I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in a big field of rye and all. … Thousands of kids, and nobody big at all, nobody big but me. And I’m standing on the edge of this crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to come and catch them. If they start to fall … and don’t look where they’re going. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all.
I used to relate to JD Salinger because Holden Caulfield was a dissafected prep schooler, just like me. Then I related to JD Salinger (through the Joyce Maynard lens) because I was the sort of 18-year old Yalie who just might, under the right circumstances, have moved in with a 50+ man …
Now I’m the sort of Mom who can’t read or hear or watch anything about kids in harm’s way. (Seriously — NOTHING.) So those lines about Holden catching kids on the edge of a crazy cliff … I literally wept, cried and cried so hard I nearly ran off the road.
And the little girl in the ocean before Seymour blows his brains out … oh, that little girl! (See what I’m saying? It’s not like she’s the one who’s about to go upstairs and pick up a gun …) And Esme … more love, less squalor, kid. You’re the one I’m worried about, making it through with your faculties more or less intact.