An Evening with J. D. Salinger

From the Paris Review:

Joe and I fetched our coats and Jill’s while she and Salinger stood silently. As we headed for the door Salinger came alive and spoke up. “No, no,” he said. “Please don’t go. Please stay and have another drink. Don’t go now.” He was shaking his head.

“Really, we must go,” I said. “I’m sorry.” And I was, I certainly was.

I did not understand exactly why Jill had broken down, but it was impossible to think that we could stay.

We stood awkwardly on the sidewalk waiting for a cab. One came quickly and Salinger asked again that we change our minds. “Come back in, please, have another drink.”

The three of us got into the cab. Joe gave the driver my address and when the cab began to move Salinger began walking, then running, alongside, still asking us to change our minds. He hit the cab—with his fist, I supposed—and the driver braked.

Joe said, “Drive on!” Salinger was looking in through the window beside me. “Stop. Please come back!” He was shouting now in the quiet street.

The cab moved and got through the intersection. Joe said angrily, “He’s absolutely crazy.”