the unavoidable consequence of you

I finally broke down and bought a book last night. Used a very old Target gift card, one of a few given to me at a birthday party by people who I knew forgot to get a gift and swung past Target on their drive into D.C., even though they knew I had no car and no way to actually get to a Target. Ah, friends.

I’ve seen a lot of chatter about David Sedaris’ book “When You Are Engulfed in Flames,” and it was definitely worth the purchase, though even after Target’s discounted price, it still would have been cheaper at Amazon. Barely a few pages in and he already had me giggling on the metro and drawing the odd stare in that way that only the Sedaris siblings can. In ‘Keeping Up’ he tells of vacationers that always seem to end up arguing outside his window.

“Americans,” he repeated. “We don’t live in France, we live in Virginia. Vienna, Virginia. Got it?”

I looked at this guy and knew for certain that if we’d met at a party, he’d claim to live in Washington, D.C. Ask for a street address, and he’d look away, mumbling, “Well, just outside D.C.”

I know that Sedaris has been to D.C. enough times to see such behavior and he really pegged it. Not that I can say much since if I tell people I grew up in Dunwoody (½-way between there and Doraville, actually), I get a bit of a blank stare, but if I say I grew up in or near Atlanta, the light bulbs go on.

Anyway, I shall enjoy and likely devour this book and I hope it’s gotten me back on track with reading. With so much electronic stimulus, I’ve forgotten that one of my favorite things to do was to take myself (and a book) out to brunch or dinner and lose myself in language and food for a little while. So if anyone has a current must-read, let me know!

Getting the morning started is The Bossa Three, Bossa Nova. Even though rain is looming — totally my fault, Michael and I plan to attend the same happy hour at Cobalt, that always makes it rain — it feels like it’s going to be a good day.

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4 Responses

  1. gilahi says:

    Dunwoody! I grew up in Decatur. I usually just tell people I’m from Atlanta. There are too many Decaturs in this country. Are you offended by Dunwoody housewife jokes, or have you already heard them all?

    And Doraville. I used to work there. “Rednecks drinkin’ wine on Sunday”… “It ain’t much but it’s home.” Don’t mean to offend. I really like that Atlanta Rhythm Section song, though. Frankly, Decatur’s no Mecca of culture and class either.

  2. Steve Barton says:

    A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole.

    Dunwoody, Georgia

  3. kyle says:

    The best book I have read so far this year is The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage by Paul Elie. It’s about the lives of Dorothy Day, Walker Percy, Thomas Merton and Flannery O’Connor.

  1. July 22, 2008

    […] someone saying they live in Washington, D.C., when they really live in Vienna, Va. (There’s a choice quote about that from David Sedaris’ new book, “When You Are Engulfed In […]

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