David Sedaris's Boil
Reviewed by John Brady
Sunday, June 27 2004, 3:09 PM
I recently attended David Sedaris's reading at the University of California Los Angeles's Royce Hall. The first story Sedaris read ended with a description of how his long-time partner Hugh lanced a boil on David's behind. The description was detailed and purposefully grotesque; with obvious and mischievous relish, Sedaris made his increasingly squirmy audience privy to the color, consistency and vile smell of his boil's contents. But it was also a poignant scene of care and intimacy as one lover ministered to the pain of the other, attending to bodily secretions and fluids however gross they might seem.
Sedaris's story takes on added poignancy at this particular cultural and political moment. Embroiled as we are in an increasingly brutal war, most of the images we see of the human body, its innards and its fluids are linked with violence and death. For a brief moment, Sedaris reminded his audience that there is another possibility: one in which our bodies are entwined in relationships of life and love.
John Brady is a member of the Bad Subjects Production Team.