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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Vonnegut Revisited.

The hardest part of a house to pack is the attic. Because that's where you store the things you no longer use, but you still want. Our attic contents have dwindled each time we move but we've managed to keep the things that are special to us and get rid of the things that are not. As I started sorting through books I pulled out a copy of Breakfast Of Champions. It's not the original copy I owned at the age of 16 - the one that opened my eyes to the surreal qualities of life, the jaded parts, the fact that no matter how serious it was - it was just a part of life. I read every book Vonnegut wrote and he spoke to me - he voiced my opinions and views, from Slaughterhouse Five to Cat's Cradle. I've occasionally picked up a book here and there as an adult and he still speaks to me, but his views have changed as mine have - I still love him and find Breakfast of Champions - the first one I ever read - the best of his works. It's funny how you forget things, but you never forget books you loved. Ferdinand the Bull I adored, I read A Wrinkle In Time until it fell apart, swooned over Mandingo (oh you did too! Admit it!) and thought I was the smartest person in town when I not only made it through The Merchants Of Venice - but actually understood it. One of the most memorable things I loved reading with my friends was a magazine called Forum - that still cracks me up endlessly every time I think about it. It was a magazine of pornographic stories, real like accounts supposedly. BUT the best was they used euphemisms for every part of the human body - dorky, silly ones which is why when things got boring we would whip out our copy and one person would read - and everyone else would die laughing. For years the phrase "My twin globes of pleasure" would make everyone fall out - you don't want to know. I have no idea how or when we started doing that, but I have to say it's one of my fondest memories. And of course Kurt, I truly believed he had his hand on the very heart of humanity, that he could cut through the chafe and show us all the truth of the meaning of life. And some 17 year old part of me still does.

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