Back in 1969, fifty years before this now, Kurt Vonnegut is publishing Slaughterhouse-Five. (How exciting!) In 1984, I am watching the film version with my then girlfriend and wishing that we had our own geodesic dome on Tralfamadore just like Billy Pilgrim and Montana Wildhack. In 1992, I am learning a transcription of the Larghetto from the Bach Harpsichord Concerto in Fm, which was played, in the film, whenever Billy Pilgrim experienced a flicker of absurd joy despite how ridiculous and truly awful much of life is. In 2007, Kurt Vonnegut is finally dying from all those Pall Malls. So it goes, but he’s in heaven now. In 2017, I am standing in class teaching Slaughterhouse-five to high-school students who look so like a field of flowers that I’m tempted to break out into a chorus of “Edelweiss.” In 2019, I am writing this post about these moments with this beautiful book which are all there, each stuck in its time like so many flies in amber or glistening beads on a string.
Thank you, Kurt!
Copyright 2019. Robert D. Shepherd. All rights Reserved.
Art: Massachusetts Avenue, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Deltapilot97 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D
For more short stories by Bob Shepherd and pieces on the reading and writing of fiction, go here: https://bobshepherdonline.wordpress.com/category/short-stories/