The War Parts

All this happened, more or less. The war parts, anyway, are pretty much true.*cover -'Slaughterhouse-Five' by Kurt Vonnegut

The question is, which were the war parts and which were not. Now, you could take a perfectly peaceful morning or afternoon, for that matter, sun shining, one or two – you count them – clouds in the sky, flies throwing themselves randomly at the screens, butterflies preparing to tickle the darkest thoughts of wandering three-year olds, birds singing songs of love and joy and Mel Torme or Rod Stewart or Nora Jones. You take a deep breath and get ready for it.

This is one of those war parts and you know it.

The enemy is spying on your entrenched defenses. The enemy is moving into place. The enemy is loading its arsenal with the latest weaponry. You, meanwhile, are hoping everything has blown over. You are hoping it has been sent down a path into the land of the forgotten and lost. You are hoping your coffee or tea or orange juice or chocolate milk or glass of light, white wine will be sipped, savored, enjoyed rather than gulped down rather than be tossed in disgust or left forlornly on a table when the attack begins and yesterdays stalemate is brought into stark detail so that you are left with either a demand to confess or retreat or simply flee because resistance would be merely feeding the power that turns this moment into a war part.

First line of ‘Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut


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