Me Talk Pretty One Day

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris Read Free Book Online

Book: Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris Read Free Book Online
Authors: David Sedaris
blue ribbons scotch-taped to her entries. Had she been a braggart, it would have been much easier
     to hate her. As it was, I had to wrestle daily with both my inadequacy and my uncontrollable jealousy. I didn’t want to kill
     her, but hoped someone else might do the job for me.
    Three
: Away from home and the inevitable comparisons with Gretchen, I enrolled as an art major at a college known mainly for its
     animal-husbandry program. The night before my first life-drawing class, I lay awake worrying that I might get physically excited
     by the nude models. Here would be this person, hopefully a strapping animal-husbandry major, displaying his tanned and muscled
     body before an audience of students who, with the exception of me, would see him as nothing but an armature of skin and bones.
     Would the teacher take note of my bulging eyes or comment on the thin strand of saliva hanging like fishing wire from the
     corner of my mouth? Could I skip the difficult hands and feet and just concentrate on the parts that interested me, or would
     I be forced to sketch the entire figure?
    My fears were genuine but misplaced. Yes, the model was beefy and masculine, but she was also a woman. Staring too hard was
     never an issue, as I was too busy trying to copy my neighbor’s drawings. The teacher made his rounds from easel to easel,
     and I monitored his progress with growing panic. Maybe he didn’t know my sister, but there were still plenty of other talented
     students to compare me with.
    Frustrated with drawing, I switched to the printmaking department, where I overturned great buckets of ink. After trying my
     hand at sculpture, I attempted pottery. During class critiques the teacher would lift my latest project from the table and
     I’d watch her arm muscles strain and tighten against the weight. With their thick, clumsy bases, my mugs weighed in at close
     to five pounds each. The color was muddy and the lips rough and uninviting. I gave my mother a matching set for Christmas,
     and she accepted them as graciously as possible, announcing that they would make the perfect pet bowls. The mugs were set
     on the kitchen floor and remained there until the cat chipped a tooth and went on a hunger strike.
    Four
: I transferred to another college and started the whole humiliating process all over again. After switching from lithography
     to clay modeling, I stopped attending classes altogether, preferring to concentrate on what my roommate and I referred to
     as the “Bong Studies Program.” A new set of owlish glasses made pinpoints of my red-rimmed eyes, and I fell in with a crowd
     of lazy filmmakers who talked big but wound up spending their production allowances on gummy bricks of hash. In their company
     I attended grainy black-and-white movies in which ponderous, turtlenecked men slogged the stony beaches, cursing the gulls
     for their ability to fly. The camera would cut to a field of ragged crows and then to a freckle-faced woman who sat in a sunbeam
     examining her knuckles. It was all I could do to stay awake until the movie ended and I could file out of the theater behind
     the melancholy ticketholders, who bore a remarkable resemblance to the pale worrywarts I’d seen flickering up on the screen.
     True art was based upon despair, and the important thing was to make yourself and those around you as miserable as possible.
     Maybe I couldn’t paint or sculpt, but I could work a mood better than anyone I knew. Unfortunately, the school had no accredited
     sulking program and I dropped out, more despondent than ever.
    Five
: My sister Gretchen was leaving for the Rhode Island School of Design just as I was settling back into Raleigh. After a few
     months in my parents’ basement, I took an apartment near the state university, where I discovered both crystal methamphetamine
     and conceptual art. Either one of these things is dangerous, but in combination they have the potential to destroy entire
     civilizations. The

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