If This Isn’t Nice… to Feel Nothing

And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is”.

Kurt Vonnegut – A Man Without a Country

How nice — to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.

Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse-Five

Yes, the same man wrote both thoughts. 

Literary criticism be fully damned.

A very long time ago, I was a student of literary criticism, which is just another way of saying, “Tell someone you’re a college drop-out without telling them you’re a college drop-out.”

It was fascinating, though.  A lot like Google is fascinating, and can become the greatest time suck in the history of time… that sucks.  Questions like, “Did the Apostle Paul write the Epistle to the Romans, AND the Epistle to the Hebrews?”  Or, “Did William Shakespeare write the works of William Shakespeare?” 

The first one only matters if you’re live-tweeting during the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions.  The second one doesn’t matter at all, because, “…a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, if the name was Shakespeare of Stratford, the Sweet Swan of Avon, Sir Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, or a bunch of late 16th century fanboys on a perpetual pub crawl through the dirty streets of London.

And we all know that A Rose by Any Other Name was Teena Marie.

How was that for “I digress”?

But the point of my point is, and this is the part that I really want to drive home, in a month-long parade of posts like National Blog Posting Month, writers write as themselves.  Maybe more like themselves than at any other time of the blogging year, because… after so many posts on consecutive days… all the varnish is off the mixed-metaphorical hot dog.  There is no plan anymore, as if you had a plan to begin with.  By today, Day 23, all there is that’s left inside is an imprint of your true self.

Which changes with your mood, how much sleep you got the night before, if you had an argument with your cat during breakfast, or every other potential existential crisis available to post-modern human-kind.

Take a look back up the page, at the two disparate quotes from the very prolific writer, Kurt Vonnegut.  Sloppy literary criticism might try to get you, the reader, to believe that Vonnegut did NOT, in fact, write both quotes.  Even though there are publishers, editors, colleagues, friends, family, and readers over the decades, who could tell you without equivocation that Kurt Vonnegut wrote both A Man Without a Country, AND Slaughterhouse-Five.  And, even more important, your own stories, written daily on the page, or however often you write, are all written by the same author.

And let’s go one step further.

Every You Thought, or You Feeling, every idea or plan, high, low, or in-between, is being thought or felt, ALL by YOU. 

There will be days when you will feel nothing, and still get full credit for being an intrinsically AWESOME human being.  There will also be days when you will not be able to keep The Murmur inside you, The Exclaim inside you, The HAPPY inside you, and all of that is also ALL by YOU.

Beautiful, never the same, yet always, only you.

And after all that letting my brains leak onto the page, maybe tomorrow, I’ll just write a limerick and call Day 24 break-even.

So now, tell me, do you ever feel like you’re never the same person twice, even though there’s always only one of you?  Let me know, okay.

Talk to you tomorrow.



  1. djmatticus says:

    Okay, yes, there’s only one of me but that one is many. I’m a dad. I’m a jester. I’m a dj, a writer, a sports fan, and on and on. And never the same because each of those mes is constantly shaped anew by the experiences of all of them. Right? Right.
    Two questions for you:
    How did you sleep last night?
    Did you get into an argument with your cat over breakfast?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bill Friday says:

      Terribly. There is no cat, only “Cat’s Cradle” #VonnegutJokesNotDadJokes

      Liked by 1 person

      1. djmatticus says:

        If there is cats cradle is there a silver spoon?
        I’m not sure if even know what good sleep was at this point.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Renee says:

    I like your perspective. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Each second is a new experience and each new experience makes you a different person, so I’m different now than I was when I started writing this response.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. momkelli says:

    Not being the same person twice is a good way to describe my feelings at times.

    I at times feel like my writing during a challenge like this is forced and not my true writing but then I have things sitting in my drafts that I would love to hit publish on but don’t mainly out of fear but I don’t know what I fear.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. momkelli says:

    Never the same person twice, even though there’s always only one of you is a good way to describe how I feel sometimes.

    I at times feel my writing during a challenge like this is forced and not my true self but at the same time there are items in my drafts I wish I would hit publish on but don’t out of fear but I am not sure what that fear is

    Liked by 1 person

  6. hastywords says:

    I was a person before I became a different person for a person who thought he needed a different person than me. And then when I discovered he needed to be the different person or he’d never be happy I left him to be the person I was before I became the different person. But you’re right you can never be the same person twice but I’m a better person that the before person or the different person ever hoped to be.

    Liked by 1 person

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