I’m not Fitzgerald

…but I can sure as hell try. What the hell, right? Imitation is flattery after all. So here goes: this is my F. Scott. Fitzgerald impression. The first sentence is the only one used directly from the text. Speaking of which, see if you can guess which book this is (it’s pretty obvious)!  

 

Myrtle pulled her chair close to mine, and suddenly her warm breath poured over me the story of her first meeting with Tom. The two had locked eyes across a busy day at Grand Central Station.

“The rest,” she said, “is the most delightful history.”

I needn’t have said anything at all. She launched into her narrative with a vitality that bordered on violence. She was very close. I could smell the peppermint on her breath, and the artificial scents in her hair. She was like a woman made of bubblegum, an impression only strengthened by her incessant love of pink. Her story, to which I was no longer listening, swelled and popped, punctuated by random spikes of absurd, drunk laughter. I maintained politeness, though to tell the truth I wanted nothing more than to leave. I wanted to look up at all the bright apartment rooms, and wonder absently about the lives of romantic girls, whom I would take by the hand into some fantasy world, where flowers would spring at our heels with each passing step.

As Myrtle rambled on I perfected the art of feigned interest, managing to look away from her for extended periods of time. This could be done as long as I maintained a look of contemplation, and nodded once in a while, turning to smile at Myrtle as I did so. This allowed me to survey the room, whose color had only sharpened with the passing of the night. Myrtle seemed convinced that I was totally engrossed in her story, which she was now retelling from the beginning, with exaggerated details.

“… and so I tell you, Nick, the carriages were out in full force. Three–no, no–four carriages arrived to shepherd us out to our date. And we were–we were like the lambs of God out there!”

I looked over at the supposed lamb of God, who was still drinking heavily. His muscles bulged through his shirt. His jacket lay crumpled in a chair across the room, haphazardly thrown there in a bygone moment of hilarity. He looked over at me, and he must have found something he wanted to say in my face, because at that moment he stood up, thrusting his drink up into the air.

“I want to declare a toast.”

The women all stopped their conversations to look at him. The photographer–what was his name–made a point of finishing his sentence, and only then turned to look at Tom, a little rebellious flame burning in his eyes. I think Tom would have been irritated, but at this point even he was drunk.

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