Thursday, November 19, 2009

Books and Dates and Stuff

I wrote this post a few days after we went to this event. It is a couple of weeks old now, but I forgot to post it because I thought I would change it a bit. That did not happen. Is it Thanksgiving Break yet? I lost all motivation for anything except turkey and dressing about four days ago.

I picked up a David Sedaris book when I was eighteen and needed something to read on my flight to Europe and the subsequent train travel from country to country. Until that point an avid reader of romances and classics from Southern Small Town, USA, I didn't really know what I was looking for at the bookstore. I had long been dissatisfied with what I was reading but had no clue how to go about changing things.

So a rushed trip to a Barnes and Noble and I desperately sought out the Bestsellers aisle. What a novel concept! The title caught my eye, Me Talk Pretty One Day, and that was enough. I bought it and something else I barely recall anymore and threw them into my luggage. I didn't pick it up again until we were on the Chunnel. I remember reading the first story and continually flipping it over and skimming pages. What is this? Is it fiction? Non-fiction? Short stories? I was out of my league. A few more stories in and I was mentally widening my eyes and giggling. The author is gay! Oh my! Then the book started chronicling the authors time living in France. And there I was traveling through France!

Needless to say, on several occasions I was in an absolute fit of tears laughing so hard at his descriptions of rude Americans in Europe or even himself fumbling with language. It was the perfect thing to have stumbled into reading for that trip, but it was also just one of the funnier things I had ever read. I became a Sedaris devotee at that point.

Sergio and I always turn the radio up when we hear Sedaris reading on NPR, no matter how many times we have read the same story. We read all the books. The articles. And for years we have narrowly missed his book tour readings by moving across the country right before or after he has just been somewhere.

Then last Monday Sergio sent me an email saying he had tickets to Walton Arts Center to hear David Sedaris read. He sweetly planned a whole evening, the first real date night we have had since Rosalind's impending existence was known to us. Duck turns out to be one of the best things ever, by the way.

I will never quite recapture what it was to read that book at that time in my life. When I was still so closed off to the world that every page introduced foreign realities. As somebody behind us at the reading pointed out, if there was a liberal in Washington County they were all crowded into the theater that night. Now I know what I am getting into when I read or listen to Sedaris. I am more than happy with that.

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