I have written before about my love of David Sedaris. I've been lucky enough to see him a few times live. It never fails to amaze me that a couple of thousand people can sit quietly and watch someone read to them, in the name of a good night out. David is this person. I'm not sure if there is something childlike in being read to. Or maybe it's just the sheer wit and astute observations which emanate from this small statured man. But he had the whole of Hamer Hall hanging off every word.
Each visit has had a different vibe. In 2012 I felt that there was a darkness seeping in. Similarly, I felt this reading David's last book. Was he getting more serious as he got older? Well, the 2014 visit put this theory to rest. If there was a theme to this show it was the word 'Wrong'. I had face ache from smiling and laughing all night. David is the first person to highlight his own oddities and inner monologue. He dares to share the things we only think and keep politely to ourselves.
Every piece chosen or question answered during the Q&A, had an element of 'wrongness'. I found myself shielding my face in my hands as I laughed at the complete inappropriateness of his observations. It was a glorious celebration of judgemental comments, self critiquing and jokes about fisting. Yes, it was that kind on night.
David's writing is at it's warmest and funniest when he writes about his family. I was introduced to his writing through 'Me talk pretty one day'. It would be one of my 'desert island' books, should I find myself with only a handful of books to read until the end of my days. David's quirks, ticks, humour and seemingly insane family are all present in this book. If you've not read anything by him - start here.
Over Christmas I read his piece in The New Yorker discussing his sister's suicide. This shows the beauty and gentleness that David is capable of. How does a family cope when one member is missing. How can you understand a life that ends up contained in a small cardboard box with torn family photos. No one understands the dysfunction (and love) of families, like David.
But this visit was about smiles. I have often been accused (yes, I'm looking at my husband) of being inappropriate. I have been known to say something before my brain has truly caught up. Somehow black humour and bawdiness make me laugh the hardest. Whether it was childhood indoctrination of british television or just the sheer love of the more eccentric and interesting sides of life. I do love the things that push the barriers of good taste.
So again I want to thank David Sedaris. Over the last three visits to Melbourne he has signed my books. He has made me think. He has made me smile. He has inspired my writing with his openess and honesty. He has also allowed me to celebrate the 'wrongness' of life. The inappropriate edge of thoughts and actions. I am forever grateful that he shares them with us. Because, to me, it feels so very right.
Listen and enjoy (particularly the moment mentioning Amy at 10.15).