Because he was the first author. . .


. . I couldn’t stop reading.

I was sixteen or seventeen the first time somebody told me to read him (thanks Mrs. Walsh or Mrs. Dimock — I’m not sure now) — It was summer reading. . . and I read it twice before the first September bell rang. I loved it so much that the cover came off eventually. Cat’s Cradle made me horrified that we could destroy the world, and made me believe that people can really die of a broken heart.

I ate every Vonnegut book in the library that year, and couldn’t believe that the griminess of life could be so beautiful, “I still believe that peace and plenty and happiness can be worked out some way. I am a fool”.

Lately he would show up on late night talk shows, and say something outrageous about our government, about our president, about the horror that is this war, and I would just love him all over again.

Rest in peace you funny, brilliant man —

“Tiger got to hunt,
Bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why?

Tiger got to sleep,
Bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand


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