Thursday, April 12, 2007

so it goes...

"Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before... He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way." --Kurt Vonnegut from Cat's Cradle

Always loved that quote. Read lots of Vonnegut when I was young. Most of it I did not "hear". When I was finding myself on the beaches of Hawaii and living and working in the Immortal Class, I read him again. His complete works at that time, all on paperback over a 7 month period purchased a used book store for 50 cents a copy. I still have them. I read him again. I gave his words as gifts for birthdays and christmas. A large part of his works reside in the Crowsylvanian National Library. He was a writer who left an impression. Whether you liked his work or not, you certainly remembered his work.

So, My last year of college around mid term, I was trying to decide whether I wanted to stretch unemployment out another year or go ahead and graduate. I found out from a smaht chick that they were bringing in "some writer" to be the commencement speaker. "Really, who?" I don't know. He wrote some book about a slaughterhouse that everyone made a huge fuss over.

Holy Shit!

I have never been more focused on school than I was that last semester. I did not want to chance getting some ex-nfl football player, political leader, ex president or forgotten tv personality by putting off graduation another year. I was careful not to build it up too much. Situations of extreme anticipation, kinda like that first fuck, have a way of letting you down. I was looking forward to hearing what he had to say. Turns out, the night before graduation, he just happens to come into the restaurant where I tended bar at, sat down, lit a cigarette and ordered a white wine. Nobody recognized him that I could tell. He watched the Red Sox-Reds game on espn and ranted a bit about inter league play. (It was the first year of it) and kept checking out the ass of Cheryl, the lady sharing the bar with me. I asked him if he wanted to switch over to her as his bar tender, and with a twinkle in his eye, he told me that he would rather if I took less patrons so he could watch her move around in front of him alot more. Let out a great laugh, drank two more drinks and left me two twenty dollar bills on a 16 dollar tab.

The next day, the speech was scripted and kinda dull. But I realized that his gift to me was in what i read, and in the motivation his pending presence provided me in diving headlong into graduation and unemployment.

so it goes...

Kurt Vonnegut

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