Boy With Curious Sentences

Here, for your amusement, is one single sentence from David Foster Wallace. It’s from the short story “Luckily the Account Representative Knew CPR.”

[The Account Representative] administered CPR, beating at the soft dent of a chest’s breastbone, alternating quartered beatings with infusions of breath down through the senior striken executive’s full but faintly blue lips and tilted head and into the rising sunken chest, the chest falling, the Account Representative taking affordable time and breath at every possible four-beat pause to call “Help” in the direction of the quiet street as, using CPR, he kept the Vice President in Charge of Overseas Production minimally alive, until help could arrive, as he had been trained and certified by the petite new-Bohemian almond-eyed Red Cross volunteer instructor — by whom, he remembered, all the students had volunteered to be straddled and infused, and whom the Account Representative had, one spontaneous and quartz-lit evening, bought a cup of coffee and a slice of nine-grain toast, and had asked to the Sales Trainees’ Annual Formal, and had married — certified by her to do, one never knowing when it could save a life, he seduced utterly by his fiancee’s dictum that you erred, in doubt, always on the side of prepared care and readiness to preserve minimal life-function, until help could arrive, his arms and lumbar beginning to call “Help” again and loosen his own stiff collar, sweat moving oily on the tight skin beneath his own newer lined topcoat and gray knit clothes, his own breath coming harder as he kept the incapacitated Vice President in Charge of Overseas Prodctuions minimally alive, pending the arrival of help, at well past ten, amid complete emptiness, calling “Help” unheard, the happily married and blankly kind grandfather of one person’s own life now literally the junior executive’s, to have and to hold, for a lifetime, amid swirls of forgotten exhaust, beneath the composed and watchful eye of his decapitated cycle’s light.

I mean really, this one sentence could serve as the complete story. This one sentence is better than half of the entire books on the NYT‘s current bestsellers list.

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