Short story: “Think”
by look i have opinions
“Think,” by David Foster Wallace
Appeared in Conjunctions issue 28, spring 1997, alongside another Wallace story; collected in Brief Interviews with Hideous Men
About 2 pages in the book; 738 words (my guess was gonna be 1,000)
When I first read this it felt slight and excerpt-ish, but on a reread I find it excellent. A single scene implies a plot in which the main character’s soul or honor hangs in the balance, and Wallacianly, he has to make himself a bit hokey and ridiculous—in this case, he literally humbles himself—to earn his right to that soul/honor.
I really like “snaps clear” as a description of what your forehead does when you suddenly realize something.