“His dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it.”
If it was a song I would be humming it all day. It flowed through my veins and it talked to me. Those must be powerful writers who can make you feel for their creations. I connected with Nick. I smiled when he could write only to the assurance and then you can always burn it. I liked his infatuation towards what Gatsby was. I was eager for him to meet the Gatsby and I felt nothing for the one that Gatsby was.
“He smiled understandingly-much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced–or seemed to face–the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.”
Don’t we all want that. For a someone to smile that to us. I was happy for Nick. I could feel what he felt. Prejudice is good when in favor. It stinks only otherwise. But till now all I related to was to Nick. I never had thought, that moment on I will feel every straw of emotion that Gatsby felt. The writer played me. Oh so good.
I was in love with Gatsby before I could know. I guess so was Nick. We all wanted him to see Daisy. We all just wanted so bad for him to see the girl. No judgments. No morals. No preaches. It’s funny how clean you feel, how easy you open, when you are not feared for being judged for your loves and hatreds and dreams and decisions.
“He talked a lot about the past and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving her.”
And how wonderful it is to hear someone open up their hearts when you aren’t practicing righteousness. You only like the truths. Not their side. He sat there telling his stories…
“Then came the war, old sport. It was a great relief, and I tried very hard to die, but I seemed to bear an enchanted life.”
I shared his restlessness. The helplessness that kills, but just doesn’t kill enough to make you dead. I shared the perfection of his dream. The foolproof idea. So much that he couldn’t see through it. There was no reality beyond it. He was waiting for the longest day. Just like the last year when it came and passed.
“Can’t repeat the past?” he cried incredulously. “Why of course you can!”
I knew a few minutes before he died that he had to. And I didn’t want to stop it. With all the love in my heart for him I still knew that there was no retreat from the dream he once lived and the dream that was broken. He had to live with it, much meaninglessly or he had to die. I would choose death.
On the other hand…
“I couldn’t forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified.”