Thursday, July 28, 2011
Post One Hundred and Thirty Nine: David Sedaris, I Should Probably Know You.
I don't read enough.
Text books in high school scared me away from pages and this aversion lasted longer than I'd like to admit. If I was in a library I felt like I was being put to work, and I don't exactly know what this suggests about my psyche during that caustic period of time.
As a child I was obsessed with books like the Chronicles of Narnia, the Magic Faraway Tree and Ramona Strikes back. Oh Enid Blyton. I didn't just read Enid Blyton, I lived it. Little Sarah visited most books over and over again so that I memorised the page numbers of my favourite sentences. I would stab my own pet for the famous five series. I seriously contemplated running away to the circus after being engrossed by her circus series in the early nineties. Instead of paying attention to all the grungey goodness that was going on I was busy inventing scenarios involving faeries, goblins and suspiciously attractive elves.
I moved on to Judy Blume and Trixie Beldon. So much escapism, so many mysteries.
And who could omit Goosebumps. That would be a horror! If you went to a grade five birthday party and you didn't give the host a copy of 'The horror at Camp Jellyjam' or 'How I got my shrunken head' you were a damn fool.
After an ever-dwindling preoccupation with the Fear Street series I started going to parties and drinking my fill of Red Bear vodka. The novelty of novels faded and all I wanted to do was a pash on with James Wadey or some other equally smooth punk kid. I never tried it on with James Wadey. He's probably married with twenty-seven bastard children knowing my history with lust.
Anyway, all is not lost. I moved out of home and by my early 20's I was racking up reasonably hefty fines from the Ashgrove library. My reading stints come and go, but I'm in a go zone right now. I've become enamoured with the writings of David Sedaris. His self-deprecating style and eye for all things idiosyncratic has honestly helped me feel comfortable with being unconventional.
And here's the tie in. I just found out that David Sedaris did a ten day stint at a morgue for Esquire magazine. I get the feeling that his mind might work in a similar way to mine. Things that I see, working with the dead, he may too. It's heartening to see that someone I value might be asking the same questions that I am. It's easy to get lost in the sea of convention.