McSweeney's is eulogizing David Foster Wallace. Here's Tom Bissell:
I had one thing in common with Dave Wallace: we both dipped tobacco. Actually, we had something else in common: we were both from the Midwest. That, and I probably stole more from him than any other writer. But our friendship, such as it was, was mostly based on the fact that we both dipped, and used dip while writing, and often hated this about ourselves. The last time I saw him, in the spring, I had just had mouth surgery—my third mouth surgery, as it happens. We had talked about dipping a lot but we had never dipped together, and this was the first time we had seen each other in several years. We were acquaintances more than friends. It is hard to be friends with someone you admire as much as I admired Dave, and it speaks to his grace and kindness that, knowing full well what I owed him as a writer, he let me into his life at all. However. The tobacco. He had quit for a while but was back on it. I had quit for three weeks. After prolonged negotiation, we agreed we could probably have one dip together. We did, and then we played chess. He whipped me two games in a row, all the while expressing shock that I was so bad. (He had said before we started playing that his friends always expressed shock that he was so bad.) When, after the games, I asked him to sign my copy of Infinite Jest (which I bought in 1996, while in college, when spending $30 on a hardcover was a real bankrupter, and which book I have basically taken with me everywhere since, including Uzbekistan for the Peace Corps, which also wasn't easy, given luggage and space restrictions), he did sign, very tenderly and beautifully, but also somewhat tartly, drawing a little diagram to show our chess game progress, as if to imply a whole future of chess games with Dave Wallace to look forward to, drawing two check marks underneath his name and leaving the space under mine blank. Right before the weekend was over, though, I finally beat him. I forgot to ask him to amend his little chart. I figured the next time I saw him I would do that, and maybe we would even play again.