Kurt Vonnegut Speaks Out on the Meaning of Life
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 96 13:13:34 -0700
Subject: Kurt Vonnegut Speaks Out on the Meaning of Life
From: a recent Harper's Interview with Kurt Vonnegut---
I work at home, and if I wanted to, I could have a computer right by my bed,
and I'd never have to leave it. But I use a typewriter, and afterward I
mark up the pages with a pencil. Then I call up a woman named Carol out in
Woodstock and say, "Are you still doing typing?" Sure she is, and her
husband is trying to track bluebirds out there and not having much luck,
and so we chitchat back and forth, and I say, "Okay, I'll send you the
pages." Then I go downstairs and my wife calls, "Where are you going?"
"Well," I say, "I'm going out to by an envelope."
And she says, "Youire not a poor man. Why don't you buy a thousand
envelopes? They'll deliver them, and you can put them in the closet and
get one whenever you want."
And I say, "Hush." So I go to the newsstand across the street where they
sell magazines and lottery tickets and stationery. I have to get in line
because there are people buying candy and all that sort of thing, and I talk
to them. The woman behind the counter has a jewel between her eyes, and
when it's my turn, I ask her if there have been any big winners lately. I
get my envelope and put the pages in it and seal it up and go to the postal
convenience center down the block at the corner of Forty-Seventh Street and
Second Avenue, where I'm secretly in love with the woman behind the counter.
I keep absolutely poker-faced; I never let her know how I feel about her.
One time I had my pocket picked in there and I got to meet a cop and tell
him about it. Anyway, I address the envelope and mail it in a mailbox in
front of the post office, and I go home. And I've had a hell of a good
I tell you, we are here on earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell
you any different. (11-95)
© 1996 Peter Langston