Billy drove through a scene of even greater desolation. It looked like Dresden after it was firebombed--like the surface of the moon. The house where Billy had grown up used to be somewhere in what was so empty now. This was urban renewal. A new Ilium Government Center and a Pavilion of the Arts and a Peace Lagoon and high-rise apartment buildings were going up here soon.
This was all right with Billy Pilgrim.
Billy seems okay with change. His childhood home has been razed to make way for progress--government buildings, an arts facility, landscaping, and apartments. He doesn't care that his past has been erased from the planet. Perhaps this attitude has something to do with Billy's time hopping. Even if his old home is gone in the present, it still exists in a past that he can visit again and again.
As many of my disciples are aware, I sometimes have difficulty with change. I've had the rug pulled out from underneath my feet a few too many times to feel comfortable with life-altering events. A spouse with bipolar. The deaths of two of my siblings. Job instability every three or four months, depending on university enrollment. You could say that I live in a constant state of change.
I'm not saying that all change is bad. Obviously, it isn't. I am now Poet Laureate of the Upper Peninsula. That's a good change. A while ago, I returned to a job that I love doing, where I am constantly appreciated. Good change. If I got a raise at that job--good change. So, I am not completely opposed to change.
Everyone has heard the old chestnut that change is inevitable. I know that's true. I cannot stop the march of time. Jobs change. Children grow up. Parents get old. Cars wear out. Christmas comes and goes. People get sick. People die. That's life.
Forgive me if, for tonight, I hold on to this current moment of happiness. I want it frozen. Everybody is my life is healthy. I'm working with a couple of my best friends. People are still sending e-mails, congratulating me for being Poet Laureate. I'm teaching. I'm happy, if a little tired.
I know that tomorrow things could be different. Shit happens. Fires. Accidents. Illness. Impeachment (okay, that's a change I would welcome). I can't worry about that. I recently told a person that it doesn't make a whole lot of sense worrying over the future. We don't have control over it. What we do control is here, now. Dinner tonight. A bath or shower. Cheetos or cheese cubes for a snack. Bedtime at ten o'clock or eleven. Beyond those things, it's all a crapshoot.
So, Saint Marty is thankful tonight for chicken pot pie and his daughter's band concert.