I think I can finally make it through this post without sobbing.
Here’s the story.
The past few months I’ve been having a bit of a quarter-life crisis. It dawned on me, as I was sitting on the work toilet counting the dead flies caught in the fluorescent light, that I didn’t know what the hell I’ve been doing with myself for the past 23 years.
I’ve always been a sheep. I like doing what I was told and begging people to tell me what to do. That meant I wouldn’t have to take responsibility if I sucked.
Thankfully, I finally had breakthrough. “I NEED TO DO SOMETHING WITH MY LIFE,” I shouted at my fly friends, startling my fellow employees outside the restroom. I pulled up my pants and went back to my desk (don’t worry I wiped and washed).
Five minutes later, I got a text from one of my best friends. She asked if I had read Me Talk Pretty One Day. Being favorite of David Sedaris’ books, I told her it was my Bible. “I’m convinced I’m reading a book you wrote” her next message read. Naturally overdramatic, I sobbed and looked up David Sedaris show dates. It just so happened he’d be in Boston the next month. Click. Two tickets bought.
During my crisis, I visited some different people, who I like to refer to as I’m-here-so-you-don’t-ruin-your own life advisors. Naturally, in every interaction with a human being I had, I let them know I was going to see David. “Can you get some of your work to him?” one of the advisors suggested. I just sat there staring blankly. “Well, I guess I could.” I had four weeks to prepare something, I guess it was worth a shot.
It was an hour before I had to leave for the show and I was still staring at a blank word document. Shit.
I then unloaded the insults onto myself. “Lauren, you fuck! You have to leave. BUT YOU HAVE TO FINISH THIS.” I had never done something so bold for myself and I knew I’d have to throw myself down a flight of stairs if I didn’t bring something for this opportunity. So I wrote, and wrote, and wrote some more about a time I had find a way not to take a piss in my dad’s ashes (I’ll explain later) and edited it down to four pages of semi-funny shit, and flew out the door.
I picked up my friend and we drove into Boston, passing the venue David would be speaking at. There were hundreds of people outside the theatre waiting to get in. “Oh…other people are going to this?” The fantasy of me, my friend, and David, laying around in robes talking about what type of cheese we’d like with our tuscan flavored Triscuits, did not include the mod scene forming around us, fighting for their favorite types of cheese. The essay folded in my pocket burst into flames.
We got in the theatre and watched an amazing reading. When it was finished David said “I’ll be out in the lobby signing books after.” A collective swoop sounded and the entire auditorium made a dash for the doors. After the smoke cleared, my friend and I made our way behind the others, as we were pushed and shoved like we were passengers running the corridors of the Titanic.
“Welp, I guess we’re never going to find the lobby.” In my heart I felt like a moron for thinking I could fight my way through these people. We stopped walking amidst the chaos. Goddammit. We should probably just head home. At that moment, a man behind us shoved open a set of doors nearly invisible to the naked eye. Behind ehind them was the signing table.
I don’t want to say we tuck and rolled into the lobby, but I can’t really remember from all the tumbling. We claimed out place in line, 10 people deep. David came in, and we slowly made our way front.
He signed books and chatted with the other fans, and I tried to keep myself grounded in the moment. I have a tendency to let my mind go on autopilot (similar to a coma) and I don’t come out of it until the moment has passed. I wanted to be present when talking to him. I wanted to be professional and fun, but not “fan girl”. The couple in front of us left in what looked like slow motion, and David sat there waiting for us to move forward.
A normal person would have shaken his hand, gave him their book to sign, made a little small talk, thank him, and move on.
We ran up to him and said hello, and immediately I knelt down in front of him, like a child, and stared in his eyes. My friend held the conversation beautifully, and I made incoherent comments every so often. David liked my outfit, and confessed his displeasure of Cold Stone Creamery. I hate Cold Stone. I hate that when you tip them, you have to sit and take their singing as if you’re being rewarded. I didn’t make any witty comments though, I just shouted “YES.” Original. Professional. Fun.
As the moment wrapped up, he signed our books, and the nervous rash I developed flared up my neck and to my face. I stood up and like an ostrich, I shoved my entire head in my purse in search for the essay. I pulled it out (with my mouth? I’m not sure).
“I WROTE THIS FOR YOU!” I shouted, and shoved the folded chunk of paper at him.
“Oh. Thank you, I’ll read it later!” He said and smiled, as he stuck it into his back pocket.
I don’t remember what was said after that, but I know I stumbled away, my shirt see-through from the gallons of sweat I poured out.
I kept laughing hysterically out of nervousness the rest of the night. Myy friend and I talked and fantasized about our future visits (robe-wearing dates) with David. I dropped her off at her house, and as soon as I hit the highway to go home alone, I sobbed.
And I sobbed the next day.
And I sobbed the next day.
And I weeped a little today.
I hear that when you are around someone who does what they love, they emit a different kind of energy. I’m no new age hippie, but I like hummus, and every time David looked down at me, I couldn’t say anything. I couldn’t cry.
It was awesome.
I don’t know if I’ll hear back from him. I don’t think it really matters (Yes it does). I did my part, which was in a nutshell (teehee) to grow a pair. Sure, the essay wasn’t my best, but I’m the type of person that still makes my mom order the pizza so I don’t have to interact with anyone.
This was a huge step. What the hell have I been waiting for (aside from the pizza)?