For one of my favorite authors, whose work has enriched my life.
Dear Mr. Salinger,
...for the poignant visual of the brother and sister who finally achieve real communication in separate rooms of the same house, using the phone that nobody will disconnect, because it belongs to their dead brother.
...for giving us the girl who flew around the house at night and knew it wasn’t a dream because of the dust on her fingers from touching the dark lightbulbs.
...for the nervous, frenetic energy of a too smart young girl with a raccoon coat, and a mountain of cynicism regarding her idealistic and broken dreams of the world of academia, who’d thought she would change the World of Theater during summer stock.
...for the young man who wants to protect the kids at the edge of the cliff.
...for making me see, hear and taste New York City in the 1940’s. Looking out the window at the girl and her dog playing tag around the tree come to mind.
...for the exotic griminess of New York bars and phoney piano players and city sidewalks that fall into the abyss the moment you step off them to cross the street.
...for showing me the differences between Santa Claus, Francis of Assissi and Christ at the tender and cycinal age of 19.
...for unfailingly illustrating that a spiritual life must be one that is fully committed to without waivering... regardless of the consequences.
...for writing. I am ashamed to confess I have wondered when you were going to die so that your unseen work might be published. I have been known to expound upon your books and then say, “Dammit, when is he going to die so we can get our hands on all those manuscripts!”
But today when I got the word, I felt no elation. The world has just gotten a little dimmer. One light, one cynical, sarcastic, funny as hell, and grand light has gone out, and tonight I feel like weeping.
I will continue to shine my shoes for the Fat Lady.
Rest In Peace, J.D. Salinger