I have been wanting my husband to read the short story “Welcome to the Monkey House” by Kurt Vonnegut longer than I can remember.
Sometimes, though, you have to let things go. You cannot force or rush Will on anything. Ever. For real. On Friday, he watched “American Beauty” for the first time. I knew he would like it and was always sorry that I saw it without him – 16 years ago. I stopped pushing him to watch it after a few years. After all, this is the man who refused to watch “Forest Gump” until he had gone two weeks without hearing a FG reference. This is much more difficult than you would think.
Today, he took my copy of “Welcome to the Monkey House”, a short story compilation of Vonnegut’s, off of his to-read shelf. I tried to remember when I got this yellowed, falling apart book and couldn’t.
Then, Will took out the pieces of paper I’d been using as a bookmarks. My books are littered with scraps of paper, receipts, syllabi, and other paper detritus from my life that I would casually stick in pages to mark my spot. The bookmarks were stubs from my flight to Europe and back the summer before my senior year. I knew that I had wanted him to read this book for a long time, but had totally forgotten that it had been since before we’d met. I often forget that there were times in my life Before Will.
Time is a strange thing. Wibbly wobbly timey wimey has made it seem to me for years that “American Beauty” was new, or that I somehow read Vonnegut’s “Welcome to the Monkey House” after being married, when clearly the evidence contradicts this.
I picked up the book to see if the short story that so captured my attention in my youth still held my interest. It did. Vonnegut is timeless.