Quick backstory: I picked this book up out of the “book exchange” basket in the teacher’s lounge of a long term 5th grade sub-assignment, my first real job out of college. It caught my eye and I sort of skimmed the first chapter, thinking it was all about speech impediments and elementary school speech therapists. I was living with a girl who was getting her Masters in speech therapy, so I thought, “Ooh, Elizabeth might like this.”
Elizabeth: my super conservative, engaged to her high school sweetheart (and only boyfriend, ever), Baptist-Texas-daddy’s-girl roommate who I moved in with during my final semester in Waco when her other four roommates moved out. (Don’t get me wrong, that townhouse was my best living situation before we bought this house and she was one of my best roommates before John.)
It wasn’t a good book recommendation. She handed it back to me and said in her very Katy, Texas high pitched drawal, “Clay-er? Did yew even reeed thee-is? I’m not sure it is supposed to be about speech therapy.” Then, whispering, she said, “I think it’s about a gay guy. Anyway, you can have it back.”
Curious, I read the first chapter later that day in my favorite coffee shop on 8th street.
I was spitting my coffee, crying, laughing out loud, and totally falling in love with David Sedaris, one little life story at a time. People kept interrupting to ask what I was reading.
(I never “exchanged” a book, for this one, by the way. And I never returned it either.)
To this day, Me Talk Pretty One Day remains my favorite of all his books. I love, now, that he’s from Raleigh. I love listening to him on NPR. I love the Jesus who died on two morsels of lumber and he go above of my head to live with your father. I’m laughing out loud right now just remembering it.
John and I have vowed to make the trek one day to stand in line at Quail Ridge Books to listen to a live reading.