I’m just taking a guess–just a small one–but my title for this post might not be ideal. Like, “Reading Naked” might not be the most specific, most profound, most most title I could have gone with. But I bet it’s thought-provoking.
And that’s sort of what happens to me every time I get caught reading David Sedaris’ Naked, a maybe-non-fiction book or collection of totally creative non-fiction essays.
Firstly, the book looks like this:
(To find that picture I had to Google “David Sedaris Naked” and hope for the best.)
(I also saved it to my computer with the title “Naked” and hoped for the best.)
People who don’t know who David Sedaris is (also known as everyone who works at my job) immediately put on their most devious smirks as they walk by; they peek over my shoulder at the words, not really reading anything… just not-so-slyly waiting for me to look over at them, so they can make their eyebrows jump and wiggle at me suggestively. When I respond, “The book is about being emotionally naked,” I’m usually greeted with all differently toned variations of “uh huh” and a surprising amount of “Yeah, I was emotionally naked the other night, if you know what I mean.”
(A good rule of thumb in life is: if you have to say “if you know what I mean” then it means you’re not a funny person at heart, and you should find another way to try to express yourself.)
So far, while reading Naked, I feel a connection with the world that I’ve never felt before. In each essay, I feel inexplicably and listlessly like young David Sedaris is the friend I was destined to have all my life, but could never have until this moment.
And childhood friends, I suppose, play jokes on each other. Like:
“Dear, Best Friend.
I’ll never get to meet you, for unfortunately we were born in different times, in different places, from different backgrounds, and destined for different things. I know it’s not the same thing as my presence, but I wrote a book for you so we wouldn’t completely lose touch.
By the way, I thought it’d be really funny if I gave the book a very provocative title and also put a picture of white boxers with a red backdrop right on the front so everyone can see it.
Love you forever!
-Young David Sedaris*”
*I am not David Sedaris.*
*I do not speak for David Sedaris.*
*If you know what I mean.