Thursday, July 13, 2006

A Perfect Day for Banana Fish

The first time I met someone who was named after a Salinger character, her name was Franny. I would later confess to Franny that had it not been for her namesake, I might not have befriended her at all. “Not to sound shallow, but you’re just so sporty!” I told her. And it’s true; Franny loves her sports. Likewise, I do not think Franny would have befriended me if I had not made the first move.
Months after we met, when we were standing in awe at the Coliseum in Rome, Franny turned to me and asked, “You look deep in thought, what’s on your mind?” I wanted to tell Franny, the history scholar, that I was ruminating on the ruin’s centuries of history but instead, I guiltily admitted that I was thinking about how awesome it would be to see Radiohead play at the Coliseum.
Franny is still really into sports and I would still give my right arm to see Radiohead play at the Coliseum of Rome, yet our friendship fruitfully persists despite these differences.
The next time I met someone who was named after a Salinger character, her name was Phoebe. We hit it off right away, no doubt about that. As we stood on a sidewalk on Avenue B, this past April, we both took turns squealing at each and every thing we have in common.
I am not a squealer. I like to laugh, quite a bit, and I like to scream at the top of my lungs, whenever I get the chance, but I am not partial to squealing. Yet I could not help but squeal that night, as I made my very first new New York girlfriend.
I haven’t seen enough episodes of Sex and the City to know whether or not there is ever a flashback scene that explains where those bitches met, but if such an explanation exists, I would be very interested to see it. When you move to a new city, nobody ever tells you how hard it is to make girlfriends. The job, the apartment, the boyfriends, these things all fall into place, eventually. But finding girlfriends is a whole other ordeal.
I already have a plethora of girlfriends. Different hoes in different area codes; Yup, that’s me. I’ve got girls in England, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Nashville, Atlanta, etc. And I know that I can call on any of these girls whenever need be, but for the time being, they are not right here, in my new city.
SO that is why I squealed, a little too much like a girl, upon meeting Phoebe, who is named after Salinger’s Phoebe, the most authentic character in his great masterpiece.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

your blog has proven your writing ability to me. i am currently working on a novel/soon-to-be-screenplay. if you want in, request further details by email. i could use some help.

- jimbo

9:06 PM  
Blogger Toby Shuster said...

well, jimbo, don't think that i've forgotten that i owe you a hand written letter, because i do. so expect that soon...

1:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am working at a camp in Connecticut this summer. I told one of my coworkers, Ksenia, that I was named after a Salinger character, and she said, without giving any outward indication of her supposed excitement, "I'm thrilled. I am a huge Salinger fan."

I told her that my name had come in handy at other times in my life - when I went to England for a year, I met another American named Toby, who said "I thought you were a real bitch at first, but your name kept you in the running!"

These days, if Ksenia is present when I am meeting someone new, I say "my name is Franny." and she says "Like Salinger!"

(it should also be noted that "a perfect day for bananafish" is absolutely my favorite of the nine stories).

Hurray for new girlfriends. And people named after books. I miss you!

11:16 PM  
Blogger Toby Shuster said...

oh, did i say that you seemed like a bitch? oops, don't remember that. damnit, fran, stop making me look bad on my blahg!
i cannot belive that you were in nyc today and i was in albany. why is that???

8:07 PM  

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