Thursday, April 12, 2007

No good news in the morning

Such a sad week for the morning news. My alarm goes off at 5:30, just as my local NPR station is starting with headlines and (hopefully) a quickie preview of the weather.

This morning as I arose from the fog of sleep, I heard that one of my favorite authors had died - Kurt Vonnegut Jr., RIP. Have I read all of his books? Almost, I think. I honestly haven't read (or re-read) any lately, but they are lined up neatly on the shelf. And I have fond memories of the neighbors whose little boys I used to babysit in the 1980's. They did not have a TV, but wall after wall of books. There I started reading slim paperbacks by Mr. Vonnegut. I sat nearly every weekend for them, and marked my place in whichever book I was reading as I heard them come back in the door.

In graduate school he gave a lecture at my university. There was supposed to be a book signing afterwards. It was cancelled due to the sheer number of people who came to hear him (the signing was cancelled, not the talk). The organizers did not have the foresight to book a larger hall on campus. The auditorium was filled; people crowded in the lobby to listen at the open doors.


And Tuesday, a moment of personal reflections of hell, I heard, again as if in a dream, the name of a person I dearly wish to forget. Nearly 15 years has gone by since I last saw this person, and probably only a couple since I realized they were no longer creeping into my thoughts on a daily basis. An unusual name, not likely to be shared by many. I could not stop myself from checking the transcript later that day at work. Yes. This person is now a professor, and is giving a lecture at a university in my city. I will not attend, needless to say. What about the people we most wish to forget draws our attention like a train wreck, forcing us to look, to remember?

No good news in the morning this week.


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