30th April 2017
I know you know what it’s like when you have to go and film something you wish you hadn’t got to. Or somebody likely as not to go crazy and turn what could be a good day into one you wish you hadn’t got out of bed for. I have them often if you really want to know.
So I was in a cab going to the location and the traffic was heavy. I was sweating like crazy. I’m not kidding. Guys in other cars were hooting and braking. Or we were stood still for ages and you wondered if you were ever going to get there. And I kind of wished the traffic would go on for ever and ever.
But seriously I was getting a bit worried to be honest. Then I reached into my bag and there was old Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye which I’d grabbed as I was leaving the house.
My dad told me there were two books for men. I mean books men should read to find out how to be a man and all. One was Moby Dick by old Herman Melville and the other was the Catcher. He said the whale story was about being old and finding out what BS was when you were in the deep ocean with death and all. And the Catcher was about being young and confused and pretending you weren’t.
As soon as I started reading I felt this sort of wave of happiness settle on me. I didn’t care about the traffic. I didn’t care even more about the mess waiting at the other end and the day that might be spoilt and how I could stop that and how I couldn’t if that was the way it was going to be.
I felt sort of powerless and content at the same time. Old Holden Caulfield didn’t know what was ahead, but he still went there anyway, and so I knew that if I thought about it all as a straight line I would travel along anyway whatever happened I’d be OK. And I thought how when I was a kid it would have seemed like a big deal and know I’m old I know it doesn’t matter. I mean it does matter and you have to do your best, but that’s all you can do.
I read five chapters straight off. I’m not saying I was transported to New York I the sixties. They would be phoney. But I was really absorbed and then the cab sort of jolted. I looked up. We were there and I could see my friends, guys I’d known for twenty years, ready to get on with the day however it turned out. Old Chris and old Sam who isn’t really old at all, I mean he’s practically young enough to be my kid. And I felt ready for anything, if you really want to know.