Friday, October 06, 2006

The Theft of The Catcher in the Rye

Unleaded : P39.87 / Liter
USD 1.00 : 50.02 Php

Something I posted on Jessica Zafra's blog. Topic was stolen books.

Two weeks into my college freshman year, i stole The Catcher in the Rye from the university library. Hi-jinks that could have meant expulsion a la Caulfield had it gone haywire, the chances of which were fairly high due to a mandatory bag inspection at the exit performed by the most athletic-looking guy in the library staff.

I’d always heard of and read of the book but never had a chance to actually read the book. The library in the parochial high school I came from didn’t have it and buying something you could in theory borrow from your relatives was unheard of in my family.

One day “digression” got mentioned in English class and the discussion quickly digressed to Holden Caulfield and ding! Went straight to the library after and read it in one sitting (which I’d never done before or since with any other book). With all those thoughts on isolation and adulthood and of my own kid sister freshly swirling in my head, how was I expected to walk out of there without that book in my possession on a permanent basis?

I stuffed it in the outer pocket of my backpack and headed out. I didn’t even take deep breaths or do anything to psych myself up to the task. I walked straight to the exit and held my bag out. Mr. Athlete/Inspector unzipped the main compartment, put his hand in, moved stuff around and took a really good look inside. Found nothing, zipped up the bag and handed it over to me. Didn’t even notice the alien-like bulge in the outer pocket.

I walked out of there and the book was mine forever. Thank God for jocks.

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