This post is as much for posterity as it is for the eight people who read this blog.
I kind of hate the word 'blog'.
Moving on...last night I got to meet and listen to one of America's great treasures; David Sedaris.
The first book of his I ever read was Me Talk Pretty One Day. I was living in Minneapolis and the book was lent to me by a guy with whom I was slightly more than friends. Mr. Sedaris' writing style immediately endeared him to me. He managed to be hilarious and heartfelt; nasty and sweet at the same time. Stories of his awkward childhood and his imperfect family have made me laugh out loud time and time and time again. When I was completely alone and completely depressed in Minneapolis; his books reminded me that there will always be something to laugh about in any given situation. When my mother was hospitalized in a city far from home, a Sedaris book is what I brought her to read.
When I heard that he would be touring the States I was happy.
When I discovered that he would be reading at the Genessee Theatre in Waukegan I just about crapped myself with joy.
For you see...at the Genessee....I know a guy. A pretty damn important guy, a guy who loves that theatre with his heart and soul. And he just so happens to be a man I call my Uncle Frankie.
As readers of this (online log of writing/notblogbecauseIdontlikethatword) may remember...I am not super-close with my extended family. So, for me to call in a favor was slightly awkward for me.
Which was stupid. My dear sweet uncle was (dare I say) pleased to accommodate me. Regardless of the fact that I have been absent at most (if not all) recent family gatherings, he was welcoming and loving and ... just like I remembered.
Gah. Family. They will tear your shit UP. Emotionally. Moving on.
My dear sweet uncle found us in the lobby and says, 'Do you have your stuff?' - meaning a book for the author to sign.
'Yy-y-e-s.' I spluttered.
'Then, if you would like to meet this gentleman, do exactly as I say and do not question what I am about to do.' my uncle (a formidable man) commanded.
He then escorted us inside the theatre to a line of about six people waiting to get autographs. My heart began to pound. Now, I pride myself on coolness. I excel at being laid-back (most of the time). Not. Last.Night.
I seriously almost started crying. This man is my Justin Bieber, my NKOTB, my Lady Gaga...I understand why people totally lose it when they meet someone who has touched their lives through art.
Mr. Sedaris is not a large man. He is actually quite petite and adorable. He pleasantly smiled and thanked each person. He signed things for the theatre while faking a German accent.
He had different colored Sharpies in a (what he might call) faggy silk patchwork pouch next to him.
It was my turn. My throat closed completely. There were so very many things I wanted to say to him. How he saved my life. How his are the books I turn to when I feel down or have a long ride on public transportation. (I'm tearing up as I type this...EMO...GAWD)
I ended up saying something idiotic like, 'I am a huge fan, so excited about this evening blah blah blah, I'm kind of freaking out'
He looked at me (RIGHT AT ME!!!) and said, 'Well of course...you're an Aries.'
WHAT. For a split second I think...oh it must be because I have red hair and a red jacket on...obviously the man is psychic.
He said something about the depth of his knowledge. I realized that he's goofing on me, and that my uncle must have told him my birthday is on Saturday.
I said something about feeling toasty.
The man drew a sleeping piece of toast on my book. Pretty much the most endearing thing I've ever seen a stranger do. I'm still not over it.
The reading was hysterical. The Genessee Theatre is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. My sister and brother-in-law were amazing babysitters. My uncle astounded me with his kindness and generosity.
On the way home I spilled an entire bottle on water in my shoes. Still a damn fine evening.
In conclusion...your family will always surprise you; David Sedaris wants all of us to read Tobias Wolf; and water in your shoes can't kill the buzz of meeting your idol.
On a different tip, I would like to wish a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my cousin Rachel (aforementioned uncle's daughter). She is and will always be a mere two days older than me. I doubt she reads this, but just in case...
HAPPY BIRTHDAY COUSIN!!!!