A former student visits after a rough afternoon. He’s here to pick up his younger sister from our community service club. I’m struck by how strange it is to know students in the context of families.
“You remember when we read Farenheit 451? I’m re-reading it again. I love it.”
“That’s really cool,” I respond.
“Do you remember what you said about falling in love with reading? Remember how you said a character can become like a friend, not a real friend, not a best friend, but a friend who you would cry for when they died?”
“Yeah, I guess I remember saying that.”
“I experienced that this year.”
“It was a short story from Salinger. It was ‘A Perfect Day for Banana Fish.’ I know it was bizarre, because it wasn’t even very long, but I felt like I knew him and then he was just gone and it made me think about life and I just cried.”
His sister laughs.
“No really, I cried. Some day you’ll see what I’m talking about too. It’s not crazy. It’s what happens when you love reading.”