By Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
A relocating fale of passive resistance. Vonnegut, candy cynic and unsightly duckling, maintains to write down light swan songs for our uncivil society.
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I was left all alone, still covered with ink. I could have walked out of there. Policemen would come by, and hardly give me a glance. And then a young one in uniform stopped in front of me, acting like somebody who had been told to carry the garbage out, and he said, 'On your feet, killer. ' There was a clock on the wall. It was one o'clock in the morning. The law was through with me, except as a witness. Under the law, I was only a witness to my father's crime of criminal negligence. There would be a coroner's inquest.
I think Mrs Roosevelt did. I am sure the Secret Service agents did. They wanted to see everything. And what they saw on that canvas were brushstrokes laid down exuberantly and confidently, and promisingly, too, in prewar Vienna, when Father was only twenty years old. It was only a sketch so far — of a nude model in the studio he rented after he moved out of the home of our relatives over there. There was a skylight. There was wine and cheese and bread on a check tablecloth. Was Mother jealous of that naked model?
I wouldn't have been surprised if the police had shot this unhappy stranger while I watched. I was beyond surprise. I am still beyond surprise. The consequences of my having shot a pregnant woman were bound to be complicated beyond belief. How can I bear to remember that first confrontation with George Metzger? I have this trick for dealing with all my worst memories. I insist that they are plays. The characters are actors. Their speeches and movements are stylized, arch. I am in the presence of art.