Phony Holden Caulfield recounts his crumby winter break

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is whether I applied for summer internships, and how my grades were, and all that CDO kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, you shouldn’t be asking anyway unless you want to be a nosy bastard. Besides, I’m not going to tell you my whole god­dam autobiography or anything.

Where I want to start telling is the Friday when I had my last exam and I finally got to take it easy. The first thing I did when I got done with my test was try to celebrate. Let me tell you, “drunk Deece” sounds like a great idea until you run into people you know and have to pretend you’re not a crumby bastard using pine­apple juice as a mixer at 6:00 in the afternoon. To make things worse, the waffle machine was already unplugged and cooled down and all. When I saw that, I wanted to get the hell out.

Once I got home, I right away had to go to the dentist and get my wisdom teeth out. I must’ve eaten about two hundred bowls of Wolfgang Puck squash soup that week. The can has this poor fool on the front who’s supposedly this fa­mous chef Wolfgang Puck, but I certainly doubt old Wolfgang has the time to personally cook each one of those goddam cans. In fact, if he’s such an important chef and all, I can’t believe he’d want his soup recipe to be left on a shelf for about a year before it even got eaten. He’d prob­ably only want it served fresh in a fancy white bowl with a goddam parsley garnish. I could’ve eaten regular food, but my mouth wouldn’t co­operate. The sonuvabitch wouldn’t close. And on top of all that, half my entire lip is still numb. The whole thing depressed the hell out of me.

The first thing I did once I was recovered and all was try to make a little dough off the Vicodin I’d gotten prescribed by the dentist. I called up this moron I knew when I was at the Whooton School, Thurston Becker. His family was loaded, of course. His dad was the CEO of some peanut butter company, and old Thur­ston simply wouldn’t shut up about it. Anyway, Thurston was the bastard to go to if you wanted drugs, but I figured I should be slick about it. What I did was, I didn’t come right out and say anything incriminating. I told him I wanted to make a little bargain with him.

Naturally, he was about two hours late. He roared the hell up in his Porsche and hopped out like he was in a big damn hurry. As if he couldn’t just walk the three blocks, for Chrissake. He popped the trunk open and started hollering at me. “Start loading ‘er up, willya?” he said. I sort of sauntered over, casual as hell and all, so no one could tell I was drug dealing. “You’re a prince, Caulfield,” he said. “This is my first sale. Are you looking for crunchy or creamy?”

It turned out Thurston had started working for his old man as a peanut butter salesman. Ap­parently he’d gotten in a helluva lot of trouble for dealing at Dartmouth, and Mr. Becker was trying to get him on the straight and narrow and all. I stayed around and shot the breeze for a while, but I couldn’t get a word in edgewise because old Thurston wouldn’t shut up about this frat he was in at school. Apparently he had to get hazed before he could join, and it sounded like the crumbiest time I could imagine. He said he had to sit in a pile of ice cubes for an hour, and then the frat gave him a homemade tattoo, right on his actual ass and all. The worst part was how proud he was about it. He even offered to show me, for Chrissakes.

That’s when I decided I was ready to go back to Vassar. It may have a few phonies, and midterms are a lot of crap, but at least we don’t have frats and UpC is moving to Main. It’s fun­ny. Don’t ever go five weeks without seeing your college friends. If you do, you start missing ev­erybody.

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