I actually don’t enjoy Kurt Vonnegut’s writing. I can see he’s quirky and talented, but so is Joan Didion, and I can’t stand her writing either — apologies to both sets of fans.
There have only been two big loves in my life — I married the second one (I know, just like Gwen Stefani). Anyway, the first named Vonnegut as a favorite, so I was obliged to read the first edition Slaughter House Five he loaned me.
He got mad when I returned it with a hamburger stain. I can still hear him ask me with complete disgust how this could’ve possibly happened, it wasn’t really a possibility in his universe, but so routine in mine (Maybe that’s one of the whys of the breakdown). Those days, I was using a brown suede pocket book I loved. I got it for 50 cents (thus the big love for the bag) from a New Haven thrift store, and carried the Vonnegut in it to read on the subway and stuff. And you know, at lunch, I couldn’t finish my hamburger so I threw it in my pocket book with everything else.
Of course, the girl I am today wouldn’t borrow first edition books, or treat it like a lunch pail, or stick a burger in her bag…at least without throwing some napkins in after it.
Aside from writing a kabillion books that gave people pleasure, Vonnegut also wasn’t afraid to speak on behalf of other people, on behalf of what he thought was right and wrong. He had like three biological kids and adopted four more, so all those little facts make me believe that he was one of those folks who made the world a better place. They are out there! That’s really all I wanted to say. He seemed cool.