Bookmark #722

The first time I read of Salinger and his sudden and intentional removal from society, I was inspired not because I understood it. But perhaps, because it felt impossible to me, it made me curious to the degree of inspiration. In all my years living, I have learned that it is possible, if not for all of us, then at least for me, to look at someone and disagree with every little thing they stand for and still revere and respect them. Respect is not for all the ideas someone has, and indeed, not for the riches, but often, as long as the person falls on the right side of history in their conviction. Now, what equates to the right side of history is often vague and grey, and it is not my place to say. I am as clueless as anyone else, but then, there are things you know that are good and right, so perhaps, that is all I meant. That draws a false comparison, of course, for it was not something I meant for Salinger. I merely began this piece with his name.

I do not disagree with his life in the entirety of it. I could not. Despite not understanding it then, I believe his obsession with isolation was justified by the life he had lived and his nature, which can never be discounted. For all the affection I have for the people, I also have an equally strong urge to remove myself from them, to live a life with only a handful of people in it, as if this life were some secret backdoor pub or speakeasy only a few knew the password to. I do not know where this urge came from, why it increased, or why it left for a few years, but I think I find myself happiest when I somewhat embrace this urge.

This does not mean I have a disdain for other people. It is simply a preference for the genuine, authentic, and honest. I would take someone I talk to twice but honestly talk to than someone with whom I maintain a cursory friendship. Of course, people like me are also really good at the latter. To enter a place and suddenly become a part of it as if we had always been there is second nature to us. But of course, we were never there, to begin with, and as it turns out, we do not stay for long. We leave as we arrive, unannounced, unbothered, and on a whim.

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