He went for a nap after lunch. He was under doctor's orders to take a nap every day. The doctor hoped that this would relieve a complaint that Billy had: Every so often, for no apparent reason, Billy Pilgrim would find himself weeping. Nobody ever caught Billy doing it. Only the doctor knew. It was an extremely quiet thing Billy did, and not very moist.
Strange. I just read this little passage from Slaughterhouse, and it struck home. Hard. In the last few weeks, I've found myself similarly weepy, like Billy. I've tried to figure out the reason for this "complaint," as Vonnegut terms it. I haven't been sleeping well, so that could be the reason. It's crunch time in the semester, and I'm a little overwhelmed with school work (grading and such). I'm still trying to get my footing as Poet Laureate of the Upper Peninsula. Another possibility: I work with my best friend, and she recently took another job. So she's leaving. Finally, I've been thinking a whole lot about my sister who died. A lot.
On Monday night, as I was driving home from work after teaching my night class, I passed the cemetery where my sister is buried. Out of the blue, I started weeping, thinking how proud she would have been of my recent accomplishments--promotion at the university, Poet Laureate. That little crying jag lasted about twenty minutes, until I pulled into my driveway. It wasn't a quiet thing, like Billy Pilgrim. It was ugly.
Perhaps I should take the advice of Billy's doctor and nap every day. I don't know when I would do that. My life during the week doesn't really allow for breaks, let alone naps. Frankly, even if I got to bed at 8 p.m., I don't think it would make a whole lot of difference when it comes to this problem.
I don't think that I'll be able to figure out the root cause of my bouts of tears. It could be a combination of all the things I listed above. Or it could be none of them. All I know is that a nap sounds really good to me right now.
Saint Marty is thankful for having things to cry about. It means that he's alive.