1 : to draw forth or bring out (something latent or potential)
2 : to call forth or draw out (as information or a response)
last night i went to kevin sampsell's reading at powell's (i haven't been to a reading since 2006—annie sprinkle—which was actually more of a lecture and erotic slideshow). he read some vignettes from his new memoir, A Common Pornography, and showed some pictures from his childhood.
at the end of the reading he called his girlfriend up to the podium to thank her. then he proposed. it was pretty amazing. and i was pretty...joyous, i guess.
i know it's difficult to ELICIT an emotional response from me. i don't cry at the end of movies (except for A League of Their Own and the series finale of Six Feet Under), i don't cry at weddings, and i once cried at a funeral because of my inability to cry. i cry out of frustration. i cry during break-ups. i compare myself to other more emotional beings and i worry that i am hardened, or that life has inserted a plug in the pathway for my emotions.
maybe it's just physiological. last night felt really nice. i was wholly inspired by kevin's reading, the honesty of his memoir, and the humility of proposing to his girlfriend in front of 200 people. my eyes warmed, i smiled hard, and my night was happy. i waited in line for ten minutes while i had to pee so i could get him to sign my book. i wanted to remember the experience. but i didn't cry. maybe the connection is faulty—like when your TV antenna is not plugged in all the way and the reception sucks. maybe i was born like this.
or maybe i'm totally normal and i've wasted my whole life comparing myself to other people. either way, it was a great reading.