My name is Ryan, I am a heavy reader, and I prefer comic books. I enjoy all kinds of books, of course-I read through Lord of the Rings for the first time around third or fourth grade, and I’ve read Moby Dick multiple times for fun. I enjoy anything from Kurt Vonnegut to Elmore Leonard to Star Wars novels. And while the Star Wars books are currently catching up in this department, nothing on the printed page spells total immersion for me quite like superhero comics.
Today would have been Kurt Vonnegut’s 89th birthday. This guy meant a hell of a lot to me. I took his death pretty hard and his work has an important place in my mind, heart and life.
I remember the day that Kurt Vonnegut died. I worked two jobs. I worked by day at a Barnes & Noble College Bookstore as a bookkeeper (not keeper of books but keeper of financial information) and I worked evenings as grill master at a local semi-fast food joint. After my shift at B&N, I headed out to my dad’s because he had just fixed my car. I had been driving his and he was ready to swap. I got my car back and headed home to grab my uniform. I stopped by Circle K to grab a pop and a bag of Doritos. As I pulled out of Circle K, a huge pick-up truck practically drove right through me. The whole front end of my car came off and landed 20 feet away. My car was bleeding anti-freeze all over the road. I ended up getting a ticket but that was the least of my worries. I had to call off work, have my car towed to my dad’s house and find a friend to pick me up. My friend came and got me. I got in the car and he said, “I have bad news”. Really? Could it get worse than I-just-got-my-car-back-an-hour-ago-and-already –wrecked-it? Could it? My friend hesitated and said, “Kurt Vonnegut died. Complications due to a fall down the stairs”. Holy fucking Christ almighty, balls, fuck me! No. No. No. The greatest writer of the 20thcentury died and my car got fucked every which way but good.