MR. SALINGER, I PRESUME
An intimidated, introverted, first-day
Academy freshman… I alight with
immediate obedience in the seat
indicated by Miss Black, the harsh
card-carrying minion of
A boxy wooden desk, this work-
station, now my period 2, study-hall,
home away from home, has a rugged
slide-out book bin under the seat
and while The Schoolmarm delivers
her Day-1 Diatribe, her Quakers’ Meeting
Rules: no talking, no whispering,
no giggling, no note-writing,
no eating, no sleeping, no slouching,
no looking around, no... fill in the blank
(and all etched in stone, mind you!)
I am inching that book-drawer open
and letting my adventurous fingers,
the new ‘tenants,’ do the walking
the sleuthing, and eventually the excavating
of the first of its treasures…
Ah, a slender volume entitled
Nine Short Stories...
with all nine titles
emblazoned on the cover,
some of which oddly intrigue…
“A Perfect Day for Bananafish”
“Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes”
“Just Before the War With the Eskimos”...
—from a random page I read: …A woman with zinc salve
on her nose got into the elevator with the young man.
“I see you’re looking at my feet,” he said when the car was in motion.
“I beg your pardon?” said the woman.
“I said I see you’re looking at my feet.”
“I beg your pardon. I happen to be looking at the floor,”
said the woman, and faced the doors of the car.
“If you want to look at my feet, say so…
but don’t be a goddamn sneak about it.”
“Let me out of here, please,” the woman
said quickly to the girl operating the car.
I smirk… hopelessly and helplessly smitten--
Fate, in the guise of Alphabetical Seating
which might’ve seated me in the desk of the
romance-rag-reading Home Ec girl… or the
gloriously unread Future Farmer of America…
has instead, amazingly-gracefully, seen fit to
deliver me into the bounty of a literat
upperclassman’s homeroom seat… a
surreptitious glance-down into the
breached trove reveals (ohmygod!)
the infamous and banned… Catcher in the Rye…
ApparentlyI am nesting in the branches of
the fabled Tree of Forbidden Knowledge! (YES!)
Oh, the delicious hours spent in this
study hall will pass way too quickly!