If I didn’t know they were there, I wouldn’t be able to say that they even exist

peeling paint

Why do you remember what was there? What do you hold in your mind?

He suddenly thrust his whole head out of the porthole, kept it there a few seconds, then brought it in just long enough to report, “Someone just dumped a whole garbage can of orange peels out the window.”

…Teddy took in most of his head. “They float very nicely,” he said without turning around. “That’s interesting.”

“…It’s interesting that I know about them being there. If I hadn’t seen them, then I wouldn’t know they were there, and if I didn’t know they were there, I wouldn’t be able to say that they even exist…”

“…Some of them are starting to sink now. In a few minutes, the only place they’ll still be floating will be inside my mind. That’s quite interesting, because if you look at it a certain way, that’s where they started floating in the first place.”


by J. D. Salinger (January 1, 1919 – )
from the short story “Teddy”
found in Nine Stories
image – debaird

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