We danced about four numbers. In between numbers she's funny as hell. She stays right in position. She won't even talk or anything. You both have to stay right in position and wait for the orchestra to start playing again. That kills me. You're not supposed to laugh or anything, either.
Anyway, we danced about four numbers, and then I turned off the radio. Old Phoebe jumped back in bed and got under the covers. "I'm improving, aren't I?" she asked me.
Holden has a good moment here. One of the few good moments of the novel. And, no surprise, his sister, Phoebe, is the reason he's happy. Phoebe makes Holden forget his problems. He's still been kicked out of school. He's still incredibly depressed over his younger brother's death. He's still alienated from his parents. And, yet, he's dancing. He's found some joy. He's found an open window.
Last night, I wrote about all the doors that have been closing in my life recently. I was a little frustrated. I've been looking for some way to overcome my frustration. An open window to fly through, if you will. Instead, I've been looking through the windows at the scenery. Pretty trees. Beautiful seascapes. No way to get to them.
I went to a therapy appointment today with my wife. I talked about the doors, the windows. My therapist said something that really hit home: "Perhaps you're at the wrong window." I've had an idea of what window I want to see opened. I applied for a job at the university, and the view from that window looked damn good. I wanted that window to open. It didn't. However, while I was standing with my nose pressed against the glass, I wasn't looking at any other window around me.
Yes, I'm doing what I always do. I try to control situations that I have no control over. I don't like feeling powerless. My therapist gently nudged me in the direction of other windows, other opportunities, that might be coming my way. She suggested I try a little window shopping, and I'm going to try to take her advice to heart.
Speaking of windows, I have a little fairy tale to share with you.
Once upon a time, a man named Montel lived in a cottage by the sea. Montel was a gifted painter, but he only painted one thing. Every day, Montel set his easel at the same window and painted the same seascape, over and over. He thought it was the most beautiful view in the world.
For a while, the people of the kingdom loved Montel's paintings. They would travel hundreds of miles to purchase one from him. Eventually, though, customers stopped showing up at his door. Nobody wanted to purchase another painting of the same seascape. Art critics started saying that Montel was a one-hit wonder, like Billy Ray Cyrus. They started calling his paintings "Achy Breaky Breakers."
One morning, as Montel was setting up his easel at his window, the Blue Whale Fairy appeared in the sea before him. "Montel," the whale said, flipping his tale, "you should paint the view from your upstairs window today."
Montel shook his head, "No," he said, "this window gives me the best light and the best perspective. It's perfect."
"But--" the Blue Whale Fairy said.
"Go peddle your fish some place else," Montel said. "I'm not changing windows."
The Blue Whale Fairy shook his head and swam away.
Later that morning, as Montel was sitting at his window painting, a tidal wave swept in from the sea. Montel drowned, and his body was swept away.
In the days following the tidal wave, Montel's paintings began selling for millions of dollars.
Moral of the story: don't live by the sea.
And Saint Marty lived happily ever after.
|Don't mess with the Blue Whale Fairy|