I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in a big field of rye and all. ... Thousands of kids, and nobody big at all, nobody big but me. And I'm standing on the edge of this crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to come and catch them. If they start to fall ... and don't look where they're going. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all.
I used to relate to JD Salinger because Holden Caulfield was a dissafected prep schooler, just like me. Then I related to JD Salinger (through the Joyce Maynard lens) because I was the sort of 18-year old Yalie who just might, under the right circumstances, have moved in with a 50+ man ...
Now I'm the sort of Mom who can't read or hear or watch anything about kids in harm's way. (Seriously -- NOTHING.) So those lines about Holden catching kids on the edge of a crazy cliff ... I literally wept, cried and cried so hard I nearly ran off the road.
And the little girl in the ocean before Seymour blows his brains out ... oh, that little girl! (See what I'm saying? It's not like she's the one who's about to go upstairs and pick up a gun ...) And Esme ... more love, less squalor, kid. You're the one I'm worried about, making it through with your faculties more or less intact.