Monday, December 15, 2008

Laughing on the train... alone

So, I ordered David Sedaris' latest book, When You Are Engulfed In Flames, and have been reading it when I have a few moments before I have to leave, just before bed, and my favorite place to read, on the train. It is a nice place to read. It keeps me from staring at people, who I might make uncomfortable, or from noticing people who stare at me, making me uncomfortable, or from having to read the same subway advertisements for language schools, pawn shops, and plastic surgeons. Maybe if I could speak yet another language, wear designer stuff bought cheap, and erase my imperfections I wouldn't mind people staring, but, I do and so, I prefer to read.  

Sedaris is one of my favorite comedic writers. In every story he is frank about his imperfections, looking at the hilarity of people and their idiosyncrasies. He also includes bathroom humor, which is, I am *ashamed* to say, something I find funny. He includes "stool sample" and "turd" (on several occassions); but really it isn't the words as it is how these relate to the people who he is telling the story about. Idiosyncrats (is this a word?) who sign their health check-up mail-in poop smear with a Happy Holidays message! 

When I was in high school, my Mom and I were walking to the car. She noticed a short, slender, creamy white something on the car, squinted her eyes, extended her finger, swiped it up like frosting, and asked, "What's this?" What the hell, Mom, it's bird shit!! At over 50 years old, how many times do you think she had seen a shit-stained car? She birthed me! 

Mom would be a great character in a Sedaris book. I would love to read about her, and laugh out loud again and again. It's what I do now, alone on the train. Not embarrassingly loud, but giggles slip out, and I lift the book to my face, leaving a headless shaking body. It's the only way I don't care if they look at me and I certainly don't notice them. 



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