Many times already, some person has asked me, “How’s your year so far?”
It’s hard to tell only a week in but I have high hopes, mostly because of something Kurt Vonnegut wrote near the end of his life in the 1990s.
“Listen: We are here on Earth to fart around. Don’t let anybody tell you any different!”
Vonnegut in “Timequake.”
There’s an ideal I can live up to. I am doing a bang-up job, even if do have to say so myself, especially now that I am retired.
I did a pretty good job even when I was working full-time, but that was because my livelihood was farting around and then writing about it.
I have the time to go back and read books that I missed before. Every month a discount clearing house type of company sends us a catalog with books for just a few dollars each. We choose and the books are sent to our door. The bill goes to the credit card company which sends it to me. Paying it gives me one more piddly chore to keep me occupied.
When we’re done, we donate most of the books to one cause or another to try and keep from being buried under a mound of books someday.
Vonnegut, one of the authors I am indulging in, had a razor sharp, often sarcastic wit.
“Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand,” he once told an audience.
Vonnegut, upon visiting the University of Missouri one of the times I was there, was asked about why he could come to a cultural backwater like Columbia, Mo., when he lived in New York City.
Vonnegut refused to downgrade Columbia, just saying that he enjoyed going almost anywhere to talk and that writing is so darn hard that any excuse to not have to do it is welcome. Besides, he made money talking to people and as a child of the Depression, he never sneered at that.
Or come to think of it, that might have been Joseph Heller. Not that I am confused now any more than I ever was, but that was a long time ago. So many memories are crowded in my brain that when I actually can check some of the things I remember, I often find that I haven’t remembered them exactly right.
That’s why you should always write stuff down so you have half a chance of remembering it correctly. Of course, not remembering it correctly is where fiction comes from. That and politics.
As I complete my farting around here and move on to something else, I leave you with a perfect Vonnegut quote for these rough times.
“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”