Patti loves Kurt Vonnegut. Probably always has. Knowing her, she picked up one of his books when she was in junior high, maybe earlier, and just started reading — not because anyone told her to, probably, but because she’d read his name somewhere or saw his works referred to by someone else whose books she enjoyed reading.

She’s a bit of an explorer, that Patti.

I read something by Vonnegut once, a short story or two, I don’t remember. I’m quite certain I had something else going on at the time, so, as usual, I wasn’t paying full attention.

(I always seem to not catch on in time, sometimes.)

Anyhoo, upon hearing of Vonnegut’s death, I e-mailed Patti because I knew she’d be sad. He was one of her heroes — and if you know Patti at all, you know she doesn’t toss out words like “hero” to too many people. Which is probably for the best, really.

This morning, I found myself thinking about this Vonnegut quote:

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.”

What are some of the things I pretend to be?

  • Aware
  • In control
  • Interested (I try to be, but when it’s not all about me … I struggle.)
  • Responsible

There are many more, of course;* these are simply a few of the ones I don’t mind sharing, mostly ’cause people have probably figured them out already.

What are some of the things you pretend to be?

* — I couldn’t resist throwing in a semicolon, in part because Vonnegut apparently hated them:

“Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.”

(I will admit: I’m trying to cut down on semicolons. Although I have to say that one of the things I love about me is that I know exactly how to use them. So put THAT in your drok pipe** and smoke it!)

** — There are, basically, no limits to my capacity for drokdom.