Wallace manages to be simultaneously laid-back and sort of high-strung and fretful. The hand-wringing aspect came out most in his conversations with Erin:

DFW: Erin, is this halfway coherent? Are you listening? Do I sound like a madman?

Erin: [speaking slowly, soothingly] No, you sound very comfortable, very relaxed

DFW: this is someone who's read the book...

Erin: See, so you can talk to this person..


DFW: Erin, have I been wearing this a lot? Is this all rumpled and icky? or is this all right?

Erin: No, no, you look good.