Conversations with Scott Fitzgerald

“That’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool”

From my seat, I stared across the crowded bar at a young man in a suit. He looked solemn with a painful expression on his sophisticated face and a sharp sorrow in his blue eyes. Catching my stare, he winked at me and I realized how rude I was. But he did not show any disgust or annoyance but instead walked toward me. My jaw dropped, my eyelids couldn’t move, and my brain just stopped working.

– Aren’t you going to ask me to sit down? – The young man asked and only then did it hit me he had arrived at my chair, his white bony fingers clutching tightly a drink. My jaw still stayed at the same position, possibly revealing all of my teeth, which was extremely embarrassing.
– I’m sorry – I stuttered – I… I’m… I’m just…
– Wondering if I’m who you think I am? – The young man completed my sentence with a witty, boyish grin.

I nodded, looking down. I must be dreaming. I already knew the answer, so surely that it must obviously a dream. My heart pounded in my chest, half excited, half in fear that I would wake up right this moment. Inhaling deeply, I looked up. The young man already took the liberty to occupy the chair in front of me.

– Tell me, – He licked his upper lip in a quick, swift movement, – are you also a writer?

My throat suddenly became dry. Yes, I wrote, but only as a way of organizing my thoughts, so that my mind could comprehend more clearly. I wrote as a substitute of sharing with real friends who could betray my trust. I wrote because I had so much free time. I wrote because it seemed fun to do so. But all that wouldn’t make me a writer.

– I would take that silence as yes. Only true writers hesitate to call themselves writers.

He sipped from his glass, which I guessed was filled with some sort of margarita. I smiled. Margarita, my favorite drink. Even in my dreams, I couldn’t escape a reminder of this magical drink.

– I only write for myself. – I replied, feeling a little ashamed.
– That’s the best way to write. – The young man pondered, taking another sip from the glass. – to be yourself, without pressure.
– But your most famous work was a product of an effort to earn money so you could win the heart of a girl, wasn’t it?

The young man stared squarely at me in anger but somehow I detected a hint of bitterness in his eyes. He was not all furious but realizing, and admitting, what I said was true. God, this man, he sounded and looked just like his work – nostalgic, melancholic yet at the same time so charming, so irresistible.

– You’re a pretty girl. Too bad you’re too smart. – The young man smiled after a long pause. – You’ve read my novel, you must know what I meant by that.
– But it’s a different era now. – I opposed angrily.
– Is it? – The young man scoffed. He walked away to get another drink, leaving me dumbfounded and confused with his 2-syllable question.

Right, is it? – I thought to myself bitterly. Is this superfluous world any different from his decadent 1920s? Are the women in this time any more free or independent than they were 90 years ago? Does this modern world truly value brain and intelligence more than appearance? I looked around at the servers, all being females dressed in sexy clothes and heavy make-up. I wondered what brought them here, what made them walk this path of life. I wondered if they were happy. Peeled off of their colorful covers and smiling masks, were they still the same jubilant, energetic human beings? What about me? Was I happy?

There was a time when nothing could make me cry. Life was perfect. I was on top of the world. And then everything crumbled, the truths revealed. I wished I could just forever be unknown of the truths. I wished I was forever in the dark. They said ignorance is bliss, and never in my life had I understood that more profoundly.

What would happen if I was a fool? I would read Twilight and 50 shades of grey instead of The great Gatsby. I would like The notebook instead of The Social Network. I would spend time reading 9gag, watch vines, take advice from Cosmo, worship the Kardashians. I wouldn’t question the values in life. I would live every day the same way – wake up, put on my pretty make-up, listen to love songs, talk about nothing but clothes and boys and money. I would forget the lessons so quickly that smiles would hardly have time to leave my face. Other people would hate me, feel annoyed by me, but I would probably not notice. I would think everyone was amazing. I would love everyone. I would believe every boy hovering around me truly love me. I would believe in true love. I would believe my father returned home at 2 am from a party with “just co-workers”. I would believe he still only had my mother. I would believe in every lie. I would be happy being fooled.

The young man returned with another margarita.

– You know what, Mr. Fitzgerald? – I smiled. – A pretty little fool is the best anyone can be in this world. But who will be the smart ones to call others foolish?

The young man laughed.

– Wake up, little girl. This dream’s over.
– But I still need to talk to you. – I gasped hastily.
– I’m not going anywhere. Let’s see if your mind could take you back here with me again.

And I woke up, sweaty, breathing heavily.

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