Apparently, God knew I needed a break from being distraught, because yesterday was one of the greatest days of my life…. the only distraction from it is that I couldn’t tell my mom…. or more accurately, she wouldn’t read it here and exclaim how happy she was for me into my voice mail. The day was beautiful from start to finish, but there’s definitely a high point.
I met Dan and crew at Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch out in Middletown, MD at about 3:00. It was an excellent road trip, because I was singing the entire way. When I got there, I made tons of pictures and walked through all the arts and crap…. the only thing I saw that really caught my attention was a kitchen towel that said, “Bless This Hot Mess.” I would have used it as a washrag.
I’d forgotten that Dan had lost her mother until it was time for lunch, and Dan asked me about mine…. and remembered seeing the pictures on Facebook of Dan in her Army uniform, standing next to a radiantly beautiful woman, and my voice cracked when I told her that. We stood in the food line, hugging it out, gratitude pouring out of me that not only did I have a good friend, but one who’d been swimming in the same waters I’d just been pushed.
We had all kinds of fair food- I had a hot dog and fries, and even though I normally don’t like hot dogs, this one was excellent- perhaps because of the package that went WITH the hot dog as opposed to the food itself. I was at a full table of friends, people that I’d met at Dan’s house before, so I just felt comfortable in my own skin.
After lunch, we went for a hay ride deep into the pumpkin patch, where, we joked, we learned that pumpkins do not grow on trees. I didn’t buy a pumpkin because I didn’t know where I’d put it, but again, I did take beautiful pictures of the vines and their exceedingly large fruit.
One vine was withered to shit and I thought, “Jesus was here.” Obscure joke. Talk to your parents (if you get both of those references, clearly we need to be best friends).
We got on the last hay ride back to the parking lot, where we we proceeded to a little town called Frederick for dinner. I don’t remember the name of the restaurant, but we got there an hour early, so we decided to go to a coffee bar called NOLA to wait.
I walked in, and Lindsay leaned over to me, and said, “don’t look now, but that guy over there is David Sedaris.” I immediately knew what I had to say to him, and I waited for my chance. I walked up and said, “David, I owe you an apology.”
He said, “okay.” And just waited.
I said, “years and years ago, I saw you in Portland, where you had a Q&A. I was getting frustrated that you couldn’t see my hand go up and I yelled, ‘DAVID! UP HERE!’ You said, ‘ohhhh, we do not yell….’ and the lights went down. I’m sorry I was such a spazzbasket.”
He said that the only reason he said that is usually the people who yell are drunk and don’t ask good questions, anyway. I agreed with this. They probably are.
But I was just lost in my own need to tell him something, and I got my chance.
“David, I just wanted to tell you how much Jesus Shaves meant to me, particularly the line about how if we had the right words to explain what was going on with religion, would it really have gone any better?” He smiled genuinely, thanked me, and walked into the night.
Not many people get to write about meeting their writing heroes.
But I just did.
The rest of the night, I chatted amicably with all of my friends, my insides bursting with “I JUST MET DAVID SEDARIS” glow.
Who would have thought that by getting out of my comfort zone a little bit, a lotta bit would happen?
I certainly did not, but I need to remember this life lesson. Faith as small as a grain of mustard seed is all it takes to make great things grow. I could have easily stayed in bed, and thought about it. But that small hope of seeing Dan and her friends lifting my spirits turned my world on its ear in a good way.
All writers are introverts, which is why I didn’t dare ask for a photo…. I wouldn’t have wanted to be in one, either. In a way, though, that’s fine. That memory is only for me. You’ll have to live with the description that he is even more handsome in person, and that with keyhole bridge glasses and a tweed coat, he looked like the perfect picture of a writer… whether it was taken or not.
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