david-sedaris1It might seem to you readers that Jesse, Devin and I can’t be on this blog together.  However, I can assure you that despite our Clark Kent/Supermanness, we are indeed different people.  Though with our glasses and our geekiness I can’t imagine which one of us would be Superman.  Jesse is more like Charles Xavier in his (sometimes scary) ability to read people. Devin is quite the enigma – she’d probably be the Invisible Woman.  And personally I have always leaned more toward being the Hulk.  But I digress. . .

I waited a while to post since I wanted Devin and Jesse to have some time center stage.  Recently and not so recently this blog has been entirely too much about me and my reading.  But now that they’ve had their fifteen minutes I’m stealing back the spotlight.  If they want it back they’ll have to read.  And post. 

Fitting then, that my post should be about David Sedaris, someone entirely self involved and constantly focused on where the spotlight is (and attempting to get it back where it belongs – on him). 

Because I’m such an avid and constant reader, people often assume that I’ve read a currently popular author.  I mean, if 50 million people on the subway are reading Dan Brown, how can Jess not be reading him?  Stephenie Meyer – how can Jess not be through all four by now?  I usually have no problem denying that I’ve read them, though sometimes there comes along an author who I haven’t read, but whom I feel I should have read. When that happens, I’m not above faking it until I’ve actually read them.   It’s bad enough that I constantly feel like I’m catching up on a lifelong summer reading list, I don’t need people to push more titles on me.   Besides, I wouldn’t want to ruin my reputation by admitting I haven’t read ALL the books that are worth reading.  I should be embarrassed, but I’m not and there you have it. 

David Sedaris is one of those authors.  I’d heard his name thrown around.  People would say his name in conversation and gesture my way, assuming that I knew what they were talking about.  I would smile enthusiastically and wordlessly and that seemed enough.  From these conversations I gleaned plenty – I knew he was funny and neurotic and, well, kind of a gay male version of me.  My mom has read all his stuff.  I’d seen his sister on TV.  But before two weeks ago the most that I had read were two stories in Holidays on Ice.  I liked what I read, but I didn’t feel the need to follow up with more.  I don’t know what changed, except that I’ve been having health issues lately and I cannot be inside my own head right now.  My mother handed me When You Are Engulfed in Flames and for many reasons the timing was right. David’s self involved fantasies and hysterical neurotic obsessions struck a chord with me, allowing me to avoid my own self absorbed anxieties for a while.  I wonder now if readers laugh at his stuff with an air of bemused dis-attachment or do they, like me, see themselves in every other paragraph?

By the end of Engulfed, I wasn’t ready to set aside my new crutch so I picked up Me Talk Pretty One Day, which was soon (two days later) followed by Naked.  Right before I got to Dress Your Family In Corduroy and Denim I stopped, completely saturated.  I’ll get back to Corduroy eventually, but it can wait.  I need something to look forward to.

I did finally admit to one friend that I had never actually read any of David Sedaris’ work, but I told her after my binge had ended.  She laughed and I laughed.  At least now I know why she was thinking of me when she was reading his stuff.  I was supposed to be reading him all along, I just didn’t know what I was missing.