In a sense, too, this man had already been hit by a meteorite: by the murder of his mother by his father. And his feeling that life was a meaningless nightmare, with nobody watching or caring what was going on, was actually quite familiar to me.
That was how I felt after I shot a grandmother in Vietnam. She was as toothless and bent over as Mary Hepburn would be at the end of her life. I shot her because she had just killed my best friend and my worst enemy in my platoon with a single hand-grenade.
This episode made me sorry to be alive, made me envy stones. I would rather have been a stone at the service of the Natural Order.
More existential bummers! I promise things aren’t actually all bad. Vonnegut’s writing is just brilliant and thought provoking and sad and biting and hilarious.
I had a pretty interesting meet story this week. I was hanging out at my coffee shop and decided to check out some more paper slips in the brick wall. One had a girl’s number with the message “Let’s be friends! Text me!” So I figured what the hell. And so began a really weird and entertaining exchange of texts over the last few days. I suggested bringing things full circle and meeting for coffee but was met with reticence. Eventually a text of hers busted out the dreaded word “boyfriend” in passing. To quote Vonnegut yet again: “It is as though we prepared a great crystal bowl of champagne punch and then, overnight, it turned into a rusty bucket of nitroglycerin.”
Now I never raise my expectations in these scenarios, but bombshells like that always feel a bit like a fly in the ointment. I did actually get to have a pretty intellectually stimulating discussion with her regarding human dynamics and making friends in general these days. Specifically, how difficult it is to make friends when you move to a new area and how women have to deal with the nagging issue of being pursued sexually when all they’re looking for is a platonic situation. I’ve discussed before how I don’t typically believe that men and women can maintain a true friendship with no sexual undertones or expectations unless one partner is either catastrophically ugly (i.e. below the other’s standards) or the age gap between the two is too large. Sexual urges are just too prevalent in one’s 20s for that to be a realistic scenario. But I get where she’s coming from. Ah well, c’est la vie. Just another experience to put down in the mental journal.