Holden and Hand-Holding

November 23, 2013

I’d never read Catcher in the Rye, so I borrowed it from our daughter’s bookshelf the other day and have been tucked away with it tonight for much of the evening.  I am enjoying Holden Caulfield’s commentaries on life but was getting a little weary of reading so many g__d__’s.  He has far too much sense to use such limited vocabulary, but one of his anecdotes made me stop reading to copy the passage down.

     …she was terrific to hold hands with.  Most girls if you hold hands with them, their…hand dies on you, or else they think they have to keep moving their hand all the time, as if they were afraid they’d bore you or something.  Jane was different.  We’d get into a…movie or something, and right away we’d start holding hands, and we wouldn’t quit till the movie was over.  And without changing the position or making a big deal out of it.  You never even worried, with Jane, whether your hand was sweaty or not.  All you knew was, you were happy.  You really were.

One other thing I just thought ofOne time, in this movie, Jane did something that just about knocked me out.  The newsreel was on or something, and all of a sudden I felt this hand on the back of my neck, and it was Jane’s.  It was a funny thing to do.  I mean she was quite young and all, and most girls if you see them putting their hand on the back of somebody’s neck, they’re around twenty-five or thirty and usually they’re doing it to their husband or their little kid–I do it to my kid sister Phoebe once in a while, for instance.  But if a girl’s quite young and all and she does it, it’s so pretty it just about kills you.  (The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger, pp. 79 – 80).

There you go:  some Saturday sweetness for you.










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