After someone important dies you see their face around more often for a while. That is how I came to meditate on the face of Kurt Vonnegant who died in 2007. And reading magazines about writing, of course I come across his face. When I look at him I see my ex-husband. No one ever told me that Carl looked like the famous writer of Cat’s Cradle and all. How could they not have noticed. He looks exactly the same. Or I should say I see the same in them both. I search every inch of that face of Vonnegant and I see the same nose, mustache, mouth, eyes brows, the hair the shape of his head, everything the same as my old Carl and the expression too, the tired steadfastness.
I like Vonnegants writing, many people thought I should like Carl too. And of course I did at first. But I came to see things in his face that I did not like. I ascribed meanings of dread to the very resemblances I now see in the magazine picture of Vonnegant.
So it is very weird for me to see that face and know that it is not Carl and the meanings I ascribe to those features and that expression can not be accurate for two different men. I very much doubt that Carl and Kurt were much alike at all. And how could I have grown so tired of one and not the other? Well it’s true that I never finished Cat’s Cradle. It’s a book everyone thought I would like. And I did enjoy many of his other books. I really don’t know why I began to tire when it came to Cat’s Cradle. I like the title.
All I can say is that there is a mysterious feeling about the faces of these two, Carl and Kurt, and yet there is no mystery there. The mystery is why, why do I think they look alike, the one person who should be able to recognize the difference .