03 June 2010

Day 68: Dan Walker as Holden Caulfield (guest blogger)

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.  ISBN: 9780316769488.

I really wish I had read this book back in high school. I mean, everyone in my school, except me of course, it seems they read this book for some English class or other. I feel like I'm the only person who ever didn't even have a chance to read Catcher in the Rye in school. But that was fifty years ago.

See, what I think is, if I had read it back then, I would have maybe got a big kick in the pants. I mean, I didn't really realize just how much direction I didn't have in my life, but it was like this book was goddamn talking to me, like it was fate that I should read it, and since I didn't read it in school, I lost on all those years in between when I could have been doing something with my life. It depresses me.

And it's kind of no good to go back and recount all your regrets, all the things you never did because you were a kid you didn't have any kind of appreciation for what was happening in your life or where you needed to have direction so that you could make something of yourself later, because it just depresses you. I mean, there's learning from your mistakes and then there's dwelling on them, and dwelling's just no good if you ever want to get anywhere. Like, this one time I knew this girl, a real babe, only I can't remember her name anymore, but I and she got to be real good friends and all, on account of we had some classes together in college. But I was still a virgin then, and really horny all the time, I mean really lonely and just dying to find some girl with big bosoms I could show the time to, and so on account of all that I screwed it up with old what's-her-name. This one time, we were getting out of class and I kind of followed her to her car almost, just talking, nothing big, but then I stopped her and made like I wanted to kiss her. I was all smooth about it, or tried to be, but she had a guy, and it's not like I didn't know that, I just didn't care, all I wanted was a lousy kiss because I was horny and all.

Well, she didn't, but then the next day it turns out either she ratted me out to her boyfriend or he was watching or something, and he comes over and makes like he's gonna smack me around. Tells me to keep away from his girl and all that. He didn't do anything, but I'm so yellow I just stood there and said "Yes" a lot. So old what's-her-name and I stopped being friends then, and that was the end of that. But see, it's no good to dwell on something like that, and drive yourself crazy with what you could have done different. Nothing is gonna change that, so you just say to yourself, don't do that again and you move on.

Anyway, that's what this book did, it really killed me. Like, I can't remember the last time I read a book and it got to me like that. I've always been good at English and all, but I don't read a whole lot of intellectual, literary crap. And now I want to read up on all kinds of literary analysis and have intelligent conversations and whatnot about this book, because it's just the kind of mood I'm in, I guess. Never wanted to do anything like that before. I wonder what kind of a phony that makes me.

Dan Walker (pseudonym) is a writer from Northeast Ohio, who would be teaching ESL if he wasn't unemployed. He received a BA in Creative Writing from Wright State University in 2004 and a Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language from Kent State University in 2009. He will make some lucky librarian a wonderful husband someday.

*The regular author of this blog rather hates Holden Caulfield and has subsequently beaten his presence out of her fiance after he wrote this post.

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