Billy Pilgrim could not sleep on his daughter's wedding night. He was forty-four. The wedding had taken place that afternoon in a gaily striped tent in Billy's backyard. The stripes were orange and black.
Billy and his wife, Valencia, nestled like spoons in their big double bed. The were jiggled by Magic Fingers. Valencia didn't need to be jiggled to sleep. Valencia was snoring like a bandsaw. The poor woman didn't have ovaries or a uterus any more. They had been removed by a surgeon--by one of Billy's partners in the new Holiday Inn.
There was a full moon.
Billy got out of bed in the moonlight. He felt spooky and luminous, felt as though he were wrapped in cool fur that was full of static electricity. He looked down at his bare feet. They were ivory and blue.
Billy can't sleep. Gets up in the middle of night, glowing, electrical. Something's about to happen to him. Billy is about to be abducted by Tralfamadorians.
I'm sorry for my absence for the last couple days. I wasn't abducted by aliens. It has just been a long weekend of travel and long nights. My daughter did well in her dance competition. She received a couple first places, three medals, and a really big trophy. We got home late last night from the Dells.
And then I had a Billy Pilgrim experience. I woke up at about 3 a.m. to hail and rain and what I thought was thunder. Turned out to be a cyclone tearing through the city. It took the power out, hammered windows and cars, and uprooted trees. It felt like I was under siege from some kind of alien force, even though I wasn't glowing and luminous.
In the morning, when I went outside to inspect the damage, I found two windows on my car shattered. My son discovered a 30-foot pine tree knocked over in our backyard. It narrowly missed the power line pole in the alley. All through the city, trees were on top of roofs, trampolines were folded like tacos, and business signs were destroyed.
I was lucky. The pine tree didn't land on my house. I got away with just some broken windows. The power was out until about an hour ago. Almost 18 or 19 hours. My house is finally starting to warm up. Now, the weather forecast is for snow and freezing rain tomorrow morning.
Saint Marty is thankful for electricity tonight.