Aw shit, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. died.
Celebrity deaths don’t affect me often, but there is something different about authors. My heart skipped a few beats when I heard this. I think many people have a very real and very intimate connection with authors. Stephen King once wrote that writing is like telepathy, and in a way that’s true. An author transmits their thoughts onto paper, then that paper reaches readers who are distant in space and time, who mentally recieve the author’s thoughts through the filter of their own thoughts. It’s necessarily one-way telepathy – author to reader – but it’s still very personal, especially if the author is putting themselves in their work, as Vonnegut did (both literally and figuratively).
I read a few of his books in high school, and they most certainly influenced my thoughts from that point forward. I remember doing my big “ISP” (independent study project) in English class on him. Instead of a boring essay, I wrote a short story in his style. I’ll post it below. It’s not all that well-written (but hey, I was a teenager when I wrote it), and obviously nothing compared to Vonnegut himself, but I still think it captured a bit of his style. And although it makes no sense, I think it has a certain internal logic running through it. Think of it as a tribute.