We’re coming up to the 20th anniversary of my friendship with NPR favorite David Sedaris, which led to one of my most-read pieces of writing: an interview that appeared in the February 1997 issue of the “One in Ten” gay-and-lesbian section of the Boston Phoenix (both, alas, extinct). I spent a winter’s day with Sedaris, starting at his SoHo apartment and accompanying him as he visited a taxidermy store and went food shopping (at different places).
The interview happened just as Sedaris was getting extremely popular, after he read his memoir of being a Christmas elf at Macy’s (“SantaLand Diaries”) but before he switched his focus from short pieces of fiction to short pieces of autobiography. He invited me to visit after I sent a rather obsequious fan letter (full text below) in the fall of 1996.
I can’t find his invitation—it was definitely handwritten, not digital—but I remember thinking that it was a golden ticket. Here was a chance to buddy up with someone who was part of the literary scene, the gay scene, and the New York scene. A triple threat! I got even more swell-headed after Sedaris was friendly enough to spend so much time with me on that day in New York.