Cigarettes, Sedaris, and Me

In today's Portland Phoenix, I have a short piece about Ken Gloss, proprietor of the Brattle Book Shop in Downtown Crossing, who'll be in Portland next week. Unfortunately, he tells me my signed first edition of David Sedaris' Dress Your Family In Corduroy and Denim is worth peanuts.

Good story though. See how it says "To Deirdre / Don't ever quit"? Well, this reading/signing took place at the Brookline Booksmith, and it was packed. When he'd finished reading from the book, the masses began to assemble, ready to swarm for the author's signature. But Sedaris, lamenting the fact that smokers are increasingly ostracized in this health-crazy world, said that anyone who could produce evidence of their smoking habit could jump to the front of the line. Back then, I was a real smoker (not just a fake drunk smoker like I am today), so I gripped my P-Funks and proudly weaved my way forward.

Thus, when he wrote "Don't ever quit," he was referring to my cigarette habit, as opposed to, say, my burgeoning writing career or my young, ambitious life. How inspirational!  

(Also, it was at that reading that someone asked [or he volunteered, I can't remember] about what he'd been reading recently, and he responded that he loved Adrian Nicole LeBlanc's Random Family, which I proceeded to read, and count today as one of my favorite books.)

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