Sunday, April 24, 2011

I Hate David Sedaris


Title got your attention? I went to hear David Sedaris read tonight from his various books and the guy is simply wonderful. Or at least his writing is—I’ll have to reserve judgement on him until we hang out some together. And if I had been patient enough to wait on line to get him to sign books and had the opportunity to tell him my snail joke, I’m sure he would be calling me to find out when we can meet again. Meanwhile, he is so damn funny while also hitting that serious and poignant universal bone that everyone can relate to. My father wasn’t quite as bad as his— “Big deal! Your book is number 1 on the New York Times Best-sellers List. But it ain’t number one in the Wall St. Journal!”—but he was of the style that said, “Why did you get that A-?!” when all the other grade were A. (Not something that actually happened very often—all A’s, that is.) His stories about waiting in airports or staying in hotels are stories I could have been writing on this Blog instead of all this Pie-in-the Sky visions of universal peace and brotherhood through music. That is, I could have written them if I was David Sedaris.

So though I loved the evening, it left me with the bitter taste of envy. The lines to buy his books were out the doors while I found that Stats part of this Blog and discovered that 4 people had read one of my entries! (But if you’re reading this, you’re probably one of the four, so THANK YOU! I love you and promise to play piano for you at the Old Age Home, your wedding, a neighborhood party or to cure your insomnia—Bach’s Goldberg Variations are just the ticket for the latter.) Like any passion, I write just to free up space in my head and it doesn't matter if anyone reads it—witness some 60 unread articles sitting in some distant dusty file on my computer. But it sure feels good to connect with a reader and what writer would not be thrilled to have a line out the door?

So I tempered the sharp edge of envy with some of the marvelous rationalizations the human mind is so expert at. Well, David, you may be a fantastic writer enjoying wild success, but you didn’t get to play Bulgarian bagpipe with middle schoolers on xylophones, fiddles and high-pitched recorders today, did you? You didn’t sit on a piano bench next to four-year old Demarcus impeccably dressed in his Easter suit visiting his Grandma at the Jewish Home (huh?) and jam for 30 minutes straight—first some black-key blues and then—much better—singing nursery rhymes in blues style without a pause, the young African-American genius calling out “It’s my turn” and making up his own songs when his repertoire ran dry. All of this with my Mom on the other side of him grinning ear-to-ear—“My, isn’t he talented!” and his parents filming like mad on their cell phones. Maybe it will turn up on Youtube and go viral.

And David, won’t you be jealous then!! But call me up anyway and I’ll tell you the snail joke.

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