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In which John reads from Fates Worse Than Death.


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A Bunny
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Good morning Hank, it's Thursday, April 12th. "No matter where I am, and even if I have no clear idea where I am, and no matter how much trouble I may be in, I can achieve a blank and shining serenity if only I can reach the very edge of a natural body of water. The very edge of anything, from a rivulet to an ocean, says to me "Now you know where you are. Now you know which way to go. You will soon be home now." That is because I made my first mental maps of the world in the summer time when I was a little child on the shores of Lake Maxinkuckee, which is in Northern Indiana. Maxinkuckee is three miles long and two and a half miles across at its widest. Its shores are a closed loop. No matter where I was on its circumference, all I had to do was keep walking in one direction to find my way home again. What a confident Marco Polo I could be when setting out for a day's adventure. Yes, and I ask the reader of this piece, my indispensable collaborator, isn't your deepest understanding of time, and space, and, for that matter, destiny shaped like mine by your earliest experiences with Geography? By the rules you learned about how to get home again? The closed loop of the lake shore was certain to bring me home, not only to my own family's unheated frame cottage on a bluff overlooking the lake, but to four adjacent cottages teeming with close relatives. The heads of those neighboring households, moreover, my father's generation, had also spent their childhood summer times at Maxinkuckee. Making them the almost immediate successors there to the Potawatomi Indians, They even had a tribal name for themselves, which sounded like Eptomianhoys. Sometimes, my father, when a grown man, would call out to Maxinkuckee in general, "Eptomianhoy?" and the first cousin, fishing from a leaky rowboat, or a sister reading in a hamock, or whatever, would give this reply, "Ya, Eptomianhoy!" What did it mean? It was pure nonsense from their childhood. It was German, meaning this: Do abbots mow hay? Yes! Abbots mow hay! So what? So not very much, I guess. Except that it allows me to say that after the Potawatomis came the Eptomianhoys, who have vanished from Lake Maxinkuckee without a trace. It is though they had never been there. Am I sad? Not at all, because everything about that lake was imprinted on my mind when it held so little information and was so eager for information, it will be my lake as long as I live. I have no wish to visit it, for I have kept it all right here. I happened to see it last spring from about six miles up on a flight from Louisville to Chicago. It was as emotionally uninvoling as a bit of dry dust viewed from under a microscope. Again, that wasn't the real Maxinkuckee down there, the real one is in my head." (holds up Vonnegut's Fates Worse than Death) We'll miss you. I'll see you tomorrow