"I just want you to know that Colleen and I both love your sister Lisa so much," the woman said, her eyes moist with tears. "I know we've never been formally introduced, but would you mind if I gave you a big fat hug?"
With the exception of Lisa, we were not a hugging people. In terms of emotional comfort, it was our belief that no amount of physical contact could match the healing powers of a well-made cocktail.
"Hey, wait a minute. Where's my hug?" Colleen asked, rolling up her sleeves and moving in for the kill. I looked over my attacker's shoulder and watched as a woman in a floor-length corduroy skirt wrestled my mother into an affectionate headlock.
"I heard what you're going through and I know that you're frightened," the woman said, looking down at the head of thinning gray hair she held clasped between her powerful arms. "You're frightened because you think you're alone."
"I'm frightened," my mother wheezed, "because I'm not alone and because you're crushing what's left of my god-damned lungs."
The scariest thing about these people was that they were sober. You could excuse that kind of behavior from someone tanked up on booze, but most of them hadn't taken a drink since the Carter administration.
About the book:
In Naked, Sedaris turns the mania for memoir on its proverbial ear, mining the exceedingly rich terrain of his life, his family, and his unique worldview--a sensibility at once take-no-prisoners sharp and deeply charitable.
Excerpt from Ghachar Ghochar
- Vivek Shanbhag
Excerpt from Possession
- A. S. Byatt