This paragraph right here:
“When the weather’s nice, my parents go out quite frequently and stick a bunch of flowers on old Allie’s grave. I went with them a couple of times, but I cut it out. In the first place, I certainly don’t enjoy him in that crazy cemetary. Surrounded by dead guys and tombstones and all. It wasn’t too bad when the sun was out, but twice – twice – we were there when it started to rain. It was awful. It rained on his lousy tombstone, and it rained on the grass on his stomach. It rained all over the place. All the visitors that were visiting the cemetary started running like hell over to their cars. That’s what nearly drove me crazy. All the visitors could get in their cars and turn on their radios and all and then go someplace nice for dinner – everybody except Allie. I couldn’t stand it. I know it’s only his body and all that’s in the cemetary, and his soul’s in Heaven and all that crap, but I couldn’t stand it anyway. I just wish he wasn’t there. You didn’t know him. If you’d known him, you’d know what I mean. It’s not too bad when the sun’s out, but the sun only comes out when it feels like coming out.” – Holden Caulfied, The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, page 155-156.
What really stands out to me about this paragraph is the harsh reality of it. Using the lovely analytical shite that I learned in college, it goes without saying that Holden is being very selfish in this paragraph. All the other visitors are there visiting lost loved ones, not Allie. They may feel the same damn way that Holden does about their dead loved ones. And Allie is not the only one who can’t leave the cemetary; all the other deceased people buried there can’t get up and go home for dinner either. But this is the beauty of this paragraph, because this is what grief is. It is selfish. It makes you incapable of looking past the tip of your nose and seeing that other people may suffer as well.
I have this coworker who is interested in the stuff that I read here at the office, but he was surprised I was reading this particular book, this “racy” book. Now, racy is only a defining term for things that are improper or indelicate, risque even. I understand that The Catcher in the Rye is supposedly a controversial book with a rebellious antagonist. And I don’t want to give too much away considering I know a couple people who have yet to read the book and such, but I know why I can identify with Holden. We both lost a sibling. That type of grief, especially when experienced at a young age can be traumatic. Grief is not proper, and grief is not delicate. It’s downright crude and horrorifying, and it makes you see pieces of yourself as monstrous and distant and judging, pieces you didn’t know were capable of existing in you.
This is not my full impression of this book. I probably will never have the thoughts completely in order to write it down. This is more of a base impression, this I had to get out.