Name-spiration

29 Jan

I just read that J.D. Salinger died today and this makes me very sad. Yes, he was old and went from natural causes but it’s still a loss in my life.
If you’ve ever had a college literature class you’ve probably read The Catcher in the Rye. This is my favorite book…ever. The main character of this books name is Holden Caulfield.
This is not a coincidence.
The first summer Dave and I ever lived together we were roommates and good friends. Even though it obviously became more (rather quickly). Dave had spent the earlier part of the year working at Books-A-Million but he was leaving to work as a waiter. Dave has always fancied himself smart so he spent a good chunk of his last paycheck buying a lot of the classics he had never read but knew he should. (There is a reason he is going to be an English professor–because really..who does that?) Among those books was The Catcher in the Rye.
When I was eighteen and fresh off the island in college my English professor, Dr. Tuttle (who would probably cringe if he read this blog to do all the bad grammar), had us read this book. It was literally the first book I’d ever read that actually moved me. I, like almost everyone who reads it, identified with Holden in a way I couldn’t understand. Which is ironic since Holden was a teenage boy in the 1940’s re-counting his tale from a mental institution. Somehow this didn’t concern me. Over the years I had read and re-read this book over twenty times. I love it more and find something new every time.
Anyways, after perusing Dave’s stack of newly purchased books I saw The Catcher in the Rye in his pile and I insisted he read that one first. He did because he was already in love with me valued my opinion.  After he finished the book we talked about it a little and he told me how much he enjoyed it.  I told him this exact quote: ” If I ever have a son I want to name him Holden.”

Six years and four months later James Holden, our son, was born.  It’s hard for me to believe sometimes that Dave and I ever started dating, let alone got married and then had a kid, that turned out to be a boy, who we did in fact name Holden.  When I found out we were having  a boy it seemed like it was supposed to be that way all along.  Even though Holden is only three months old the idea of him has been around for so long.

So, J.D. Salinger isn’t just an author to me.  He’s a man who, in a weird way, is at the foundation of my relationship.

Even if he was nuts and drank is own urine.

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