By Troy Patterson
Updated August 16, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

Guy wants to kill himself. Tries to buy a gun. Has to wait. Meantime, decides he’s not gonna kill himself. Gonna kill some other people instead. Gonna kill that slimeball down at the VA. With some E. coli. (Pessimistic guy, see: ”Life just gets heavier and heavier and envelopes [sic] you in its tentacles until it has squeezed all life from you but you dont [sic] die.”) Guy thinks about the CIA. Thinks about OKC. Thinks about plumbing: ”Wonder who invented the shower? A stroke of pure genius…. Always feel better after a shower.” The author of Last Exit to Brooklyn and Requiem for a Dream has written a thin, stream-of-consciousness piece. Though Waiting Period is intermittently funny, it’s hard to shake the feeling that Selby is laughing at his deranged loner of a protagonist.