Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Why David Sedaris earns a living as a writer...

an excerpt from his piece in this week's New Yorker...

He's at a Costco's with his brother-in-law...
This store didn't have the light bulbs Bob wanted, so we trudged on to the drug section, which proved equally disappointing. Pain relievers were in ten-gallon jars rather than packets, and so I looked around for another gift that a teen-ager might appreciate. I wanted something light and individually wrapped, and settled, finally upon a mess of condoms, which came in a box the size of a cinder block. It was a lot of protection, but not a lot of weight, and I liked that. "All right," I said to Bob. "I think these should do the trick."

Putting them in the cart, I thought nothing of it, but a moment later, walking down the aisle with my fifty-nine-year-old brother-in-law, I started feeling patently, almost titanically gay. Maybe I was imagining things, but it seemed as if people were staring at us - people in families, mostly, led by thrifty and disapproving parents who looked at what we were buying and narrowed their eyes in judgment. You homosexuals their faces seemed to say. Is that all you ever think about?

My brother-in-law is around my height, with thick graying hair, a matching mustache, and squarish wire-rimmed glasses. I'd never imagined him as gay, much less as my boyfriend, but now I couldn't stop. "We've got to get something else in this cart," I told him.

Bob disappeared into the acreage reserved for produce and returned a minute later with a four-pound box of strawberries. This somehow made us look even gayer. "After anal sex, we like shortcake!" read the cartoon bubble now floating over our heads.

"Something else," I said. "We've got to get something else."

Bob, oblivious, looked up at the rafters and thought for a moment. "I guess I could use some olive oil."

"Forget it," I told him, my voice a bark. "Let's just pay up and go. Can we do that, please?"