Thursday, October 05, 2006

Yo Seymour

I'm from Oxford. Do we know eachother?

I'm talking about Seymour, CT, here, although the word always reminds me of the neatest pick-up line I have ever been on the other end of. I was in Spain (this is decades ago), sunbathing with girlfriends (slathered with baby oil, SPF fuggedaboutit) on the roof of a Madrid hotel. Never one for light beach reading on the order of Cosmo or Danielle Steele, I was reading J.D. Salinger's collection of short stories, Raise High the Rooftops, which includes several of Salinger's "Seymour Glass stories." More tortured and afflicted than Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye, Seymour Glass is Salinger's misfit prophet par excellence.

There was a group of young men sunbathing near us, one of whom had apparently taken a fancy (I'll be humble here) to my choice of reading material. As we americanas began to collect our things, said gentleman struck up a conversation with me about Salinger (to fits of giggles from my companions), and asked ultimately if he might borrow my book for the afternoon; he promised he would leave it at reception for me.

When I collected it later, the following message was written on the inside flap:

Seymour sees more.

I would like to see you

if you would like to see me

at la Plaza Mayor at 10:00 p.m.

Are you groaning? Is it awful? Yeah, I suppose. But pretty effective for lit geeks like me. Alas, by the time I retrieved my book from reception (after a night out in the Madrid clubs), I had already missed the appointed rendezvous. . .

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