I vowed to be wittier when I decided to attend David Sedaris' last book signing in Greenbelt yesterday. The thing is, when you're in the presence of the one heralded as the funniest, wittiest man alive, you'll always end up looking like a blubbering fool.
It was his best reading yet, mainly because it's about an hour long and he read like four works (three of which are not yet published in a book). I really liked the fact that he read "Six To Eight Black Men" off Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, because that's my favorite so far. Powerbooks was packed with around 200 people, and being the usual early bird I was number 12. Hehe!
Pao wasn't able to make it again, so I bought two books -- one for each of us -- the last minute. Although the event was supposed to start at 5pm, by four the seats were almost completely taken. And around four-thirty David arrived dressed in white shirt and plaid shorts (hee!). As usual, he interacted with the attendees, signing books and asking questions before starting on time.
Anyway, the blunders: first and foremost, he didn't recognize me (then again, it was very conceited of me to think that he will).
"Hi, it's me again," I'd said when I approached him. "I was at your reading last Thursday."
I'm not sure if he was joking or not, but when he looked at the stub of paper with my name written on it, he looked up at me and said: "You're not PJ."
"I am PJ," I insisted, quite taken aback. He must have probably confused with Pao's name so I explained that I was the one who had a book signed for my friend Paolo. He seemed satisfied with that so I launched my made up story -- that my friend wanted to have one signed again... yadda yadda.
When the registration began about 3 hours earlier, the people in charge gave us slips of paper to write our name and some info we'd like David to sign on our books. So I did, but he didn't seem to notice those. Hehe. He was interested in my postcript trivia I'd written instead.
He asked how do we pronounce tik-tilaok -- which I wrote on my strip of paper, inspired by my favorite essay of his. Incidentally, in between readings earlier, he had just shared his experience of watching a live cockfight the other day. So he asked me if I'd ever watched one, and I told him no.
"Our village has one of those stadiums though," I added.
"Oh? And where's your village?" He asked.
I looked at one of the organizers at his side, smiled sheepishly as if making a joke before answering: "Oh, I live in a province called Taytay, Rizal." I laughed in spite of myself. I mean, come on, the part of Taytay where I live was not considered... provincial, if not for its distance. Hehe. Besides, the Ortigas Avenue does extend on our way before branching out to Antipolo.
Obviously I didn't have time to explain all those details, so I just backtracked and said that I live in the suburbs part, but as you go farther, there's one of those stadiums.
"And my grandfaaather used to own one of those fighthing roosters," I added again. Graaa!
Oh well, it was nice seeing him again. And him me, I guess, as that's what he signed my book with (not the belated happy birthday I was hoping for... but hey, this one's better). It's very rare to meet someone who's quite famous and interactive, let alone meeting him twice. And I told him so. We shook hands for the last time and I went on my way to dinner.
That was around seven-ish. I went home at around eleven and as I passed by the bookstore, he was just coming out of it, talking to someone. Oh, and is that his boyfriend Hugh with him? Cute!
I didn't stop to say hi. That would be too creepy for him I think. Hehe. So I just silently revered his presence and walked silently away.