Kurt Vonnegut On Our Dancing Selves

“[When Vonnegut tells his wife he’s going out to buy an envelope] Oh, she says, well, you’re not a poor man. You know, why don’t you go online and buy a hundred envelopes and put them in the closet? And so I pretend not to hear her. And go out to get an envelope because I’m going to have a hell of a good time in the process of buying one envelope. I meet a lot of people. And, see some great looking babes. And a fire engine goes by. And I give them the thumbs up. And, and ask a woman what kind of dog that is. And, and I don’t know. The moral of the story is, is we’re here on Earth to fart around. And, of course, the computers will do us out of that. And, what the computer people don’t realize, or they don’t care, is we’re dancing animals. You know, we love to move around. And, we’re not supposed to dance at all anymore.”

Interview by David Brancaccio, NOW (PBS) (7 October 2005).
Kurt Vonnegut

Dreams

I haven’t been sleeping well lately – the heat and allergies have conspired together to wake me every few hours and I’ve had some strange dreams that were quickly cut off by a sneeze or an inability to breathe.

But I had a fascinating dream last night that I wanted to share, if only to express the imagery of it and how deeply ingrained some writing has gotten into my unconscious. I’ve dreamt of my grandmother’s old house in Martins Ferry – the house my father grew up in – for a decade now. It was a one-story post-war brick ranch salt box with green carpeting and white walls. It was two hours from my home in Columbus and we spent entire summers there, leaving my parents to their own devices. The kitchen floor was linoleum and there were wooden floors in the bedrooms. I remember staying up late to watch Saturday Night Live re-runs, the 1980s episodes, and listening to the house creak and settle in the heat and bottles shatter on the street outside as kids rode through the night in American muscle cars. This was 1980s rural Ohio and there wasn’t much else to do besides watch classic comedy, play Nintendo games, and drive around in the dark. I was too young to drive.
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