and went on so long they’d become already a thing in the ...

word gumshoe

Senior Member

I have read the following sentence in ''Incarnations of burned children'' by David Foster Wallace. What does the red on mean? Would someone paraphrase it please?

the Mommy over his
shoulder invoking God until he sent her for towels and gauze if they
had it, the Daddy moving quickly and well and his man’s mind empty of everything but purpose, not yet aware of how smoothly he moved or
that he’d ceased to hear the high screams because to hear them would
freeze him and make impossible what had to be done to help his own
child, whose screams were regular as breath and went on so long they’d
become already a thing in the kitchen, something else to move quickly
  • idialegre

    Senior Member
    USA English
    The child's screams continued (went on) for such a long time that they seemed to have become a permanent fixture in the kitchen (like the stove or the refrigerator, for example) - just one more thing "to move around," i.e., one more thing that is in the way in the kitchen.

    The idea is that his child's screaming is so incessant and has been going on for so long that it has become like a physical object that he has gotten used to.
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