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Monday, June 11, 2007

contractual obligation tour

Maybe I was only half serious about returning to blogging. The truth is, if anything was going to get me back into it, it was the death of one Kurt Vonnegut Jr. a couple of months back. Much ink was spilled at the time, by better writers than me, and it was kind of sad to realize I didn't have much too add.

My father gave me a copy of his novel Hocus Pocus for Christmas when I was just about thirteen. He figured I would like it. I did. From then on, it was pretty much love.

I knew he was near the end of his physical life, and ready for that end, as he himself had been saying for years, but when I read it on yahoo news it hit me like a punch in the gut.

"Oh, Jesus..." I said, invoking the name of a man whose ideals Vonnegut greatly admired but whose godhood he did not believe in. That's a standard construction for us humanist types, like Kurt and I, and well, most blue state Americans, we say we like Jesus but we don't acknowledge his godhood. Which is an odd thing to have to note really, you know? Because really that's how we feel about most people that we like. I mean I admire my friend Eamon but I don't acknowledge his godhood. On most days.

My mate Marc and I poured a chocolate milkshake out on the hallowed ground outside what was once the Evanston Barnes and Noble where he and I had our first (of many) conversations about Vonnegut. I don't know if Vonnegut liked milkshakes, but Marc and I do.

The casual fans say so it goes, the hardcore ones* say:

Kurt Vonnegut is up in Heaven now.

*Hardcore fans of anything are a granfalloon...

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