Holden Caulfield

My grandfather was just as handsome as Jerome David Salinger. We weren’t Jewish though, or at least I never went to the best schools. I never finished school. I never received my high school diploma. I love too much. Sometimes I’m high. I’m sometimes low. I want to lick the screaming asphalt beneath my feet, the blinding sky, the limited point of view off people in general. I want to explore love, the world, many, many things. Books and countries, from Prague to Paris. But all I want is love. And the day is like a wound.

Salt gets its daily preferential treatment. I cast no pitch-black shadow. I have nothing to give but my acne scarred skin, and my racing heart, and unconditional love. I don’t eat. I don’t sleep. I don’t work. I only have, like Salinger and Hemingway, like Camus and Symborska, Rilke and sacrifice. All I have is pain. I guess it is selfish to be that self-absorbed, that self-indulgent. But I am a disciple. I am a loser. I am a winner. I am no saint. I just fall in love with them all the time. The feeling is generally unreciprocated. So, I pray.

I look at my reflection staring back at me. What do I see? I see someone like me. I see someone like you. AllI see is the windows to my soul. Can you see the pain in my eyes, the fact that I’m a born outsider? Unloved, unwanted, and yet to make a positive contribution to society. I’m trying to make this positive contribution o society. I want to fall in love. No one looks at me. No one looks my way. They all walk on by. I just want to connect. I just want to relate to him, to her, to someone like me. I’m finding it impossible.

I think of the literary greats. The dead novelists. Rainer Maria Rilke under the moonlight. Hemingway riding ambulances in the war. Hemingway the extraordinary man, profound thinker, the enigmatic reporter, the expert lover, the husband, the father who was the sun. Salinger the possessed machine. Bram Stoker the immortal. The invincible Russian writers. Nabokov (Russian/American), Pasternak, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Anna Akhmatova. Every poet that has ever lived. Live with imperfect me and be my love, Holden Caulfield.

I want to be invincible like they are. I want to rewrite history like they did. Bessie Head, Cartland, Colette, Jean Rhys, Gabeba Baderoon. I am emotionally damaged. Hold me tight. Don’t let me go. But you do. So, does he, and he, and he, and then I’m alone again. On my own again. Flying solo. Bird. Bird. Bee in the mist. These men will always be in my heart. Soon, I will find someone else. I don’t want to go around the world. I don’t want diamonds or pearls. I have mostly terrifying days. Life terrifies me. Love terrifies me.

Touch terrifies me. And however, however much I say I want to be loved, perhaps I really only want the physicality, the illusion, the masterpiece of it. But all of it, but all of it, the physicality of love, the illusion of love inside my mind’s eye, the masterpiece of love comes with the forever of burdens and cares, and the boy is unbelievably good-looking, but I want the man, and the house, and the son and the daughter that I could not give David, that sweet man. All I do is run game, go with the flow, love, love. Love is my priority.

But today, love is not my priority. Today I am invincible. Tomorrow I am untouchable. I like the way it hurts. Repeat. I love the way it hurts. And I don’t like to ask for help. I trust, I fall, I break. Yesterday is already another day. I miss you. I need you. I trust, I fall, I break. I hurt, I cry, I write poetry, novellas that never reach their novel stage. I never seem to reach the end of satin days. I tell the truth. I don’t believe in lies. You’re gone. But you’re gone. I never told you that I thought I could stay, and live, and be yours, yours.

And submit and obey you for the rest of my life.Shut up. Shut up. You don’t love me. You never wanted to share your throne with me. You never loved me. Your eyes lied. And when I asked you to love me, you ran. The men all ran. Women approach me. I’m really not into that. No lie there. I jut want a man to treat me gentle and kind, respect me, treat me like a queen, dance with me, take vows in a church. i’m not funny, but people laugh anyway. And Roberto was somebody’s father. And he said I looked like his daughter, so?

So, I guess that dream is over. I am scholar, I am writer, poet, half-woman, half-girl. Half desired-half dream. But nobody knew the real Norma Jean Baker. Was she happy when she was smiling, or always a frightened, and sexually abused child living the white lie of a celebrity life, hiding the truth about her maladjusted mother, being molested from an early age? Will the real-real Marilyn Monroe please stand up. We need to talk about sexual assault. I am always disappearing into the bathroom to wash my hair.

Little do they know. How selective I am about what I eat. I need happiness too. Why be happy? Why be normal? I am neither. I am neither. I keep smelling like perfume. I keep smelling like roses. I keep smelling of Ibsen. Tim Rice’ lyrics. I bite my tongue. Please, no more flashbacks about the old me. The sinner. The desired femme fatale. I would follow you, into your car, and we’d be pretending to talk about everything, except desire. And every time I open a book of erotica, I think of you. I spread my legs, and touch myself.

Afterwards, I eat. I sleep. I finally sleep. And I’m here, and you’re not. You’re in the air, you’re gone. You’re with your wife in your mansion. She conceived a child for you. Abused children turn into abused adults. Never knowing the absolute substance of love. If you’re happy, then I’m happy. Go to her. You will find no happiness there. You will not find any happiness with me. I live in both reality and non-reality. I miss you. You make me feel. Guess it is over. I don’t exist. I must find love again to exist. Must find a sweet man.

First things first. I am cold like winter, like snow, like disclosure, like my talk, my walk, my mouth, my man. Can nobody love me? Is there no man that can love sleeper-me?  I go deep like the sea. It is only the sea now that can un-break my heart. I run up streets. I run down streets. I die a succession of deaths with you, without you, only to be with you, whoever the man is can he please step into the spotlight now? I go through burning desire, recovery, angels, relapse a thousand times a day, and still he won’t love sweet me.

Abigail George
Abigail George
Abigail George is a researcher and historian. Follow her on Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram @abigailgeorgepoet.