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Charlie writes to his “friend” that after he mailed the letter on January 1, he started vomiting, and he laid down in the snow, which is the last thing he remembers before the police found him and his parents took him to the emergency room. As a kid, Charlie used to wander off and fall asleep in strange places a lot. Charlie also discovers that he’s hacked off a lot of his hair with scissors while on LSD.
Charlie gets scared when he starts doing research on long-term effects of LSD. Patrick and Sam reassure him that he’ll be okay. Bill praises Charlie’s Catcher in the Rye paper. Charlie’s mood begins to perk up tremendously from the lows of the Christmas holidays, which might have something to do with his new psychiatrist. Charlie, Sam, Patrick, and their friends discuss Kurt Cobain, and Charlie’s thrilled to be having what feel like big, important, philosophical conversations.
Charlie and Bill discuss the latest book Bill has assigned: On the Road – but actually, Bill really wants to check in with Charlie and discuss life. Bill gives Charlie Naked Lunch, a book about a heroin addict. Mary Elizabeth invites Charlie to the Sadie Hawkins dance, which is a dance where the girl invites the boy. Charlie explains how it happened: first, Mary Elizabeth was really pleased with the latest issue of Punk Rocky, in color thanks to Charlie’s Secret Santa gift. Then, at a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Craig was supposed to play Rocky but didn’t show up, so Charlie steps in instead. When Mary Elizabeth invites Charlie, he gets an erection. He admits that he wants Sam to be jealous, but Sam doesn’t get jealous—instead, she gives Charlie tips how to act around Mary Elizabeth.
At the dance, Charlie lets Mary Elizabeth talk about herself the whole time. He’s not ready to kiss her goodnight. Craig is too busy to go to the dance, and Sam is sad, which makes Charlie wish he could comfort her. Charlie’s sister has a huge fight with her boyfriend on the dance floor. After Charlie gets home, his sister tells him that she’s pregnant. Charlie agrees to drive her to the abortion clinic.
When Charlie is waiting for his sister in the abortion clinic, he remembers that she’s the one who taught him where babies come from. Charlie waits in the car and smokes. When his sister comes out, she says she’ll tell their parents about Charlie’s smoking, but Charlie reminds her that she won’t tell, and they laugh. When they get home, their parents ask them about where they’ve been all day, and Charlie’s sister covers up convincingly.
Mary Elizabeth goes on another date with Charlie, and again, she talks the whole time. They see a foreign film, then drink brandy, listen to a Billie Holiday record, and make out from the waist up. In the next letter to his “friend,” a few weeks after that second date, Charlie discusses how much Mary Elizabeth talks. One time, he puts the phone down and walks away, and she doesn’t even notice. Charlie’s mother asks Charlie to invite Sam and Patrick over, but as soon as he does, Mary Elizabeth barges in and invites herself over for the dinner, too. Mary Elizabeth completely monopolizes the dinner conversation, which makes Charlie very upset, since the night was supposed to be just about Sam and Patrick. Even though his sister and his psychiatrist advise Charlie to be honest, he doesn’t tell Mary Elizabeth how upset he is.
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