Right. When you reach that point of fandom, you’re ready for this.
Theft By Finding: Diaries 1977-2002 is exactly what the title states – various diary entries that span several decades. Sedaris himself said this book should be read in snippets. If you are of the ilk, this would be a perfect selection to have readily available whilst sitting on the throne. Since my gastrointestinal system is of the “all or nothing” variety (TMI??? Naaaaaah!) and wouldn’t dream of defiling my lobster’s work in that manner, I can’t confirm or deny if this is the way to go. I can, however, confirm that the early years are a rough read as you follow Sedaris from his 20s in Raleigh where he more than dabbled in methamphetamines and underemployment as a starving artist while consuming daily feasts at the local IHOP. You LITERALLY read the phone book as well as random recipes and lists of what he got for Christmas and various other nonsense like what happened that day on As the World Turns or the off-color joke a co-worker told him that day.
If you can get through the first 20% or so, it becomes smoother sailing. David puts down the meth pipe and details his initial successes as a playwright in New York City all the way to becoming a best-selling author and residing in Paris. He lets you in on his family history – including his mother’s death and his sister’s battle with mental illness and includes some truly poignant entries . . . . .
“Last night under the stars in a pasture in our sleeping bags, I poured my guts out and said things I was afraid to admit even to myself. And you know, it felt good and not as hopeless as I thought. All that had been inside for so long.”
While I could have lived without the never ending entries regarding his various French classes, unforgettable moments in history are documented within its bindings . . . .
“There is a new cancer that strikes only homosexual men. I heard about it on the radio tonight.”
“Hugh and I awoke to the news that Princess Diana has been killed, literally hounded to death by photographers.”
“Last night on TV I watched people jump from the windows of the World Trade Center.”
As well as monumental moments in his personal history . . . .
“This spring I am, if I’m not mistaken, in love.”
Most importantly, around the 25% mark Amy moves to the same town and made my life complete when her various antics began being included . . . .
“Amy and I went to Hoffritz to find Dad a Father’s Day gift. Our original idea was to buy him a knife, but in the end we spent $72 on a vibrator. It’s a Panasonic with a long stem and a thickish disk on top, designed so you can reach behind yourself and work out the kinks in your back and shoulders. We also figured he’ll use it on his dog. “Our father’s going to love this,” Amy said to the saleswoman as we laid the vibrator on the counter. The woman smiled. “The next time we see him, though, I bet his front teeth are all chipped.” The smile faded.
Amy is the kind of asshole I dream of becoming one day. Hysterical with absolutely no filter. David and I both tend to be more of the “George Constanza” variety . . . . .
There was little to no doubt in my mind when I requested an advanced copy that I would be denied so I immediately put myself on “pre-hold” at the library well before the release date. Words cannot express how happy I am now that I did not read this early, since it allows me to quote the story that caused quite the embarrassing moment at work . . . .
“Lisa told me that the previous day she’d accidentally put a used Kotex through the wash. It went through the dryer as well, and when it came out, Bob held it up, saying, “These aren’t supposed to be laundered on their own, are they?” Lisa said she guessed not, and Bob asked why she’d washed just one of them. “I looked for the other and couldn’t find it anywhere.” “The other?” Lisa said. “Shoulder pad,” Bob said. “Isn’t that what we’ve been talking about?” He handed here the fluffy clean Kotex, still warm, and she put it in her dresser drawer until he left the room.”
I read that during lunch yesterday and while I was trying to muffle my laughter, my supervisor confused the noise for hysterical sobbing. At that point there was no way I was going to be able get myself back under control and, well . . . .
Due a combination of Sedaris’ epic rise in fame here in flyover country along with my crippling phobia of strangers in crowds, I most likely will never be brave enough to attend one of his readings and officially declare us besties for the resties. But we’ll always have our mutual love of America’s best television program as an unbreakable bond . . . .
And he won’t have to bother getting one of those pesky restraining orders against me. Winner winner chicken dinner.
You’ll always be my lobster, though, David. Always . . . .