We all knew Holden Caulfield, that quirky, brilliant kid with the dumb clothes and the incessant lies; the one that came out of nowhere and only said things we never expected. His was a dangerous charm. The kind that could hurt you with its meaningless, and break your heart with its observance. He was the one we all expected to die after we loved him but before we understood.
When I learned J.D. Salinger died today, I thought of the works of his I've read and taught. How desperate and greedy in my youth I had been for more of his work to be published, for him to trust in humanity as an audience again. It is only in his death that I will be able to add to my small collection of Salinger texts and this would have made my younger self happy--the self that didn't realize that the birth of new work meant the death of that person out there, standing at the edge, waiting to catch us before we went over.
I will miss knowing you were out there.