opens it, and takes a mouthful. He slowly swallows it, making it last as long as he can. It feels so good in his dry and cracked throat that he doesn't even care about the nasty taste. He takes another mouthful, and makes it last too. Slowly, he drinks half the bottle. He figures that since he's drinking it, he might as well drink enough to make some difference and keep himself from passing out.

>> No.12642892

He's quit worrying about the denaturing of the wiper fluid. If it kills him, it kills him - if he didn't drink it, he'd die anyway. Besides, he's pretty sure that whatever substance they denature the fluid with is just designed to make you sick - their way of keeping winos from buying cheap wiper fluid for the ethanol content. He can handle throwing up, if it comes to that.

He walks. He walks in the hot, dry, windless desert. Sand, rocks, hills, dunes, the occasional scrawny cactus or dried bush. No sign of water. Sometimes he'll see a little movement to one side or the other, but whatever moved is usually gone before he can focus his eyes on it. Probably birds, lizards, or mice. Maybe snakes, though they usually move more at night. He's careful to stay away from the movements.

After a while, he begins to stagger. He's not sure if it's fatigue, heat stroke finally catching him, or maybe he was wrong and the denaturing of the wiper fluid was worse than he thought. He tries to steady himself, and keep going.

>> No.12642896

After more walking, he comes to a large stretch of sand. This is good! He knows he passed over a stretch of sand in the SUV - he remembers doing donuts in it. Or at least he thinks he remembers it - he's getting woozy enough and tired enough that he's not sure what he remembers any more or if he's hallucinating. But he thinks he remembers it. So he heads off into it, trying to get to the other side, hoping that it gets him closer to the town.

He was heading for a town, wasn't he? He thinks he was. He isn't sure any more. He's not even sure how long he's been walking any more. Is it still morning? Or has it moved into afternoon and the sun is going down again? It must be afternoon - it seems like it's been too long since he started out.

He walks through the sand.

After a while, he comes to a big dune in the sand. This is bad. He doesn't remember any dunes when driving over the sand in his SUV. Or at least he doesn't think he remembers any. This is bad.

>> No.12642904

But, he has no other direction to go. Too late to turn back now. He figures that he'll get to the top of the dune and see if he can see anything from there that helps him find the town. He keeps going up the dune.

Halfway up, he slips in the bad footing of the sand for the second or third time, and falls to his knees. He doesn't feel like getting back up - he'll just fall down again. So, he keeps going up the dune on his hand and knees.

While crawling, if his throat weren't so dry, he'd laugh. He's finally gotten to the hackneyed image of a man lost in the desert - crawling through the sand on his hands and knees. It would be the perfect image, he imagines, if only his clothes were more ragged. The people crawling through the desert in the cartoons always had ragged clothes. But his have lasted without any rips so far. Somebody will probably find his dessicated corpse half buried in the sand years from now, and his clothes will still be in fine shape - shake the sand out, and a good wash, and they'd be wearable again. He wishes his throat were wet enough to laugh. He coughs a little instead, and it hurts.

He finally makes it to the top of the sand dune. Now that he's at the top, he struggles a little, but manages to stand up and look around. All he sees is sand. Sand, and more sand. Behind him, about a mile away, he thinks he sees the rocky ground he left to head into this sand. Ahead of him, more dunes, more sand. This isn't where he drove his SUV. This is Hell. Or close enough.

>> No.12642913

Again, he doesn't know what to do. He decides to drink the rest of the wiper fluid while figuring it out. He takes out the bottle, and is removing the cap, when he glances to the side and sees something. Something in the sand. At the bottom of the dune, off to the side, he sees something strange. It's a flat area, in the sand. He stops taking the cap of the bottle off, and tries to look closer. The area seems to be circular. And it's dark - darker than the sand. And, there seems to be something in the middle of it, but he can't tell what it is. He looks as hard as he can, and still can't tell from here. He's going to have to go down there and look.

He puts the bottle back in his pocket, and starts to stumble down the dune. After a few steps, he realizes that he's in trouble - he's not going to be able to keep his balance. After a couple of more sliding, tottering steps, he falls and starts to roll down the dune. The sand it so hot when his body hits it that for a minute he thinks he's caught fire on the way down - like a movie car wreck flashing into flames as it goes over the cliff, before it ever even hits the ground. He closes his eyes and mouth, covers his face with his hands, and waits to stop rolling.

>> No.12642920

He stops, at the bottom of the dune. After a minute or two, he finds enough energy to try to sit up and get the sand out of his face and clothes. When he clears his eyes enough, he looks around to make sure that the dark spot in the sand it still there and he hadn't just imagined it.

So, seeing the large, flat, dark spot on the sand is still there, he begins to crawl towards it. He'd get up and walk towards it, but he doesn't seem to have the energy to get up and walk right now. He must be in the final stages of dehydration he figures, as he crawls. If this place in the sand doesn't have water, he'll likely never make it anywhere else. This is his last chance.

He gets closer and closer, but still can't see what's in the middle of the dark area. His eyes won't quite focus any more for some reason. And lifting his head up to look takes so much effort that he gives up trying. He just keeps crawling.

>> No.12642923

Finally, he reaches the area he'd seen from the dune. It takes him a minute of crawling on it before he realizes that he's no longer on sand - he's now crawling on some kind of dark stone. Stone with some kind of marking on it - a pattern cut into the stone. He's too tired to stand up and try to see what the pattern is - so he just keeps crawling. He crawls towards the center, where his blurry eyes still see something in the middle of the dark stone area.

His mind, detached in a strange way, notes that either his hands and knees are so burnt by the sand that they no longer feel pain, or that this dark stone, in the middle of a burning desert with a pounding, punishing sun overhead, doesn't seem to be hot. It almost feels cool. He considers lying down on the nice cool surface.

Cool, dark stone. Not a good sign. He must be hallucinating this. He's probably in the middle of a patch of sand, already lying face down and dying, and just imagining this whole thing. A desert mirage. Soon the beautiful women carrying pitchers of water will come up and start giving him a drink. Then he'll know he's gone.

>> No.12642932

He decides against laying down on the cool stone. If he's going to die here in the middle of this hallucination, he at least wants to see what's in the center before he goes. He keeps crawling.

It's the third time that he hears the voice before he realizes what he's hearing. He would swear that someone just said, "Greetings, traveler. You do not look well. Do you hear me?"

He stops crawling. He tries to look up from where he is on his hands and knees, but it's too much effort to lift his head. So he tries something different - he leans back and tries to sit up on the stone. After a few seconds, he catches his balance, avoids falling on his face, sits up, and tries to focus his eyes. Blurry. He rubs his eyes with the back of his hands and tries again. Better this time.

Yep. He can see. He's sitting in the middle of a large, flat, dark expanse of stone. Directly next to him, about three feet away, is a white post or pole about two inches in diameter and sticking up about four or five feet out of the stone, at an angle.

>> No.12642936

And wrapped around this white rod, tail with rattle on it hovering and seeming to be ready to start rattling, is what must be a fifteen foot long desert diamondback rattlesnake, looking directly at him.

He stares at the snake in shock. He doesn't have the energy to get up and run away. He doesn't even have the energy to crawl away. This is it, his final resting place. No matter what happens, he's not going to be able to move from this spot.

Well, at least dying of a bite from this monster should be quicker than dying of thirst. He'll face his end like a man. He struggles to sit up a little straighter. The snake keeps watching him. He lifts one hand and waves it in the snake's direction, feebly. The snake watches the hand for a moment, then goes back to watching the man, looking into his eyes.

Hmmm. Maybe the snake had no interest in biting him? It hadn't rattled yet - that was a good sign. Maybe he wasn't going to die of snake bite after all.

He then remembers that he'd looked up when he'd reached the center here because he thought he'd heard a voice. He was still very woozy - he was likely to pass out soon, the sun still beat down on him even though he was now on cool stone. He still didn't have anything to drink. But maybe he had actually heard a voice. This stone didn't look natural. Nor did that white post sticking up out of the stone. Someone had to have built this. Maybe they were still nearby. Maybe that was who talked to him. Maybe this snake was even their pet, and that's why it wasn't biting.

>> No.12642937

He tries to clear his throat to say, "Hello," but his throat is too dry. All that comes out is a coughing or wheezing sound. There is no way he's going to be able to talk without something to drink. He feels his pocket, and the bottle with the wiper fluid is still there. He shakily pulls the bottle out, almost losing his balance and falling on his back in the process. This isn't good. He doesn't have much time left, by his reckoning, before he passes out.

He gets the lid off of the bottle, manages to get the bottle to his lips, and pours some of the fluid into his mouth. He sloshes it around, and then swallows it. He coughs a little. His throat feels better. Maybe he can talk now.

He tries again. Ignoring the snake, he turns to look around him, hoping to spot the owner of this place, and croaks out, "Hello? Is there anyone here?"

He hears, from his side, "Greetings. What is it that you want?"

He turns his head, back towards the snake. That's where the sound had seemed to come from. The only thing he can think of is that there must be a speaker, hidden under the snake, or maybe built into that post. He decides to try asking for help.

"Please," he croaks again, suddenly feeling dizzy, "I'd love to not be thirsty any more. I've been a long time without water. Can you help me?"

>> No.12642943

Looking in the direction of the snake, hoping to see where the voice was coming from this time, he is shocked to see the snake rear back, open its mouth, and speak. He hears it say, as the dizziness overtakes him and he falls forward, face first on the stone, "Very well. Coming up."

A piercing pain shoots through his shoulder. Suddenly he is awake. He sits up and grabs his shoulder, wincing at the throbbing pain. He's momentarily disoriented as he looks around, and then he remembers - the crawl across the sand, the dark area of stone, the snake. He sees the snake, still wrapped around the tilted white post, still looking at him.

He reaches up and feels his shoulder, where it hurts. It feels slightly wet. He pulls his fingers away and looks at them - blood. He feels his shoulder again - his shirt has what feels like two holes in it - two puncture holes - they match up with the two aching spots of pain on his shoulder. He had been bitten. By the snake.

"It'll feel better in a minute." He looks up - it's the snake talking. He hadn't dreamed it. Suddenly he notices - he's not dizzy any more. And more importantly, he's not thirsty any more - at all!

"Have I died? Is this the afterlife? Why are you biting me in the afterlife?"

>> No.12642948

"Sorry about that, but I had to bite you," says the snake. "That's the way I work. It all comes through the bite. Think of it as natural medicine."

"You bit me to help me? Why aren't I thirsty any more? Did you give me a drink before you bit me? How did I drink enough while unconscious to not be thirsty any more? I haven't had a drink for over two days. Well, except for the windshield wiper fluid... hold it, how in the world does a snake talk? Are you real? Are you some sort of Disney animation?"

"No," says the snake, "I'm real. As real as you or anyone is, anyway. I didn't give you a drink. I bit you. That's how it works - it's what I do. I bite. I don't have hands to give you a drink, even if I had water just sitting around here."

The man sat stunned for a minute. Here he was, sitting in the middle of the desert on some strange stone that should be hot but wasn't, talking to a snake that could talk back and had just bitten him. And he felt better. Not great - he was still starving and exhausted, but much better - he was no longer thirsty. He had started to sweat again, but only slightly. He felt hot, in this sun, but it was starting to get lower in the sky, and the cool stone beneath him was a relief he could notice now that he was no longer dying of thirst.

>> No.12642955

"I might suggest that we take care of that methanol you now have in your system with the next request," continued the snake. "I can guess why you drank it, but I'm not sure how much you drank, or how much methanol was left in the wiper fluid. That stuff is nasty. It'll make you go blind in a day or two, if you drank enough of it."

"Ummm, n-next request?" said the man. He put his hand back on his hurting shoulder and backed away from the snake a little.

"That's the way it works. If you like, that is," explained the snake. "You get three requests. Call them wishes, if you wish." The snake grinned at his own joke, and the man drew back a little further from the show of fangs.

"But there are rules," the snake continued. "The first request is free. The second requires an agreement of secrecy. The third requires the binding of responsibility." The snake looks at the man seriously.

"By the way," the snake says suddenly, "my name is Nathan. Old Nathan, Samuel used to call me. He gave me the name. Before that, most of the Bound used to just call me 'Snake'. But that got old, and Samuel wouldn't stand for it. He said that anything that could talk needed a name. He was big into names. You can call me Nate, if you wish." Again, the snake grinned. "Sorry if I don't offer to shake, but I think you can understand - my shake sounds somewhat threatening." The snake give his rattle a little shake.

>> No.12642963

Umm, my name is Jack," said the man, trying to absorb all of this. "Jack Samson."

"Can I ask you a question?" Jack says suddenly. "What happened to the poison...umm, in your bite. Why aren't I dying now? How did you do that? What do you mean by that's how you work?"

"That's more than one question," grins Nate. "But I'll still try to answer all of them. First, yes, you can ask me a question." The snake's grin gets wider. "Second, the poison is in you. It changed you. You now no longer need to drink. That's what you asked for. Or, well, technically, you asked to not be thirsty any more - but 'any more' is such a vague term. I decided to make it permanent - now, as long as you live, you shouldn't need to drink much at all. Your body will conserve water very efficiently. You should be able to get enough just from the food you eat - much like a creature of the desert. You've been changed.

"For the third question," Nate continues, "you are still dying. Besides the effects of that methanol in your system, you're a man - and men are mortal. In your current state, I give you no more than about another 50 years. Assuming you get out of this desert, alive, that is." Nate seemed vastly amused at his own humor, and continued his wide grin.

"As for the fourth question," Nate said, looking more serious as far as Jack could tell, as Jack was just now working on his ability to read talking-snake emotions from snake facial features, "first you have to agree to make a second request and become bound by the secrecy, or I can't tell you."

>> No.12642969

Wait," joked Jack, "isn't this where you say you could tell me, but you'd have to kill me?"

"I thought that was implied." Nate continued to look serious.

"Ummm...yeah." Jack leaned back a little as he remembered again that he was talking to a fifteen foot poisonous reptile with a reputation for having a nasty temper. "So, what is this 'Bound by Secrecy' stuff, and can you really stop the effects of the methanol?" Jack thought for a second. "And, what do you mean methanol, anyway? I thought these days they use ethanol in wiper fluid, and just denature it?"

"They may, I don't really know," said Nate. "I haven't gotten out in a while. Maybe they do. All I know is that I smell methanol on your breath and on that bottle in your pocket. And the blue color of the liquid when you pulled it out to drink some let me guess that it was wiper fluid. I assume that they still color wiper fluid blue?"

"Yeah, they do," said Jack.

"I figured," replied Nate. "As for being bound by secrecy - with the fulfillment of your next request, you will be bound to say nothing about me, this place, or any of the information I will tell you after that, when you decide to go back out to your kind. You won't be allowed to talk about me, write about me, use sign language, charades, or even act in a way that will lead someone to guess correctly about me. You'll be bound to secrecy. Of course, I'll also ask you to promise not to give me away, and as I'm guessing that you're a man of your word, you'll never test the binding anyway, so you won't notice." Nate said the last part with utter confidence.

>> No.12642980

Jack, who had always prided himself on being a man of his word, felt a little nervous at this. "Ummm, hey, Nate, who are you? How did you know that? Are you, umm, omniscient, or something?"

Well, Jack," said Nate sadly, "I can't tell you that, unless you make the second request." Nate looked away for a minute, then looked back.

"Umm, well, ok," said Jack, "what is this about a second request? What can I ask for? Are you allowed to tell me that?"

"Sure!" said Nate, brightening. "You're allowed to ask for changes. Changes to yourself. They're like wishes, but they can only affect you. Oh, and before you ask, I can't give you immortality. Or omniscience. Or omnipresence, for that matter. Though I might be able to make you gaseous and yet remain alive, and then you could spread through the atmosphere and sort of be omnipresent. But what good would that be - you still wouldn't be omniscient and thus still could only focus on one thing at a time. Not very useful, at least in my opinion." Nate stopped when he realized that Jack was staring at him.

"Well, anyway," continued Nate, "I'd probably suggest giving you permanent good health. It would negate the methanol now in your system, you'd be immune to most poisons and diseases, and you'd tend to live a very long time, barring accident, of course. And you'll even have a tendency to recover from accidents well. It always seemed like a good choice for a request to me."

>> No.12642993

Cure the methanol poisoning, huh?" said Jack. "And keep me healthy for a long time? Hmmm. It doesn't sound bad at that. And it has to be a request about a change to me? I can't ask to be rich, right? Because that's not really a change to me?"

"Right," nodded Nate.

"Could I ask to be a genius and permanently healthy?" Jack asked, hopefully.

"That takes two requests, Jack."

"Yeah, I figured so," said Jack. "But I could ask to be a genius? I could become the smartest scientist in the world? Or the best athlete?"

"Well, I could make you very smart," admitted Nate, "but that wouldn't necessarily make you the best scientist in the world. Or, I could make you very athletic, but it wouldn't necessarily make you the best athlete either. You've heard the saying that 99% of genius is hard work? Well, there's some truth to that. I can give you the talent, but I can't make you work hard. It all depends on what you decide to do with it."

"Hmmm," said Jack. "Ok, I think I understand. And I get a third request, after this one?"

"Maybe," said Nate, "it depends on what you decide then. There are more rules for the third request that I can only tell you about after the second request. You know how it goes." Nate looked like he'd shrug, if he had shoulders.

>> No.12642997

Ok, well, since I'd rather not be blind in a day or two, and permanent health doesn't sound bad, then consider that my second request. Officially. Do I need to sign in blood or something?"

"No," said Nate. "Just hold out your hand. Or heel." Nate grinned. "Or whatever part you want me to bite. I have to bite you again. Like I said, that's how it works - the poison, you know," Nate said apologetically.

Jack winced a little and felt his shoulder, where the last bite was. Hey, it didn't hurt any more. Just like Nate had said. That made Jack feel better about the biting business. But still, standing still while a fifteen foot snake sunk it's fangs into you. Jack stood up. Ignoring how good it felt to be able to stand again, and the hunger starting to gnaw at his stomach, Jack tried to decide where he wanted to get bitten. Despite knowing that it wouldn't hurt for long, Jack knew that this wasn't going to be easy.

"Hey, Jack," Nate suddenly said, looking past Jack towards the dunes behind him, "is that someone else coming up over there?"

Jack spun around and looked. Who else could be out here in the middle of nowhere? And did they bring food?

Wait a minute, there was nobody over there. What was Nate...

Jack let out a bellow as he felt two fangs sink into his rear end, through his jeans...

Jack sat down carefully, favoring his more tender buttock. "I would have decided, eventually, Nate. I was just thinking about it. You didn't have to hoodwink me like that."

"I've been doing this a long time, Jack," said Nate, confidently. "You humans have a hard time sitting still and letting a snake bite you - especially one my size. And besides, admit it - it's only been a couple of minutes and it already doesn't hurt any more, does it? That's because of the health benefit with this one. I told you that you'd heal quickly now."

>> No.12643005

I'll finish the story later, and post it in the next thread along with raping suzy and continue like this. Thanks tripfriend

>> No.12643065

Wtf

>> No.12643238

I feel like a week may well have been too long per section, but to be fair I stole the schedule's pacing off a DFW fansite. They probably have a lot more to say discussion-wise. I'm going to stick to the schedule as posted for its entirety, but I'll definitely take a closer look at pacing if I try to do another group read on /lit/

>> No.12643363

>>12643238
I'm not convinced that /lit/ will be able to stick to the schedule, but you got /lit/ to talk about a book, so good job.

>> No.12643411

>>12643363
In all fairness I'm halfway done with the book already; I enjoy it enough that I'm reading it whenever I have time.
But I'll have things to say about what I've read when the time comes to talk about the sections they're in.
This whole thing was just kind of an experiment to see it was feasible, and I expected trolling and derailment, but there's at least been some pretty interesting discussion so far.

>> No.12643497

Yeah, well, still," said Jack, "it's the principle of the thing. And nobody likes being bitten in the butt! Couldn't you have gotten my calf or something instead?"

"More meat in the typical human butt," replied Nate. "And less chance you accidentally kick me or move at the last second."

"Yeah, right. So, tell me all of these wonderful secrets that I now qualify to hear," answered Jack.

"Ok," said Nate. "Do you want to ask questions first, or do you want me to just start talking?"

"Just talk," said Jack. "I'll sit here and try to not think about food."

"We could go try to rustle up some food for you first, if you like," answered Nate.

"Hey! You didn't tell me you had food around here, Nate!" Jack jumped up. "What do we have? Am I in walking distance to town? Or can you magically whip up food along with your other powers?" Jack was almost shouting with excitement. His stomach had been growling for hours.

"I was thinking more like I could flush something out of its hole and bite it for you, and you could skin it and eat it. Assuming you have a knife, that is," replied Nate, with the grin that Jack was starting to get used to.

>> No.12643506

"Ugh," said Jack, sitting back down. "I think I'll pass. I can last a little longer before I get desperate enough to eat desert rat, or whatever else it is you find out here. And there's nothing to burn - I'd have to eat it raw. No thanks. Just talk."

"Ok," replied Nate, still grinning. "But I'd better hurry, before you start looking at me as food.

Nate reared back a little, looked around for a second, and then continued. "You, Jack, are sitting in the middle of the Garden of Eden."

Jack looked around at the sand and dunes and then looked back at Nate sceptically.

"Well, that's the best I can figure it, anyway, Jack," said Nate. "Stand up and look at the symbol on the rock here." Nate gestured around the dark stone they were both sitting on with his nose.

Jack stood up and looked. Carved into the stone in a bas-relief was a representation of a large tree. The angled-pole that Nate was wrapped around was coming out of the trunk of the tree, right below where the main branches left the trunk to reach out across the stone. It was very well done - it looked more like a tree had been reduced to almost two dimensions and embedded in the stone than it did like a carving.

>> No.12643511

Jack walked around and looked at the details in the fading light of the setting sun. He wished he'd looked at it while the sun was higher in the sky.

Wait! The sun was setting! That meant he was going to have to spend another night out here! Arrrgh!

Jack looked out across the desert for a little bit, and then came back and stood next to Nate. "In all the excitement, I almost forgot, Nate," said Jack. "Which way is it back to town? And how far? I'm eventually going to have to head back - I'm not sure I'll be able to survive by eating raw desert critters for long. And even if I can, I'm not sure I'll want to."

"It's about 30 miles that way." Nate pointed, with the rattle on his tail this time. As far as Jack could tell, it was a direction at right angles to the way he'd been going when he was crawling here. "But that's 30 miles by the way the crow flies. It's about 40 by the way a man walks. You should be able to do it in about half a day with your improved endurance, if you head out early tomorrow, Jack."

Jack looked out the way the snake had pointed for a few seconds more, and then sat back down. It was getting dark. Not much he could do about heading out right now. And besides, Nate was just about to get to the interesting stuff. "Garden of Eden? As best as you can figure it?"

>> No.12643532

Well, yeah, as best as I and Samuel could figure it anyway," said Nate. "He figured that the story just got a little mixed up. You know, snake, in a 'tree', offering 'temptations', making bargains. That kind stuff. But he could never quite figure out how the Hebrews found out about this spot from across the ocean. He worried about that for a while."

"Garden of Eden, hunh?" said Jack. "How long have you been here, Nate?"

"No idea, really," replied Nate. "A long time. It never occurred to me to count years, until recently, and by then, of course, it was too late. But I do remember when this whole place was green, so I figure it's been thousands of years, at least."

"So, are you the snake that tempted Eve?" said Jack.

"Beats me," said Nate. "Maybe. I can't remember if the first one of your kind that I talked to was female or not, and I never got a name, but it could have been. And I suppose she could have considered my offer to grant requests a 'temptation', though I've rarely had refusals."

>> No.12643541

"Well, umm, how did you get here then? And why is that white pole stuck out of the stone there?" asked Jack.

"Dad left me here. Or, I assume it was my dad. It was another snake - much bigger than I was back then. I remember talking to him, but I don't remember if it was in a language, or just kind of understanding what he wanted. But one day, he brought me to this stone, told me about it, and asked me to do something for him. I talked it over with him for a while, then agreed. I've been here ever since.

"What is this place?" said Jack. "And what did he ask you to do?"

"Well, you see this pole here, sticking out of the stone?" Nate loosened his coils around the tilted white pole and showed Jack where it descended into the stone. The pole was tilted at about a 45 degree angle and seemed to enter the stone in an eighteen inch slot cut into the stone. Jack leaned over and looked. The slot was dark and the pole went down into it as far as Jack could see in the dim light. Jack reached out to touch the pole, but Nate was suddenly there in the way.

"You can't touch that yet, Jack," said Nate.

"Why not?" asked Jack.

"I haven't explained it to you yet," replied Nate.

"Well, it kinda looks like a lever or something," said Jack. "You'd push it that way, and it would move in the slot."

"Yep, that's what it is," replied Nate.

>> No.12643545

"What does it do?" asked Jack. "End the world?"

"Oh, no," said Nate. "Nothing that drastic. It just ends humanity. I call it 'The Lever of Doom'." For the last few words Nate had used a deeper, ringing voice. He tried to look serious for a few seconds, and then gave up and grinned.

Jack was initially startled by Nate's pronouncement, but when Nate grinned Jack laughed. "Ha! You almost had me fooled for a second there. What does it really do?"

"Oh, it really ends humanity, like I said," smirked Nate. "I just thought the voice I used was funny, didn't you?"

Nate continued to grin.

"A lever to end humanity?" asked Jack. "What in the world is that for? Why would anyone need to end humanity?"

"Well," replied Nate, "I get the idea that maybe humanity was an experiment. Or maybe the Big Guy just thought, that if humanity started going really bad, there should be a way to end it. I'm not really sure. All I know are the rules, and the guesses that Samuel and I had about why it's here. I didn't think to ask back when I started here."

"Rules? What rules?" asked Jack.

"The rules are that I can't tell anybody about it or let them touch it unless they agree to be bound to secrecy by a bite. And that only one human can be bound in that way at a time. That's it." explained Nate.

>> No.12643803

What’s the purpose of the story poster? Is it a troll? Is it funny?

>> No.12643881

Spoiler Alert: "better Nate than Lever." Also, leave it to "David Foster Autist" to salt the earth in a Pale King discussion thread.

>> No.12643962

>>12643545
I'm so confused as to what this is. When I google it it seems to be some old-school meme

>> No.12643968

>>12643881
More like leave it to that /pol/fag. Autist may contribute a bit too much but what he posts is usually pretty helpful. If anything he's keeping this thing afloat. Although idk what the fuck was the point of the story

>> No.12643972

It wasn’t the autist, it was you, the story poster

>> No.12644370

Jack looked somewhat shocked. "You mean that I could pull the lever now? You'd let me end humanity?"

"Yep," replied Nate, "if you want to." Nate looked at Jack carefully. "Do you want to, Jack?"

"Umm, no." said Jack, stepping a little further back from the lever. "Why in the world would anyone want to end humanity? It'd take a psychotic to want that! Or worse, a suicidal psychotic, because it would kill him too, wouldn't it?"

"Yep," replied Nate, "being as he'd be human too."

"Has anyone ever seriously considered it?" asked Jack. "Any of those bound to secrecy, that is?"

"Well, of course, I think they've all seriously considered it at one time or another. Being given that kind of responsibility makes you sit down and think, or so I'm told. Samuel considered it several times. He'd often get disgusted with humanity, come out here, and just hold the lever for a while. But he never pulled it. Or you wouldn't be here." Nate grinned some more.

Jack sat down, well back from the lever. He looked thoughtful and puzzled at the same time. After a bit, he said, "So this makes me the Judge of humanity? I get to decide whether they keep going or just end? Me?"

>> No.12644380

"That seems to be it," agreed Nate.

"What kind of criteria do I use to decide?" said Jack. "How do I make this decision? Am I supposed to decide if they're good? Or too many of them are bad? Or that they're going the wrong way? Is there a set of rules for that?"

"Nope," replied Nate. "You pretty much just have to decide on your own. It's up to you, however you want to decide it. I guess that you're just supposed to know."

"But what if I get mad at someone? Or some girl dumps me and I feel horrible? Couldn't I make a mistake? How do I know that I won't screw up?" protested Jack.

Nate gave his kind of snake-like shrug again. "You don't. You just have to try your best, Jack."

Jack sat there for a while, staring off into the desert that was rapidly getting dark, chewing on a fingernail.

>> No.12644390

Suddenly, Jack turned around and looked at the snake. "Nate, was Samuel the one bound to this before me?"

"Yep," replied Nate. "He was a good guy. Talked to me a lot. Taught me to read and brought me books. I think I still have a good pile of them buried in the sand around here somewhere. I still miss him. He died a few months ago."

"Sounds like a good guy," agreed Jack. "How did he handle this, when you first told him. What did he do?"

"Well," said Nate, "he sat down for a while, thought about it for a bit, and then asked me some questions, much like you're doing."

"What did he ask you, if you're allowed to tell me?" asked Jack.

"He asked me about the third request," replied Nate.

"Aha!" It was Jack's turn to grin. "And what did you tell him?"

"I told him the rules for the third request. That to get the third request you have to agree to this whole thing. That if it ever comes to the point that you really think that humanity should be ended, that you'll come here and end it. You won't avoid it, and you won't wimp out." Nate looked serious again. "And you'll be bound to do it too, Jack."

>> No.12644397

"Hmmm." Jack looked back out into the darkness for a while.

Nate watched him, waiting.

"Nate," continued Jack, quietly, eventually. "What did Samuel ask for with his third request?"

Nate sounded like he was grinning again as he replied, also quietly, "Wisdom, Jack. He asked for wisdom. As much as I could give him."

"Ok," said Jack, suddenly, standing up and facing away from Nate, "give it to me.

Nate looked at Jack's backside. "Give you what, Jack?"

"Give me that wisdom. The same stuff that Samuel asked for. If it helped him, maybe it'll help me too." Jack turned his head to look back over his shoulder at Nate. "It did help him, right?"

"He said it did," replied Nate. "But he seemed a little quieter afterward. Like he had a lot to think about."

"Well, yeah, I can see that," said Jack. "So, give it to me." Jack turned to face away from Nate again, bent over slightly and tensed up.

>> No.12644407

Nate watched Jack tense up with a little exasperation. If he bit Jack now, Jack would likely jump out of his skin and maybe hurt them both.

"You remember that you'll be bound to destroy humanity if it ever looks like it needs it, right Jack?" asked Nate, shifting position.

"Yeah, yeah, I got that," replied Jack, eyes squeezed tightly shut and body tense, not noticing the change in direction of Nate's voice.

"And," continued Nate, from his new position, "do you remember that you'll turn bright purple, and grow big horns and extra eyes?"

"Yeah, yeah...Hey, wait a minute!" said Jack, opening his eyes, straightening up and turning around. "Purple?!" He didn't see Nate there. With the moonlight Jack could see that the lever extended up from its slot in the rock without the snake wrapped around it.

Jack heard, from behind him, Nate's "Just Kidding!" right before he felt the now familiar piercing pain, this time in the other buttock

>> No.12644413

Jack sat on the edge of the dark stone in the rapidly cooling air, his feet extending out into the sand. He stared out into the darkness, listening to the wind stir the sand, occasionally rubbing his butt where he'd been recently bitten.

Nate had left for a little while, had come back with a desert-rodent-shaped bulge somewhere in his middle, and was now wrapped back around the lever, his tongue flicking out into the desert night's air the only sign that he was still awake.

Occasionally Jack, with his toes absentmindedly digging in the sand while he thought, would ask Nate a question without turning around.

"Nate, do accidents count?"

Nate lifted his head a little bit. "What do you mean, Jack?"

Jack tilted his head back like he was looking at the stars. "You know, accidents. If I accidentally fall on the lever, without meaning to, does that still wipe out humanity?"

>> No.12644424

Yeah, I'm pretty sure it does, Jack. I'd suggest you be careful about that if you start feeling wobbly," said Nate with some amusement.

A little later - "Does it have to be me that pulls the lever?" asked Jack.

"That's the rule, Jack. Nobody else can pull it," answered Nate.

"No," Jack shook his head, "I meant does it have to be my hand? Could I pull the lever with a rope tied around it? Or push it with a stick? Or throw a rock?"

"Yes, those should work," replied Nate. "Though I'm not sure how complicated you could get. Samuel thought about trying to build some kind of remote control for it once, but gave it up. Everything he'd build would be gone by the next sunrise, if it was touching the stone, or over it. I told him that in the past others that had been bound had tried to bury the lever so they wouldn't be tempted to pull it, but every time the stones or sand or whatever had disappeared."

"Wow," said Jack, "Cool." Jack leaned back until only his elbows kept him off of the stone and looked up into the sky.

"Nate, how long did Samuel live? One of his wishes was for health too, right?" asked Jack.

>> No.12644432

Yes," replied Nate, "it was. He lived 167 years, Jack."

"Wow, 167 years. That's almost 140 more years I'll live if I live as long. Do you know what he died of, Nate?"

"He died of getting tired of living, Jack," Nate said, sounding somewhat sad.

Jack turned his head to look at Nate in the starlight.

Nate looked back. "Samuel knew he wasn't going to be able to stay in society. He figured that they'd eventually see him still alive and start questioning it, so he decided that he'd have to disappear after a while. He faked his death once, but changed his mind - he decided it was too early and he could stay for a little longer. He wasn't very fond of mankind, but he liked the attention. Most of the time, anyway.

"His daughter and then his wife dying almost did him in though. He didn't stay in society much longer after that. He eventually came out here to spend time talking to me and thinking about pulling the lever. A few months ago he told me he'd had enough. It was his time."

>> No.12644434

>>12643968
>m-muh /bol/
>STILL sucks tripnigger cock
Only an NPC would be this triggered by being called an NPC, NPC.

>> No.12644441

"And then he just died?" asked Jack.

Nate shook his head a little. "He made his forth request, Jack. There's only one thing you can ask for the fourth request. The last bite.

After a bit Nate continued, "He told me that he was tired, that it was his time. He reassured me that someone new would show up soon, like they always had.

After another pause, Nate finished, "Samuel's body disappeared off the stone with the sunrise."

Jack lay back down and looked at the sky, leaving Nate alone with his memories. It was a long time until Jack's breathing evened out into sleep.

Jack woke with the sunrise the next morning. He was a little chilled with the morning desert air, but overall was feeling pretty good. Well, except that his stomach was grumbling and he wasn't willing to eat raw desert rat.

>> No.12644455

So, after getting directions to town from Nate, making sure he knew how to get back, and reassuring Nate that he'd be back soon, Jack started the long walk back to town. With his new health and Nate's good directions, he made it back easily.

Jack caught a bus back to the city, and showed up for work the next day, little worse for the wear and with a story about getting lost in the desert and walking back out. Within a couple of days Jack had talked a friend with a tow truck into going back out into the desert with him to fetch the SUV. They found it after a couple of hours of searching and towed it back without incident. Jack was careful not to even look in the direction of Nate's lever, though their path back didn't come within sight of it.

Before the next weekend, Jack had gone to a couple of stores, including a book store, and had gotten his SUV back from the mechanic, with a warning to avoid any more joyriding in the desert. On Saturday, Jack headed back to see Nate.

>> No.12644460

Jack parked a little way out of the small town near Nate, loaded up his new backpack with camping gear and the things he was bringing for Nate, and then started walking. He figured that walking would leave the least trail, and he knew that while not many people camped in the desert, it wasn't unheard of, and shouldn't really raise suspicions.

Jack had brought more books for Nate - recent books, magazines, newspapers. Some things that would catch Nate up with what was happening in the world, others that were just good books to read. He spent the weekend with Nate, and then headed out again, telling Nate that he'd be back again soon, but that he had things to do first.

Over four months later Jack was back to see Nate again. This time he brought a laptop with him - a specially modified laptop. It had a solar recharger, special filters and seals to keep out the sand, a satellite link-up, and a special keyboard and joystick that Jack hoped that a fifteen-foot rattlesnake would be able to use. And, it had been hacked to not give out its location to the satellite.

After that Jack could e-mail Nate to keep in touch, but still visited him fairly regularly - at least once or twice a year.

>> No.12644471

After the first year, Jack quit his job. For some reason, with the wisdom he'd been given, and the knowledge that he could live for over 150 years, working in a nine to five job for someone else didn't seem that worthwhile any more. Jack went back to school.

Eventually, Jack started writing. Perhaps because of the wisdom, or perhaps because of his new perspective, he wrote well. People liked what he wrote, and he became well known for it. After a time, Jack bought an RV and started traveling around the country for book signings and readings.

But, he still remembered to drop by and visit Nate occasionally.

On one of the visits Nate seemed quieter than usual. Not that Nate had been a fountain of joy lately. Jack's best guess was that Nate was still missing Samuel, and though Jack had tried, he still hadn't been able to replace Samuel in Nate's eyes. Nate had been getting quieter each visit. But on this visit Nate didn't even speak when Jack walked up to the lever. He nodded at Jack, and then went back to staring into the desert. Jack, respecting Nate's silence, sat down and waited.

>> No.12644477

After a few minutes, Nate spoke. "Jack, I have someone to introduce you to."

Jack looked surprised. "Someone to introduce me to?" Jack looked around, and then looked carefully back at Nate. "This something to do with the Big Guy?

"No, no," replied Nate. "This is more personal. I want you to meet my son." Nate looked over at the nearest sand dune. "Sammy!"

Jack watched as a four foot long desert rattlesnake crawled from behind the dune and up to the stone base of the lever.

"Yo, Jack," said the new, much smaller snake.

"Yo, Sammy" replied Jack. Jack looked at Nate. "Named after Samuel, I assume?"

Nate nodded. "Jack, I've got a favor to ask you. Could you show Sammy around for me?" Nate unwrapped himself from the lever and slithered over to the edge of the stone and looked across the sands. "When Samuel first told me about the world, and brought me books and pictures, I wished that I could go see it. I wanted to see the great forests, the canyons, the cities, even the other deserts, to see if they felt and smelled the same. I want my son to have that chance - to see the world. Before he becomes bound here like I have been.

>> No.12644482

He's seen it in pictures, over the computer that you brought me. But I hear that it's not the same. That being there is different. I want him to have that. Think you can do that for me, Jack?"

Jack nodded. This was obviously very important to Nate, so Jack didn't even joke about taking a talking rattlesnake out to see the world. "Yeah, I can do that for you, Nate. Is that all you need?" Jack could sense that was something more.

Nate looked at Sammy. Sammy looked back at Nate for a second and then said, "Oh, yeah. Ummm, I've gotta go pack. Back in a little bit Jack. Nice to meet ya!" Sammy slithered back over the dune and out of sight.

Nate watched Sammy disappear and then looked back at Jack. "Jack, this is my first son. My first offspring through all the years. You don't even want to know what it took for me to find a mate." Nate grinned to himself. "But anyway, I had a son for a reason. I'm tired. I'm ready for it to be over. I needed a replacement."

Jack considered this for a minute. "So, you're ready to come see the world, and you wanted him to watch the lever while you were gone?"

Nate shook his head. "No, Jack - you're a better guesser than that. You've already figured out - I'm bound here - there's only one way for me to leave here. And I'm ready. It's my time to die."

>> No.12644501

Jack looked more closely at Nate. He could tell Nate had thought about this - probably for quite a while. Jack had trouble imagining what it would be like to be as old as Nate, but Jack could already tell that in another hundred or two hundred years, he might be getting tired of life himself. Jack could understand Samuel's decision, and now Nate's. So, all Jack said was, "What do you want me to do?"

Nate nodded. "Thanks, Jack. I only want two things. One - show Sammy around the world - let him get his fill of it, until he's ready to come back here and take over. Two - give me the fourth request.

"I can't just decide to die, not any more than you can. I won't even die of old age like you eventually will, even though it'll be a long time from now. I need to be killed. Once Sammy is back here, ready to take over, I'll be able to die. And I need you to kill me.

"I've even thought about how. Poisons and other drugs won't work on me. And I've seen pictures of snakes that were shot - some of them live for days, so that's out too. So, I want you to bring back a sword.

>> No.12644504

Nate turned away to look back to the dune that Sammy had gone behind. "I'd say an axe, but that's somewhat undignified - putting my head on the ground or a chopping block like that. No, I like a sword. A time-honored way of going out. A dignified way to die. And, most importantly, it should work, even on me.

"You willing to do that for me, Jack?" Nate turned back to look at Jack.

"Yeah, Nate," replied Jack solemnly, "I think I can handle that."

Nate nodded. "Good!" He turned back toward the dune and shouted, "Sammy! Jack's about ready to leave!" Then quietly, "Thanks, Jack."

Jack didn't have anything to say to that, so he waited for Sammy to make it back to the lever, nodded to him, nodded a final time to Nate, and then headed into the desert with Sammy following.

>> No.12644509

Over the next several years Sammy and Jack kept in touch with Nate through e-mail as they went about their adventures. They made a goal of visiting every country in the world, and did a respectable job of it. Sammy had a natural gift for languages, as Jack expected he would, and even ended up acting as a translator for Jack in a few of the countries. Jack managed to keep the talking rattlesnake hidden, even so, and by the time they were nearing the end of their tour of countries, Sammy had only been spotted a few times. While there were several people that had seen enough to startle them greatly, nobody had enough evidence to prove anything, and while a few wild rumors and stories followed Jack and Sammy around, nothing ever hit the newspapers or the public in general.

When they finished the tour of countries, Jack suggested that they try some undersea diving. They did. And spelunking. They did that too. Sammy finally drew the line at visiting Antarctica. He'd come to realize that Jack was stalling. After talking to his Dad about it over e-mail, he figured out that Jack probably didn't want to have to kill Nate. Nate told Sammy that humans could be squeamish about killing friends and acquaintances.

>> No.12644515

So, Sammy eventually put his tail down (as he didn't have a foot) and told Jack that it was time - he was ready to go back and take up his duties from his dad. Jack, delayed it a little more by insisting that they go back to Japan and buy an appropriate sword. He even stretched it a little more by getting lessons in how to use the sword. But, eventually, he'd learned as much as he was likely to without dedicating his life to it, and was definitely competent enough to take the head off of a snake. It was time to head back and see Nate.

When they got back to the US, Jack got the old RV out of storage where he and Sammy had left it after their tour of the fifty states, he loaded up Sammy and the sword, and they headed for the desert.

When they got to the small town that Jack had been trying to find those years ago when he'd met Nate, Jack was in a funk. He didn't really feel like walking all of the way out there. Not only that, but he'd forgotten to figure the travel time correctly, and it was late afternoon. They'd either have to spend the night in town and walk out tomorrow, or walk in the dark.

>> No.12644546

As Jack was afraid that if he waited one more night he might lose his resolve, he decided that he'd go ahead and drive the RV out there. It was only going to be this once, and Jack would go back and cover the tracks afterward. They ought to be able to make it out there by nightfall if they drove, and then they could get it over tonight.

Jack told Sammy to e-mail Nate that they were coming as he drove out of sight of the town on the road. They then pulled off the road and headed out into the desert.

Everything went well, until they got to the sand dunes. Jack had been nursing the RV along the whole time, over the rocks, through the creek beds, revving the engine the few times they almost got stuck. When they came to the dunes, Jack didn't really think about it, he just downshifted and headed up the first one. By the third dune, Jack started to regret that he'd decided to try driving on the sand. The RV was fishtailling and losing traction. Jack was having to work it up each dune slowly and was trying to keep from losing control each time they came over the top and slid down the other side. Sammy had come up to sit in the passenger seat, coiled up and laughing at Jack's driving.

As they came over the top of the fourth dune, the biggest one yet, Jack saw that this was the final dune - the stone, the lever, and somewhere Nate, waited below. Jack put on the brakes, but he'd gone a little too far. The RV started slipping down the other side

>> No.12644558

Jack tried turning the wheel, but he didn't have enough traction. He pumped the brakes - no response. They started sliding down the hill, faster and faster.

Jack felt a shock go through him as he suddenly realized that they were heading for the lever. He looked down - the RV was directly on course for it. If Jack didn't do something, the RV would hit it. He was about to end humanity.

Jack steered more frantically, trying to get traction. It still wasn't working. The dune was too steep, and the sand too loose. In a split second, Jack realized that his only chance would be once he hit the stone around the lever - he should have traction on the stone for just a second before he hit the lever - he wouldn't have time to stop, but he should be able to steer away.

Jack took a better grip on the steering wheel and tried to turn the RV a little bit - every little bit would help. He'd have to time his turn just right.

>> No.12644566

The RV got to the bottom of the dune, sliding at an amazing speed in the sand. Just before they reached the stone Jack looked across it to check that they were still heading for the lever. They were. But Jack noticed something else that he hadn't seen from the top of the dune. Nate wasn't wrapped around the lever. He was off to the side of the lever, but still on the stone, waiting for them. The problem was, he was waiting on the same side of the lever that Jack had picked to steer towards to avoid the lever. The RV was already starting to drift that way a little in its mad rush across the sand and there was no way that Jack was going to be able to go around the lever to the other side.

Jack had an instant of realization. He was either going to have to hit the lever, or run over Nate. He glanced over at Sammy and saw that Sammy realized the same thing.

Jack took a firmer grip on the steering wheel as the RV ran up on the stone. Shouting to Sammy as he pulled the steering wheel, "Better Nate than lever!", he ran over the snake.

THE END

>> No.12645254

Hey Ron and everyone else reading the book: people gave me shit for talking about ONE scene ahead of schedule, and are sucking this tripfag's dick for doing far worse. Stop sucking some self-important tripfag's cock, or I will do this for 6 weeks.

>> No.12645838

>>12645254
Jelly pseud. The autist was requested based on a series of posts he made on the topic two years ago.
He has demonstrated knowledge and only exists in these threads you’re just a fag

>> No.12645849

>>12645254
The autist was requested based on a series of posts he made 2 years ago on the topic.
He has demonstrated knowledge and only exists in these threads
You are just a pseud jelly fag

>> No.12645856

>>12645254
The autist’s presence was requested based on a series of posts he made two years ago on this topic.
He has demonstrated knowledge and only exists in these threads.
You area jealous pseud and fag

>> No.12645878

>>12645838
>>12645849
>>12645856
Okay meta-redditbot

>> No.12646072

>>12642014
good to see you back ronald glad we're finally getting into the politics of dullness
>in all honesty boring stuff that he was hyping up to sound deeper or more interesting even if not exactly true
do you think this is not intentional irony expanding on his comments about his hatred for authors using their their storys/characters in order to demonstrate how intelligent the author is but instead making intentionally banal points to see how willing we are as readers to blindly take the authors word as insightful or gospel in the way people did IJ?

>> No.12646185

>>12645254
>>12644566
>>12644558
>>12644546
>>12644515
>>12644509
>>12644504
>>12644501
>>12644482
>>12644477
>>12644471
>>12644460
>>12644455
>>12644441
>>12644432
>>12644424
>>12644413
>>12644407
>>12644397
>>12644390
>>12644380
>>12644370
>>12643545
>>12643541
this story sucked and youre a fag.

>> No.12646195

>>12646185
also an imposter

>> No.12646461

What the fuck happened to this thread

>> No.12646498

>>12646461
some /pol/fag got mad because the autistic tripfag was getting more attention than him

>> No.12646733

>>12646498
>t. reddit

>> No.12646736

>>12646733
cringe

>> No.12646777

>>12646461
>>12646498
Is there any point reading through it at this point or is it all mindless shitflinging

>> No.12646788

>>12646777
I'd say about 40% of it is shitflinging,it's the /pol/fags fault.
For some reason he can't stand the idea of a tripfag being "better" than him.
what a queer.

>> No.12647317
File: 165 KB, 1000x432, 1550069570609.png [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
12647317

This WHOLE thread

>> No.12647329

>>12647326

>> No.12647581

>>12644515
While you were contemplating suicide, I studied the blade.

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