Kilgore Trout

Kilgore Trout 

Things are starting to get messy. The beginnings trace back to earlier this year when I started reading books again on a regular basis. I picked up my first Chuck Palahniuk novel, and I didn’t stop reading until I read them all. I became desensitized to most things gross. Years ago if you aksed me what I thought about making soap out of liposuctioned fat, or a guy who can belch in an elevator from the 3rd floor to the 12th floor, I would have told you—I’ve never heard of anything so heinous. Now I think that’s kinda neat.

Last month I read my first Henry Miller novel. For eight days straight I showered 3-4 times a day because I felt like a dirty old man. I couldn’t get Black Spring out of my head, not even with expensive shampoo.

And I blame Mindy (aka Madness) for my new insecurity. I was once just a simple man, now I think I’ve become complex. Madness gave me the book Running with Scissors but failed to warn me about reading it in public. I would read it on the streetcar on my way to work, and behind my back these junior-high kids from a trashy private school would tease me and call me names like Oprah-Book-Club-Biatch. All along I thought they were making fun of this woman with a fake Lithuanian accent. She works at Banana Republic corporate and no one will sit next to her because she’s always reading either A Million Little Pieces or My Friend Leonard out loud. I- know! Then one day I show up at the office, take off my jacket and find a piece of paper taped to my back that reads “Kick me. I like to cry.” That’s where I draw the line. Sniffle. Those kids just crossed it.

But wait, it’s gets messier.

I read my first Kurt Vonnegut novel. In Slaughterhouse Five the main character is Billy Pilgrim. Billy’s favorite author is a guy named Kilgore Trout, who at one point lived in Billy’s home town of Ilium NY. I looked up Ilium to see if it was on Long Island, but I couldn’t find it. I read somewhere that the town of Ilium doesn’t exist, and neither does Kilgore Trout. 2am—I read that Kurt Vonnegut is Kilgore Trout. 3am—I’m still surfing the web. Kilgore Trout is the main character in Vonnegut’s book Cat’s Cradle. On another site I read that Kilgore Trout’s real name is Philip Jose Farmer. 4am—I google Kilgore Trout. Apparently Kilgore Trout is also the name of a couture fashion line for him or her out of Cleveland. And Kilgore Trout is also the name of a grunge band from Seattle. Who’s fucking with me?

Kilgore Trout. Kilgore Trout. Kilgore Trout. Try saying that three times quickly.

This one old lady at Home Depot told me the only place you would find a Kilgore Trout novel is in dirty bookstore. And his short stories were published in between pages of luscious ladies in Hustler magazine. To that hater I say—You’re wrong. I found a Kilgore Trout book on eBay. It’s called Venus on a Half Shell. And yes, the cover kinda resembles soft-core intergalactic porn, but I guarantee you it’s not. I would know.

I’m almost done reading this book, it’s my first science-fiction book. And have I got a lot to say about it. Stay tuned for all the messy details.

Venue on a Half Shell

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