Quote for the Day: J. D. Salinger on “Goddam Stupid Useless Conversations”

I figured I could get a job at a filling station somewhere, putting gas and oil in people’s cars. I didn’t care what kind of job it was, though. Just so people didn’t know me and I didn’t know anybody. I thought what I’d do was, I’d pretend I was one of those deaf mutes. That way I wouldn’t have to have any goddam stupid useless conversation with anybody. If anybody wanted to tell me something, they’d have to write it on a piece of paper and shove it over to me. They’d get bored as hell doing that after a while, and then I’d be through with having conversations for the rest of my life. Everybody would think I was just a poor deaf mute bastard and they’d leave me alone . . . I’d cook all my own food, and later on, if I wanted to get married or something, I’d meet this beautiful girl that was also a deaf mute and we’d get married. She’d come and live in my cabin with me, and if she wanted to say anything to me, she’d have to write on a piece of paper, like everybody else.

– Holden Caufield in The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, 1919 – 2010

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