• Chapter 1

  • Narrator

    When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind:

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  • Paul Newman and a ride home.

  • I was wishing I looked like Paul Newman--- he looks tough and I don't--- but I guess my own looks aren't so bad.

  • I have light-brown, almost-red hair and greenish-gray eyes.

  • I wish they were more gray, because I hate most guys that have green eyes, but I have to be content with what I have.

  • My hair is longer than a lot of boys wear theirs, squared off in back and long at the front and sides, but I am a greaser and most of my neighborhood rarely bothers to get a haircut.

  • Narrator

    Besides, I look better with long hair.

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  • I had a long walk home and no company, but I usually lone it anyway, for no reason except that I like to watch movies undisturbed so I can get into them and live them with the actors.

  • When I see a movie with someone it's kind of uncomfortable, like having someone read your book over your shoulder.

  • I'm different that way.

  • I mean, my second oldest brother, Soda, who is sixteen-going-on-seventeen, never cracks a book at all, and my oldest brother, Darrel, who we call Darry, works too long and hard to be interested in a story or drawing a picture, so I'm not like them.

  • And nobody in our gang digs movies and books the way I do.

  • Narrator

    For a while there, I thought I was the only person in the world that did.

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  • So I loaned it.

  • Soda tries to understand, at least, which is more than Darry does.

  • But then, Soda is different from anybody;

  • he understands everything, almost.

  • Like he's never hollering at me all the time the way Darry is, or treating me as if I was six instead of fourteen.

  • Narrator

    I love Soda more than I've ever loved anyone, even Mom and Dad.

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