Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year, Y'all

Billy blinked in 1958, traveled in time to 1961. It was New Year's Eve, and Billy was disgracefully drunk at a party where everybody was in optometry or married to an optometrist.

Billy usually didn't drink much, because the war had ruined his stomach, but he certainly had a snootful now, and he was being unfaithful to his wife Valencia for the first and only time. He had somehow persuaded a woman to come into the laundry room of the house, and then sit up on the gas dryer, which was running. . .

Somewhere in there was an awful scene, with people expressing disgust for Billy and the woman, and Billy found himself out in his automobile, trying to find the steering wheel. At first, Billy windmilled his arms, hoping to find it by luck. When that didn't work, he became methodical, working in such a way that the wheel could not possibly escape him. He placed himself hard against the left-had door, searched every square inch of the area before him. When he failed to find the wheel, he moved over six inches, and searched again. Amazingly, he was eventually hard against the right-hand door, without having found the wheel. He concluded that somebody had stolen it. This angered him as he passed out.

He was in the back seat of his car, which was why he couldn't find the steering wheel.

Kurt Vonnegut from Slaughterhouse 5

Have fun and stay safe!


syntax said...

thanks for posting this. vonnegut is an american treasure, one of the few sensible and sane voices left. he makes me smile.

our best to you and frank!

see you all next year!

Edgy Mama said...

Great scene! Thanks, Jim.

Happy New Year to you and Frank!

Jim Jenkins said...

Thanks Syntax, our best right back attcha. Tell h that I will be forever grateful for her heroic efforts to fix my gift to EM at Thanksgiving.

EM, you are welcome and we wish a happy and healthy New Year to you and your beauteous family.

I don't know if it's because of the excess of libations last night, but I seem to be feeling all warm and fuzzy today and it's creeping me out. Maybe I'll reread "Man Without A Country" today. That oughtta fix me.