Meeting David Sedaris
When meeting a celebrity I am always unsure how I should react. Should I ignore them and let them have their space? genuflect? It is so confusing. I do neither of these things and to my repeated horror I find myself walking up to them and introducing myself as if I am some long lost relative. This is how I met David Sedaris.
He was waiting for an elevator at the Omni Hotel, obviously exhausted from a long trip and weighed down by a couple of bags. It was not the first time I had met David. See how quickly we have now become on a first name basis? It is no longer Mr. Sedaris but “David”. I had stood in line with about 500 hundred other people waiting for him to sign my book. He did look up and ask while signing if he knew me and I said, “Probably not.”
He signed the book “to my scatological friends” which was confusing to my wife and me, but we smiled and moved on.
So there he is, burdened down by backpacks and in a weakened state and I lean forward as we wait for the elevator and say “David?”. He looks at me and says “Yes?”. I said “We’ve met before and you signed my our book to my “shitty friends.” “Yes” he said and smiled that quietly enigmatic smile with a little touch of nervousness. He was gracious and held the door for me as I got into the elevator first. I didn’t feel bad that I pushed in front of him. He was just going to his room and I was in a rush because I needed to tell my wife that I just had met David Sedaris and I knew that he would understand.
He asked what floor I was going and I didn’t want to give him my first answer which was “whatever floor you are going” because I am going to talk to you all the way to your room. I couldn’t say that because that would be weird. I said “11” and he shuffled over like a little penguin burdened by luggage using it’s little flipper to press the button. I guess I could have helped but my mind was only saying “Holy Shit, I am in an elevator with David Sedaris.”
For me, the experience was wonderful. We talked about his lost luggage as we rode the 10 stories. I, in a celebrity induced state, was living in my imaginary world where he and I are just good friends catching up.
Upon reflection, for David the experience might have been different. He could have felt trapped in a tiny metal box that was hurtling skyward, with a babbling fan. This might have explained why he moved to the corner of the elevator, but he could have been tired and just needed to lean against the wall. I don’t want to think he was living his own personal episode of Misery, but who really cares when you are chatting with him like a long lost friend.
So that’s how I met David Sedaris. Later he signed my book “We’ll always have the Omni”.