Now somebody was shaking Billy awake. Billy still felt drunk, was still angered by the stolen steering wheel. He was back in World War Two again, behind German lines. The person who was shaking him was Roland Weary. Weary had gathered the front of Billy's field jacket into his hands. He banged Billy against a tree, then pulled him away from it, flung him in the direction he was supposed to take under his own power.
Billy is still a little drunk when he becomes unstuck in time again. He jumps back a decade or so, to Germany and Roland Weary. But the alcohol hangs on.
I'm sorry this post is so late. It's been a long, busy day. I taped an episode of a news program for the local Public TV station. It was myself and the other poet who received the most votes for Poet Laureate of the U. P. being interviewed. At the end of the program, Donald Hall, a former Poet Laureate of the United States, announced the name of the new U. P. Poet Laureate.
And the winner is . . . going to be revealed on Saturday night when the show airs. Sorry, I was asked not to reveal who won until then.
After the taping, we (myself and the other nominated poet, the first Poet Laureate of the U. P., and the host of the news program) went out for a drink. It was a very strong drink. As I sat in the bar, I could feel myself really relaxing for the first time in a long while.
I did not get as drunk as Billy Pilgrim did, but I was feeling very little pain when I left.
Saint Marty is grateful this Valentine's Day for the people he loves most--his wife and kids--who put up with him during these last few months of craziness.