Who is the Real Holden Caulfield?

“I used to bump into him at the old Joe College Club on Eighteenth and Third in New York.  A beer joint for college kids and prep school kids.  I’d go there just looking for him, Christmas and Easter vacations when he was home.  I’d drag my date through the joint, looking for him, and I’d find him way in the back.  The noisiest, tightest kid in the place.  He’d be drinking Scotch and every other kid in the place would be sticking to beer.  I’d say to him, ‘Are you okay, you moron? Do you wanna go home? Do you need any dough?’ And he’d say, ‘Naaa. Not me. Not me, Vince. Hiya boy. Hiya. Who’s the babe?’ And I’d leave him there, but I’d worry about him because I remembered all the crazy, lost summertimes when the nut used to leave his trunks in a wet lump at the foot of the staircase instead of putting them on the line. I used to pick them up because he was me all over again.”

Vincent Caulfield
“Last Day of the Last Furlough”
1944

More coming — July 16, 2011.

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