July 15, 1988 Chicago

At the IHOP a boy had an epileptic seizure. I’d never seen one and didn’t tonight either. I knew something was going on behind me but I didn’t turn around to look until the boy was asleep on the floor. He was snoring and his mother stood over his body while his sister ran to use the pay phone. Firemen came, and then an ambulance. An EMT guy woke the kid up gently, saying, “Terry? Hey, buddy. Hi, boy. Say, buddy, do you know what day it is? Do you realize you’re at the International House of Pancakes? Do you?

            They put him on a stretcher and told him several times to relax. When they wheeled him by, I saw his face. He looked like someone had woken him up in the middle of the night and told him to get packed because it was time to move. He was black, and very light-skinned. Do black people become pale? Why don't I know that?


Last night Gretchen wore high heels, and the minute we got home she kicked them off, saying the sound was driving her crazy. “I swore to myself I’d never have a roommate who wore shoes like this,” she said.

            It’s been nice having her here. Every day she goes to the beach to revive her tan, and every day men fuck with her. They call out concerning all the various parts of her they’d like to have access to. Men on bikes, on the street, on the train. I forget how much crap women have to put up with. Last night when she was walking down Devon, a group of six boys called out, “Wooooo, baby. C’mere.” She walks on.


- David Sedaris, Theft by Finding