I saw David Sedaris. Kind of.

by Katherine Agard

David Sedaris was in Harvard Square on Thursday to read at Harvard Book Store. I saw him. Kind of.

Earlier in the day in my Introductory Fiction Workshop with Amy Hempel, I heard that he'd be giving a reading. She had had lunch with Sedaris and Wells Tower (whom both Hempel and Sedaris rave about). "Go to this reading," she said.

So I went.

I didn't get in.

The bookstore broadcast his talk onto Mass Ave., however. Within 15 minutes, a crowd gathered outside. Many people stopped, asked who we were listening to, then said, "Oh shXX, David Sedaris!" and joined the crowd. I love Cambridge.

1. Are there public obscenity laws in Cambridge? I guess not! After some incidental cursing, Sedaris realized that there might be some sensitive ears passing outside. He muttered "Oops" 10 times before he found something "clean" to read.

2. Among many other animal related insights Sedaris shared with his fans: The aphid and the ant are the best of friends. This is because the aphid secretes a lovely liquid, says Sedaris. The ant massages it out of the aphid. The aphid goes "Ohhh that's so gooood" and the ant, guzzling that succulent goodness down, goes "That tastes sooo good."

3. Most importantly: The Harvard Book Store has an amazing line-up of speakers in the next couple of weeks including Salman Rushdie, Edwidge Danticat and Susan Cheever, as well as Harvard faculty members Stephen Greenblatt and Maria Tatar.

I'll be reserving my tickets.

A few thoughts about the night:

[Caption: My view of David Sedaris (behind plastic book holder). ]