Me Talk Pretty One Day

by David Sedaris

Start Free Trial

Can you provide examples of David's nervousness in Me Talk Pretty One Day?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In "Go Carolina," David becomes nervous when he is suddenly called away from the routine of his school day by an "agent," who is actually a speech therapist. She appears and nods at David's teacher, who asks David to go with the woman. David's internal dialogue reflects his nervousness:

No one else had been called, so why me? I ran down a list of recent crimes, looking for a conviction that might stick. Setting fire to a reportedly flameproof Halloween costume, stealing a set of barbecue tongs from an unguarded patio, altering the word hit on a list of rules posted on the gymnasium door.

One of the more humorous moments of nervousness occurs in "Big Boy," a recollection of the time David goes to the restroom in his friend John's house only to find "the absolute biggest turd [he'd] ever seen in [his] life" left behind in the toilet. He tries to flush it down, but the specimen refuses to budge. As David tries to determine what to do next, someone begins knocking on the door, and he briefly considers lifting it out of the toilet and flinging it out the window to avoid other guests believing that he'd left it there.

In "Twelve Moments in the Life of the Artist," David describes his nervousness the night before his first life-drawing class. As he lies awake in bed, he begins to imagine the sexual excitement he might feel when the nude models appear in class. He worries that his teacher will note his heightened appreciation of these models and is nervous about which parts of the figure he will have to draw.

David is later nervous that he lacks the proper human reaction to seeing others in pain or danger in "I Almost Saw This Girl Get Killed." After seeing a girl trapped on a broken fair ride and seemingly dangling closer to an imminent death, David feels a bit disappointed when the police arrive. He feels that the police have ruined the evening and that no one cares about almost seeing someone die. When he later sits in the vachette arena, he is a bit nervous that an injury on the field won't elicit the "proper" human response. He is later pleased to find that he feels "no pleasure witnessing their misfortune."

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial