Are you able to remove any part(s) of your face, and if so, are you able to put those parts back?
Ok, now—this part of your face, that you are able to remove, do you refer to it as yours? If so, think back–when and how did you determine this?
Before getting further into this, or in an attempt to go deeper before we go further (because yes, this is what Infinite Jest is all about)—I’m going to need to bring driving and gunlessness into this:
I figured out how to talk to people, in a serious but fairly relaxed way, about my lack of interest in owning a gun.
Like having the option to remove part of your face, I had the option to remove the NRA sticker off the back window of my pre-owned truck when I bought it. I didn’t, haven’t, and may never remove this sticker. To note, if you happen to call any police station in the city of Detroit, for any reason, you’ll learn that the option to obtain a police report is:
a) the first option
b) the last option
c) not an option
d) none of the above
The audio recording cues the option to learn how to obtain a firearm several options before the option to obtain a police report. It is, strangely appropriately, an order of events type of order.
So, it makes some sense that people see the NRA sticker on my truck and start a meaningful conversation about what it means to have the right to bear arms, or the choice not to. This is majorly possible because I don’t think of the sticker as my own. Think about it. There is a powerful level of objectivity in thinking and talking about something I have, without the entitlement that comes with thinking I own it. This doesn’t happen very often for me. How about you? Ever had something, in your possession, without thinking you owned it? What kind of thing was it, and how did you relate to it?
I’m not suggesting that you get out of bed and go obtain an NRA sticker as a method for pointing out your lack of interest in obtaining a gun. But I will say that the process of not removing the sticker from my window has, pretty profoundly, prompted me to try this with other things I own that I feel entitled about. AND, this process works both ways.
Try deciding to intentionally let go of, remove, omit something from your life—something you just know you are entitled to possessing.
Gunther refers to both of her eyes as her own. I think she is repeatedly letting go of her original eye each time she rotates her glass eye.
“Gunther, who has a glass eye which she usually amuses herself by usually wearing so the pupil and iris face in and tiny manufacturer’s specifications on the back of the eye face out.”
What came first, for Gunther, is it learning what her identity is—separate from her glass eye, or guiding other people around her to learn what their identity is separate from their obsessions, compulsions, and addictions?
Considering that she is most frequently revealing the back of her glass eye to people staying at Ennett House, I’m thinking this action supports people in the process of letting go of who they are and what they have identified as. She is literally showing people how to turn themselves inside out, unveil and shake out the detritus. So, ultimately, it is vital for her to be able to teach before she is able to learn.
Talking about Infinite Jest is similar to Gunther’s glass eye and the NRA sticker on my truck. All three provide a serious but relaxed, even humorous way to go deep before going further. Before taking it further and actually changing something about myself, I’m given the space to observe the experiences of other people changing.
Holy wow. This really explains why I’m on my third read of Infinite Jest!