I read Slaughterhouse Five again recently. It’s been a long time. The book is a wonder. A book inside a book, stories inside stories. It has so many incredible lines. Describing Billy Pilgrim’s mother: “Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.” Oh, this is funny, and seems true, and heartbreaking, as so much of what Vonnegut has written is funny, and true, and heartbreaking. And I think of a gift shop on a ferry when I was small, and somehow my mother allowing me to buy something, even though money was always tight. And I bought a small rubber frog that I loved and cherished. And one day, somewhere, somehow, I lost it. I was broken hearted, as I am now thinking about my broken little heart, and the ferry, and my mother finding the money to let me buy a small thing, and trying to make sense of the world through a small rubber frog clasped to my chest. How do we bear this life, we stumbling pilgrims?


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