Medical Marijuana

Chasing Salinger, Losing Youth


Over at The Daily Caller, former Reason intern Mike Riggs writes poignantly about his successful quest to find J.D. Salinger's house a few years back. Sample:

The rest of the pilgrimage was spent smoking pot, listening to good tunes, and playing a game we created called the Salinger Hypothetical, which one of us would start when the others were feeling like the trip was a waste of time.

Won'tcha please throw me a bot-tle!

Working off the trivia we knew about Salinger — the pee-drinking, the refusal to evacuate his home during a massive fire, the regular visits to Friendly's for ice cream, the obsession with young women, the interest in homeopathic medicine — we psyched ourselves out by creating even stranger Salingers. Every sentence began with, "What if Salinger" and ended in an absurd theory: What if Salinger hasn't cut his fingernails in 50 years? What if Salinger's home is staffed by Southeast Asian slave labor? What if Salinger answers the door in a dress? What if Salinger has been dead for years, and his wife too, and no one knows because he's a recluse? What if Salinger answers the door in a Marilyn Monroe wig? What if Salinger is a huge pothead? What if Salinger answers the door naked? What if Salinger doesn't remember having been a famous writer? […]

I admit, this made me laugh

From the row of trees that surrounded Salinger's house, you could look down a grassy slope and see nothing but trees for miles. The mailbox out front had a lock on it, unlike the other homes on the mountain, and the entrance to the driveway was plastered with signs that read "NO TRESPASSING" and "NO LOITERING."

From the road, we spotted a SUV with a Cornish Fire Department bumper sticker — had Salinger or his wife put it on the car after the fire in the late '90s that almost destroyed the house? And was that an herb garden near the front door? The tension was so palpable that Brian and Matt broke out the weed and we smoked another joint to steady our nerves.

"Are you going to knock?" Matt asked me after we'd had a few hits.

Click here for the REST of the story; the GQ version has pictures. Riggs' Reason archive here.