“Engulfed in flames” — don’t you love it? I think it sums up life pretty well these days.
Between pulling very long hours at work and doing night shifts comforting sick children, I have the luxury of worrying about H1N1; the vaccine conundrum; having to carry my 40lb baby down our steep back steps and through my neighbours’ yards just to get out of my house due to the entire front street being dug up; getting the phone line ressurected after the crew mistakenly cuts through it on a weekly basis; worrying about my very pregnant friend and my very fit but fighting-cancer friend; and oh yeah, coyotes. Coyotes! I actually laughed out loud when my father warned me about that one. I mean, can you add anything more to the list? Now I need to worry about my pet or toddler being carried off by a wild creature.
That paragraph above. Those are my flames. I’m engulfed.
This leaves my attention span a bit frayed. Too frayed for a heavy-duty novel. But I still need something beside my bed table. Something good.
And the great news is that I’ve found it:
When You Are Engulfed In Flames is Sedaris’ most recent collection of stories. And that’s exactly what these are – simply stories. It’s like sitting across from someone in your living room who can really tell a great story. It’s a rare gift — an art — that I really appreciate. And, boy, can he ever tell a story!
He is so damn hilarious, I have to control my laughter in the middle of the night. The topics covered are ridiculous (you can read a summary list of the bizarre topics here, under Contents). He just plucks out something from his life — past or present — and runs with it, including odd diversions and tangents along the way. There really is no rhyme or reason, but it is so refreshingly entertaining. (Kind of like reading blogs, come to think of it.)
So if you’re feeling like I am, try a bit of Sedaris. It’ll help.