a blog with cultural bulimia.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

david sedaris

one of my favorite writers, the only one that makes me laugh out loud.
in public.
at the beach.
in the subway.
no wonder my personal space is being respected.

if i could write, it would have to be like him: his views, perceptions, deliveries are right on.
so, i go on quoting him...

The Man Upstairs

by david sedaris

"When I was told that they'd canceled the two o'clock flight from Boston to Portland, Maine, my first instinct was to lie down on the floor and cry. Timewise, the delay was hardly the end of the world: My business wouldn't begin until the following morning, but still, the news was crushing. The cancellation was a reminder that I do not govern the activities of major airports, which seems obvious enough but always comes as a terrible shock when stated out loud.

Like most people, I've constructed an elaborate house of cards based on the concept that I control the world around me. The hotels in which I stay do not catch fire because I do not want them to, and my planes stay aloft for the same reason. What religious people call fate, I call luck, and what they call God's will, I call bad luck. Accept a canceled flight and suddenly you're on a roll, opening yourself to the possibilities of tax audits and spinal-cord injuries. Anything can happen once the precedent's been set.

The news was disappointing, but I might have sulked a lot harder had my earlier flight not included a bald five-year-old traveling with a couple I guessed to be his parents. Boys that age do not generally shave their heads, and so I, along with everyone else, naturally assumed he had cancer. When adults get sick, it's commonly decided that they brought it upon themselves—Constance held grudges; Marty destroyed his heart with buttered popcorn. It's our pathetic way of insisting that the same thing could never happen to us. But it's sort of hard to blame a child. I mean, what, did he teethe too hard? "