“Seymour once said that all we do our whole lives is go from one little piece of Holy Ground to the next. Is he never wrong?”
– Buddy Glass
when i was in high school…the 10th grade (i was 15) i used to go on weekend
visits to see my sister who was away at college. i’d hang out with all of her friends, go to classes with them, go out to the bars with them (i didn’t drink though)…one of her roommates N, who i met when she was 19 and am still friends with (29 years now) was taking an italian film class. going to class with her was my introduction to all of fellini’s great works. N turned out to be a great influence on me. i’d spend tons of time flipping through her album collection and my sister’s books (she was an English major).
this is where i found david bowie, the talking heads, rem, patti smith, the psychedelic furs…this is where i stole 9 Stories and read and re-read Teddy and Perfect Day for Bananafish…which led me to Franny and Zooey, Raise High The Roofbeam Carpenters/Seymour An Introduction, and finally Catcher In The Rye.
somehow, it all stuck. i used to imagine David Bowie playing the Seymour Glass part in Perfect Day…, i bought Scary Monsters and listened to Ashes to Ashes over and over…Heroes followed, than Lodger etc. etc.
somehow, this mesh of film, literature, and music made sense to me as a teen, as a young adult trying to find her way, and even now as middle age beckons or rather, drags me… i feel the frustration of holden trying to find a little bit of peace, of franny feeling lost and found while searching for the authentic, or the wisdom of seymour suggesting to zooey he should shine his shoes just because…
i was exposed to such wonderful foreign films and books and music. all because i hopped onto a bus to upstate ny to hang out with a bunch of gay men, english majors, and italian language buffs.
we all should be so lucky, buddy.