Dave, You Kill Me

It is late. Judging from hubby’s position on the couch, self has just succeeded in inducing in him a massive headache. A few minutes ago, self insisted on reading to him the following hilarious (self thought) passage from the Dave Sedaris piece, “Nuit of the Living Dead:”

. . . I went upstairs and found a mouse caught in one of the traps Hugh had set. The steel bar had come down on his back, and he was pushing himself in a tight circle, not in a death throe, but with a spirit of determination, an effort to work within this new set of boundaries. “I can live with this,” he seemed to be saying. “Really. Just give me a chance.”

I couldn’t leave him that way, so I scooted the trapped mouse into a cardboard box and carried him down onto the front porch. The fresh air, I figured, would do him some good, and once released, he could run down the stairs and into the yard, free from the house that now held such bitter memories. I should have lifted the bar with my fingers, but instead, worried that he might try to bite me, I held the trap down with my foot and attempted to pry it open with the end of a metal ruler. Which was stupid. No sooner had the bar been raised than it snapped back, this time on the mouse’s neck. My next three attempts were equally punishing, and when finally freed, he staggered onto the doormat, every imaginable bone broken in at least four different places.


Alas, dear blog readers, all good things must come to an end. The aforementioned essay is the final piece in Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. And self has found the book a great comfort to her (especially after reading two exceedingly violence-steeped novels by E. L. Doctorow). Reading this book, and encountering a brother like Dave’s Paul — who cheerfully informs his family, after his wife has just given birth, that “Mama’s got some tubes sticking out of her pussy, but it ain’t no big thing. She’s lying back, little Maddy’s sucking on her titty just as happy as she can be” — self is beginning to think her own family is not that bad after all. Oh how she will miss Dave’s descriptions of his sisters, one of whom has “appendages connected to her ankles. They feature toes and arches, but I cannot call them feet. In color they resemble the leathery paws of great apes, but in texture they are closer to hooves.” Thank God, self thinks — thank God Dear Bro did not look askance at self’s feet while they briefly shared the apartment on Ruppin Street and at least he did not take notes on her appendages, as Dave apparently did after quickly glimpsing his sister’s feet.

But, as self has said, all good things must come to an end. And though self arrived at this juncture by reading the book ever so slowly, it has come. The end is near. Next on her book list: a novel about a circus, with the intriguing title Geek Love. Because self knows, as everyone from a dysfunctional family knows, and as Dave Sedaris has demonstrated once and for all time: there is a strong connection between families and circuses.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.


2 responses to “Dave, You Kill Me”

  1. david also killed me, twice. first with me talk pretty one day (especially with the essay about his father eating anything), and next is with that book.

    how would you react if you see someone drowning a mouse in front of his house during those unearthly hours? 🙂


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