“It was full of phonies. And mean guys. You never saw so many mean guys in your life. For instance, if you were having a bull session in somebody’s room, and somebody wanted to come in, nobody’d let them in if they were some dopey, pimply guy. Everybody was always locking their door whens somebody wanted to come in.”
J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, p. 174, Penguin Books, 1958.
“(..) And besides (..)”
“How would you know you weren’t being a phoney? The trouble is, you wouldn’t.”
ibid. p. 179.
[Re-posted from The Old Site, original dd. 24-01-2010. Wonderfully short and off-topic.]
I’m too old for it now. I guess I grew out of it. Or thought I grew out of it. But did I? Apparently not or I wouldn’t be quoting it. No, ít grew out of me maybe. Forgot it, or suppressed it. Maybe I was a phoney all along and these quotes the kind of thing a phoney sympathizes with; in order to shield himself in his own thoughts: from being a phoney. Yeah, maybe I forgot it; maybe I moved on without the need to look back on the times where people were constantly locking their doors. Cliques. Moved on to locking my doors. People are awful. My clique is small. Is there a small too small for it to be a clique? My clique doesn’t include awful people – Is my opinion. I don’t lock my door so much as I disincentivize awful people to come in.
No, I’m not a phoney. I may be dopey. Or pimply. Or unintelligible. Or inaudible. But not a phoney. My clique isn’t a clique. Everybody can come in. It’s just that nobody wants to, it being so unexclusive and all.
The thing is: you do kinda know. You know because you’re not saving lives. At least you are not thinking you’re saving lives. Just running around trying to mind your own business. Better: trying not to make to much business out of your own business. Not out of humility or anything either. Just to avoid strange people being attracted to making it into some kind of club.
No you’re not a phoney if you don’t like clubs and if you’re able to ask yourself the question: “How do I know I really don’t like clubs?”
The other thing is: it’s easy to become a phoney. Dopey people become phoney all the time. Pimply people too. People that are told they can’t be understood. It’s so easy to become a phoney. ‘Cause you always wanted to get in that bloody door. And that’s why they kept on locking it on ya. Coz you always wanted to come in uninvited and all. You see: that kinda seals it as so very very depressing.
I always wanted to come in. I still want to get in. Even if I know I’m uninvited. Not welcome and that nobody, really nobody, wants to listen to me.
It’s easy to become a phoney. More than half of the internet is full of creating a second chance for dopey people to become phonies. It’s called social networking & it’s dedicated to creating the opportunity to lock virtual doors.
People are really good at it too – especially those that were phonies to start with. They really rock at all this social networking stuff. They really do. They can let you know their doors are locked; even if you didn’t much care to come in 😉
But I still like people. I do. I’m a cultural optimist. Always was. Even with all of these phonies and all, people are likeable if given a chance. Even the phonies. It’s just we don’t give a lot of chances. We can’t really – not enough time to socially network with all of them. So we have to pick our phonies and our dopeys and stuff. We’re getting better at it. Lots better. The internet helps. Makes it easier to find our own room, to have a bull session in it or something. Easier also to go from one room to the next, without carrying the label of the rooms you’ve been in. That certainly helps a lot. Maybe as an optimist one could say: maybe it helps enough to get rid of labels altogether (at least in the sense of cliques and clubs).
[Whilst writing this I was listening to Richard Galliano, Luz Negra.]