I guess I have to give up my Bacheloser title.
I guess I have to give up my Bacheloser title.
Mr Wizard and friend/partner.
I was just going to post in Bellmont that this site is seriously lacking in Proust. Objection retracted.
Originally Posted by goofybevo
Proust? who the $#@! is Proust?
I wrote every line of that startrekwars story that I posted.
Would anyone be upset if I made the original post my sig?
Try to fit it in 125x125 and make it your avatar....
ok i think i will give it a day and post some more. seeing how some people do like to read it.
Originally Posted by Mr.Wizard
and I hope that mr titzoff will continue his also.
Yeagh they don't.Originally Posted by Mr.Wizard
holy $#@!... i just clicked this after the Jesus Loves Me thread...
Apparently, Jesus does love me... this is the best thread of fail ever. i can't even read the story...
why don't you just create a blog somewhere and post it there, Mr. Wizard?
i understand this is a joke, but i must chime in regardless. fan fiction is $#@!ing terrible. write something original. also i read the first paragraph for $#@!s. the quality of writing here is also offensive, but what else would i expect from someone who can't even create his own settings and characters?
so we have a horrendously executed incarnation of a piece of $#@! genre posted in the wrong place.
just to review, that = fail.
thanks for the summary of the 15 month old threadOriginally Posted by Taargus
I will not lie, I am coked up and partially drunk. Thus allowing me to read every $#@!ing word of this thread. Honestly, I don't know what to say. Im confused, my head hurts and I can't feel my left nostril. I regret missing this thread on the first run. God help us all.
Thanks for failing to correlate my registration date with the fact that it wasn't me, but rather the guy above me who necro-bumped it.Originally Posted by PiGuy
the way you troll on the other site, I'd be ok if you didn't post here at all.Originally Posted by Mr.Wizard
I think we just found our new slogan!I will not lie, I am coked up and partially drunk.
oh my $#@!ing god I thought this thread had died a horrid $#@!ing death.
who the $#@! brings this up from last $#@!ing year?????
Originally Posted by Taargus
no, the op was deadly serious. no joke.
Originally Posted by texanbychoice
thank you captain obvious bernard
I almost spat coffee all over my computer this morning when I saw that this was back up. First I was worried that Mr. Wizard was back. Then once that panic passed, it was normal internet fury over someone bringing back such a $#@!ty thread. If there was ever a thread for Douche Bag Central, this is it.
so I'm the only one who read all that expecting a climatic $#@! scene with seven of Nine and Vader? I feel ripped off.
That says it all.
This thread is about as great as someone running an angle grinder on a chalk board.
The great thing is, it just goes on and on! Just when you think, "My $#@! is now a bloody stump and I couldn't POSSIBLY masturbate for the 14th time today!", something comes along that makes you say "PANTS DOWN! MAKE IT HAPPEN!" and off you go.
whyOriginally Posted by RoostaMan
it has to do with getting into nsaaOriginally Posted by elguapo
That reminds me, how do I get access to the VIP board?Originally Posted by MrPhlegm
Write some really excellent Star Wars vs Star Trek crossover fan fic! That's all they talk about on VIP!Originally Posted by elguapo
Originally Posted by WhoooTex
well, that and proust
I just watched this classic Triumph clip before seeing this thread. Perfect:
Here's the ending:
It's actually very good if you take the time to read it.
you actually read all that? no way....Originally Posted by Basil Your Face
In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that Iâve been turning over in my mind ever since.
âWhenever you feel like criticizing any one,â he told me, âjust remember that all the people in this world havenât had the advantages that youâve had.â
He didnât say any more, but weâve always been unusually communicative in a reserved way, and I understood that he meant a great deal more than that. In consequence, Iâm inclined to reserve all judgments, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and also made me the victim of not a few veteran bores. The abnormal mind is quick to detect and attach itself to this quality when it appears in a normal person, and so it came about that in college I was unjustly accused of being a politician, because I was privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown men. Most of the confidences were unsoughtâfrequently I have feigned sleep, preoccupation, or a hostile levity when I realized by some unmistakable sign that an intimate revelation was quivering on the horizon; for the intimate revelations of young men, or at least the terms in which they express them, are usually plagiaristic and marred by obvious suppressions. Reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope. I am still a little afraid of missing something if I forget that, as my father snobbishly suggested, and I snobbishly repeat, a sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth.
And, after boasting this way of my tolerance, I come to the admission that it has a limit. Conduct may be founded on the hard rock or the wet marshes, but after a certain point I donât care what itâs founded on. When I came back from the East last autumn I felt that I wanted the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever; I wanted no more riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the human heart. Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reactionâGatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn. If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away. This responsiveness had nothing to do with that flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name of the âcreative temperament.ââit was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again. NoâGatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.
My family have been prominent, well-to-do people in this Middle Western city for three generations. The Carraways are something of a clan, and we have a tradition that weâre descended from the Dukes of Buccleuch, but the actual founder of my line was my grandfatherâs brother, who came here in fifty-one, sent a substitute to the Civil War, and started the wholesale hardware business that my father carries on to-day.
I never saw this great-uncle, but Iâm supposed to look like himâwith special reference to the rather hard-boiled painting that hangs in fatherâs office I graduated from New Haven in 1915, just a quarter of a century after my father, and a little later I participated in that delayed Teutonic migration known as the Great War. I enjoyed the counter-raid so thoroughly that I came back restless. Instead of being the warm centre of the world, the Middle West now seemed like the ragged edge of the universeâso I decided to go East and learn the bond business. Everybody I knew was in the bond business, so I supposed it could support one more single man. All my aunts and uncles talked it over as if they were choosing a prep school for me, and finally said, âWhyâyeâes,â with very grave, hesitant faces. Father agreed to finance me for a year, and after various delays I came East, permanently, I thought, in the spring of twenty-two.
The practical thing was to find rooms in the city, but it was a warm season, and I had just left a country of wide lawns and friendly trees, so when a young man at the office suggested that we take a house together in a commuting town, it sounded like a great idea. He found the house, a weather-beaten cardboard bungalow at eighty a month, but at the last minute the firm ordered him to Washington, and I went out to the country alone. I had a dogâat least I had him for a few days until he ran awayâand an old Dodge and a Finnish woman, who made my bed and cooked breakfast and muttered Finnish wisdom to herself over the electric stove.
It was lonely for a day or so until one morning some man, more recently arrived than I, stopped me on the road.
âHow do you get to West Egg village?â he asked helplessly.
I told him. And as I walked on I was lonely no longer. I was a guide, a pathfinder, an original settler. He had casually conferred on me the freedom of the neighborhood.
And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.
There was so much to read, for one thing, and so much fine health to be pulled down out of the young breath-giving air. I bought a dozen volumes on banking and credit and investment securities, and they stood on my shelf in red and gold like new money from the mint, promising to unfold the shining secrets that only Midas and Morgan and Maecenas knew. And I had the high intention of reading many other books besides. I was rather literary in collegeâone year I wrote a series of very solemn and obvious editorials for the âYale News.ââand now I was going to bring back all such things into my life and become again that most limited of all specialists, the âwell-rounded man.â This isnât just an epigramâlife is much more successfully looked at from a single window, after all.
It was a matter of chance that I should have rented a house in one of the strangest communities in North America. It was on that slender riotous island which extends itself due east of New Yorkâand where there are, among other natural curiosities, two unusual formations of land. Twenty miles from the city a pair of enormous eggs, identical in contour and separated only by a courtesy bay, jut out into the most domesticated body of salt water in the Western hemisphere, the great wet barnyard of Long Island Sound. they are not perfect ovalsâlike the egg in the Columbus story, they are both crushed flat at the contact endâbut their physical resemblance must be a source of perpetual confusion to the gulls that fly overhead. to the wingless a more arresting phenomenon is their dissimilarity in every particular except shape and size.
I lived at West Egg, theâwell, the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them. my house was at the very tip of the egg, only fifty yards from the Sound, and squeezed between two huge places that rented for twelve or fifteen thousand a season. the one on my right was a colossal affair by any standardâit was a factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool, and more than forty acres of lawn and garden. it was Gatsbyâs mansion. Or, rather, as I didnât know Mr. Gatsby, it was a mansion inhabited by a gentleman of that name. My own house was an eyesore, but it was a small eyesore, and it had been overlooked, so I had a view of the water, a partial view of my neighborâs lawn, and the consoling proximity of millionairesâall for eighty dollars a month.
Across the courtesy bay the white palaces of fashionable East Egg glittered along the water, and the history of the summer really begins on the evening I drove over there to have dinner with the Tom Buchanans. Daisy was my second cousin once removed, and Iâd known Tom in college. And just after the war I spent two days with them in Chicago.
Her husband, among various physical accomplishments, had been one of the most powerful ends that ever played football at New Havenâa national figure in a way, one of those men who reach such an acute limited excellence at twenty-one that everything afterward savors of anti-climax. His family were enormously wealthyâeven in college his freedom with money was a matter for reproachâbut now heâd left Chicago and come East in a fashion that rather took your breath away: for instance, heâd brought down a string of polo ponies from Lake Forest. it was hard to realize that a man in my own generation was wealthy enough to do that.
Why they came East I donât know. They had spent a year in France for no particular reason, and then drifted here and there unrestfully wherever people played polo and were rich together. This was a permanent move, said Daisy over the telephone, but I didnât believe itâI had no sight into Daisyâs heart, but I felt that Tom would drift on forever seeking, a little wistfully, for the dramatic turbulence of some irrecoverable football game.
And so it happened that on a warm windy evening I drove over to East Egg to see two old friends whom I scarcely knew at all. Their house was even more elaborate than I expected, a cheerful red-and-white Georgian Colonial mansion, overlooking the bay. The lawn started at the beach and ran toward the front door for a quarter of a mile, jumping over sun-dials and brick walks and burning gardensâfinally when it reached the house drifting up the side in bright vines as though from the momentum of its run. The front was broken by a line of French windows, glowing now with reflected gold and wide open to the warm windy afternoon, and Tom Buchanan in riding clothes was standing with his legs apart on the front porch.
He had changed since his New Haven years. Now he was a sturdy straw-haired man of thirty with a rather hard mouth and a supercilious manner. Two shining arrogant eyes had established dominance over his face and gave him the appearance of always leaning aggressively forward. Not even the effeminate swank of his riding clothes could hide the enormous power of that bodyâhe seemed to fill those glistening boots until he strained the top lacing, and you could see a great pack of muscle shifting when his shoulder moved under his thin coat. It was a body capable of enormous leverageâa cruel body.
His speaking voice, a gruff husky tenor, added to the impression of fractiousness he conveyed. There was a touch of paternal contempt in it, even toward people he likedâand there were men at New Haven who had hated his guts.
âNow, donât think my opinion on these matters is final,â he seemed to say, âjust because Iâm stronger and more of a man than you are.â We were in the same senior society, and while we were never intimate I always had the impression that he approved of me and wanted me to like him with some harsh, defiant wistfulness of his own.
We talked for a few minutes on the sunny porch.
âIâve got a nice place here,â he said, his eyes flashing about restlessly.
Turning me around by one arm, he moved a broad flat hand along the front vista, including in its sweep a sunken Italian garden, a half acre of deep, pungent roses, and a snub-nosed motor-boat that bumped the tide offshore.
âIt belonged to Demaine, the oil man.â He turned me around again, politely and abruptly. âWeâll go inside.â
We walked through a high hallway into a bright rosy-colored space, fragilely bound into the house by French windows at either end. The windows were ajar and gleaming white against the fresh grass outside that seemed to grow a little way into the house. A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding-cake of the ceiling, and then rippled over the wine-colored rug, making a shadow on it as wind does on the sea.
The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon. They were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house. I must have stood for a few moments listening to the whip and snap of the curtains and the groan of a picture on the wall. Then there was a boom as Tom Buchanan shut the rear windows and the caught wind died out about the room, and the curtains and the rugs and the two young women ballooned slowly to the floor.
The younger of the two was a stranger to me. She was extended full length at her end of the divan, completely motionless, and with her chin raised a little, as if she were balancing something on it which was quite likely to fall. If she saw me out of the corner of her eyes she gave no hint of itâindeed, I was almost surprised into murmuring an apology for having disturbed her by coming in.
The other girl, Daisy, made an attempt to riseâshe leaned slightly forward with a conscientious expressionâthen she laughed, an absurd, charming little laugh, and I laughed too and came forward into the room.
âIâm p-paralyzed with happiness.â She laughed again, as if she said something very witty, and held my hand for a moment, looking up into my face, promising that there was no one in the world she so much wanted to see. That was a way she had. She hinted in a murmur that the surname of the balancing girl was Baker. (Iâve heard it said that Daisyâs murmur was only to make people lean toward her; an irrelevant criticism that made it no less charming.)
At any rate, Miss Bakerâs lips fluttered, she nodded at me almost imperceptibly, and then quickly tipped her head back againâthe object she was balancing had obviously tottered a little and given her something of a fright. Again a sort of apology arose to my lips. Almost any exhibition of complete self-sufficiency draws a stunned tribute from me.
I looked back at my cousin, who began to ask me questions in her low, thrilling voice. It was the kind of voice that the ear follows up and down, as if each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again. Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it, bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth, but there was an excitement in her voice that men who had cared for her found difficult to forget: a singing compulsion, a whispered âListen,â a promise that she had done gay, exciting things just a while since and that there were gay, exciting things hovering in the next hour.
I told her how I had stopped off in Chicago for a day on my way East, and how a dozen people had sent their love through me.
âDo they miss me?â she cried ecstatically.
âThe whole town is desolate. All the cars have the left rear wheel painted black as a mourning wreath, and thereâs a persistent wail all night along the north shore.â
âHow gorgeous! Letâs go back, Tom. To-morrow!â Then she added irrelevantly: âYou ought to see the baby.â
âIâd like to.â
âSheâs asleep. Sheâs three years old. Havenât you ever seen her?â
âWell, you ought to see her. Sheâsâââ
Tom Buchanan, who had been hovering restlessly about the room, stopped and rested his hand on my shoulder.
âWhat you doing, Nick?â
âIâm a bond man.â
I told him.
âNever heard of them,â he remarked decisively.
This annoyed me.
âYou will,â I answered shortly. âYou will if you stay in the East.â
âOh, Iâll stay in the East, donât you worry,â he said, glancing at Daisy and then back at me, as if he were alert for something more. âIâd be a God damned fool to live anywhere else.â
At this point Miss Baker said: âAbsolutely!â with such suddenness that I startedâit was the first word she uttered since I came into the room. Evidently it surprised her as much as it did me, for she yawned and with a series of rapid, deft movements stood up into the room.
âIâm stiff,â she complained, âIâve been lying on that sofa for as long as I can remember.â
âDonât look at me,â Daisy retorted, âIâve been trying to get you to New York all afternoon.â
âNo, thanks,â said Miss Baker to the four $#@!tails just in from the pantry, âIâm absolutely in training.â
Her host looked at her incredulously.
âYou are!â He took down his drink as if it were a drop in the bottom of a glass. âHow you ever get anything done is beyond me.â
I looked at Miss Baker, wondering what it was she âgot done.â I enjoyed looking at her. She was a slender, small-breasted girl, with an erect carriage, which she accentuated by throwing her body backward at the shoulders like a young cadet. Her gray sun-strained eyes looked back at me with polite reciprocal curiosity out of a wan, charming, discontented face. It occurred to me now that I had seen her, or a picture of her, somewhere before.
âYou live in West Egg,â she remarked contemptuously. âI know somebody there.â
âI donât know a singleâââ
âYou must know Gatsby.â
âGatsby?â demanded Daisy. âWhat Gatsby?â
Before I could reply that he was my neighbor dinner was announced; wedging his tense arm imperatively under mine, Tom Buchanan compelled me from the room as though he were moving a checker to another square.
Slenderly, languidly, their hands set lightly on their hips, the two young women preceded us out onto a rosy-colored porch, open toward the sunset, where four candles flickered on the table in the diminished wind.
âWhy CANDLES?â objected Daisy, frowning. She snapped them out with her fingers. âIn two weeks itâll be the longest day in the year.â She looked at us all radiantly. âDo you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day in the year and then miss it.â
âWe ought to plan something,â yawned Miss Baker, sitting down at the table as if she were getting into bed.
âAll right,â said Daisy. âWhatâll we plan?â She turned to me helplessly: âWhat do people plan?â
Before I could answer her eyes fastened with an awed expression on her little finger.
âLook!â she complained; âI hurt it.â
We all lookedâthe knuckle was black and blue.
âYou did it, Tom,â she said accusingly. âI know you didnât mean to, but you DID do it. Thatâs what I get for marrying a brute of a man, a great, big, hulking physical specimen of aâââ
âI hate that word hulking,â objected Tom crossly, âeven in kidding.â
âHulking,â insisted Daisy.
Sometimes she and Miss Baker talked at once, unobtrusively and with a bantering inconsequence that was never quite chatter, that was as cool as their white dresses and their impersonal eyes in the absence of all desire. They were here, and they accepted Tom and me, making only a polite pleasant effort to entertain or to be entertained. They knew that presently dinner would be over and a little later the evening too would be over and casually put away. It was sharply different from the West, where an evening was hurried from phase to phase toward its close, in a continually disappointed anticipation or else in sheer nervous dread of the moment itself.
âYou make me feel uncivilized, Daisy,â I confessed on my second glass of corky but rather impressive claret. âCanât you talk about crops or something?â
I meant nothing in particular by this remark, but it was taken up in an unexpected way.
âCivilizationâs going to pieces,â broke out Tom violently. âIâve gotten to be a terrible pessimist about things. Have you read âThe Rise of the Colored Empiresâ by this man Goddard?â
âWhy, no,â I answered, rather surprised by his tone.
âWell, itâs a fine book, and everybody ought to read it. The idea is if we donât look out the white race will beâwill be utterly submerged. Itâs all scientific stuff; itâs been proved.â
âTomâs getting very profound,â said Daisy, with an expression of unthoughtful sadness. âHe reads deep books with long words in them. What was that word weâââ
âWell, these books are all scientific,â insisted Tom, glancing at her impatiently. âThis fellow has worked out the whole thing. Itâs up to us, who are the dominant race, to watch out or these other races will have control of things.â
âWeâve got to beat them down,â whispered Daisy, winking ferociously toward the fervent sun.
âYou ought to live in Californiaââ began Miss Baker, but Tom interrupted her by shifting heavily in his chair.
âThis idea is that weâre Nordics. I am, and you are, and you are, andâââ After an infinitesimal hesitation he included Daisy with a slight nod, and she winked at me again. ââAnd weâve produced all the things that go to make civilizationâoh, science and art, and all that. Do you see?â
There was something pathetic in his concentration, as if his complacency, more acute than of old, was not enough to him any more. When, almost immediately, the telephone rang inside and the butler left the porch Daisy seized upon the momentary interruption and leaned toward me.
âIâll tell you a family secret,â she whispered enthusiastically. âItâs about the butlerâs nose. Do you want to hear about the butlerâs nose?â
âThatâs why I came over to-night.â
âWell, he wasnât always a butler; he used to be the silver polisher for some people in New York that had a silver service for two hundred people. He had to polish it from morning till night, until finally it began to affect his noseâââ
âThings went from bad to worse,â suggested Miss Baker.
âYes. Things went from bad to worse, until finally he had to give up his position.â
For a moment the last sunshine fell with romantic affection upon her glowing face; her voice compelled me forward breathlessly as I listenedâthen the glow faded, each light deserting her with lingering regret, like children leaving a pleasant street at dusk.
The butler came back and murmured something close to Tomâs ear, whereupon Tom frowned, pushed back his chair, and without a word went inside. As if his absence quickened something within her, Daisy leaned forward again, her voice glowing and singing.
âI love to see you at my table, Nick. You remind me of aâof a rose, an absolute rose. Doesnât he?â She turned to Miss Baker for confirmation: âAn absolute rose?â
This was untrue. I am not even faintly like a rose. She was only extemporizing, but a stirring warmth flowed from her, as if her heart was trying to come out to you concealed in one of those breathless, thrilling words. Then suddenly she threw her napkin on the table and excused herself and went into the house.
Miss Baker and I exchanged a short glance consciously devoid of meaning. I was about to speak when she sat up alertly and said âSh!â in a warning voice. A subdued impassioned murmur was audible in the room beyond, and Miss Baker leaned forward unashamed, trying to hear. The murmur trembled on the verge of coherence, sank down, mounted excitedly, and then ceased altogether.
âThis Mr. Gatsby you spoke of is my neighborâââ I said.
âDonât talk. I want to hear what happens.â
âIs something happening?â I inquired innocently.
âYou mean to say you donât know?â said Miss Baker, honestly surprised. âI thought everybody knew.â
âWhyâââ she said hesitantly, âTomâs got some woman in New York.â
âGot some woman?â I repeated blankly.
Miss Baker nodded.
âShe might have the decency not to telephone him at dinner time. Donât you think?â
Almost before I had grasped her meaning there was the flutter of a dress and the crunch of leather boots, and Tom and Daisy were back at the table.
âIt couldnât be helped!â cried Daisy with tense gaiety.
She sat down, glanced searchingly at Miss Baker and then at me, and continued: âI looked outdoors for a minute, and itâs very romantic outdoors. Thereâs a bird on the lawn that I think must be a nightingale come over on the Cunard or White Star Line. Heâs singing awayâââ Her voice sang: âItâs romantic, isnât it, Tom?â
âVery romantic,â he said, and then miserably to me: âIf itâs light enough after dinner, I want to take you down to the stables.â
The telephone rang inside, startlingly, and as Daisy shook her head decisively at Tom the subject of the stables, in fact all subjects, vanished into air. Among the broken fragments of the last five minutes at table I remember the candles being lit again, pointlessly, and I was conscious of wanting to look squarely at every one, and yet to avoid all eyes. I couldnât guess what Daisy and Tom were thinking, but I doubt if even Miss Baker, who seemed to have mastered a certain hardy scepticism, was able utterly to put this fifth guestâs shrill metallic urgency out of mind. To a certain temperament the situation might have seemed intriguingâmy own instinct was to telephone immediately for the police.
The horses, needless to say, were not mentioned again. Tom and Miss Baker, with several feet of twilight between them, strolled back into the library, as if to a vigil beside a perfectly tangible body, while, trying to look pleasantly interested and a little deaf, I followed Daisy around a chain of connecting verandas to the porch in front. In its deep gloom we sat down side by side on a wicker settee.
Daisy took her face in her hands as if feeling its lovely shape, and her eyes moved gradually out into the velvet dusk. I saw that turbulent emotions possessed her, so I asked what I thought would be some sedative questions about her little girl.
âWe donât know each other very well, Nick,â she said suddenly. âEven if we are cousins. You didnât come to my wedding.â
âI wasnât back from the war.â
âThatâs true.â She hesitated. âWell, Iâve had a very bad time, Nick, and Iâm pretty cynical about everything.â
Evidently she had reason to be. I waited but she didnât say any more, and after a moment I returned rather feebly to the subject of her daughter.
âI suppose she talks, andâeats, and everything.â
âOh, yes.â She looked at me absently. âListen, Nick; let me tell you what I said when she was born. Would you like to hear?â
âItâll show you how Iâve gotten to feel aboutâthings. Well, she was less than an hour old and Tom was God knows where. I woke up out of the ether with an utterly abandoned feeling, and asked the nurse right away if it was a boy or a girl. She told me it was a girl, and so I turned my head away and wept. âall right,â I said, âIâm glad itâs a girl. And I hope sheâll be a foolâthatâs the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.â
âYou see I think everythingâs terrible anyhow,â she went on in a convinced way. âEverybody thinks soâthe most advanced people. And I KNOW. Iâve been everywhere and seen everything and done everything.â Her eyes flashed around her in a defiant way, rather like Tomâs, and she laughed with thrilling scorn. âSophisticatedâGod, Iâm sophisticated!â
The instant her voice broke off, ceasing to compel my attention, my belief, I felt the basic insincerity of what she had said. It made me uneasy, as though the whole evening had been a trick of some sort to exact a contributory emotion from me. I waited, and sure enough, in a moment she looked at me with an absolute smirk on her lovely face, as if she had asserted her membership in a rather distinguished secret society to which she and Tom belonged.
Inside, the crimson room bloomed with light.
Tom and Miss Baker sat at either end of the long couch and she read aloud to him from the SATURDAY EVENING POST.âthe words, murmurous and uninflected, running together in a soothing tune. The lamp-light, bright on his boots and dull on the autumn-leaf yellow of her hair, glinted along the paper as she turned a page with a flutter of slender muscles in her arms.
When we came in she held us silent for a moment with a lifted hand.
âTo be continued,â she said, tossing the magazine on the table, âin our very next issue.â
Her body asserted itself with a restless movement of her knee, and she stood up.
âTen oâclock,â she remarked, apparently finding the time on the ceiling. âTime for this good girl to go to bed.â
âJordanâs going to play in the tournament to-morrow,â explained Daisy, âover at Westchester.â
âOhâyouâre Jordan BAKER.â
I knew now why her face was familiarâits pleasing contemptuous expression had looked out at me from many rotogravure pictures of the sporting life at Asheville and Hot Springs and Palm Beach. I had heard some story of her too, a critical, unpleasant story, but what it was I had forgotten long ago.
âGood night,â she said softly. âWake me at eight, wonât you.â
âIf youâll get up.â
âI will. Good night, Mr. Carraway. See you anon.â
âOf course you will,â confirmed Daisy. âIn fact I think Iâll arrange a marriage. Come over often, Nick, and Iâll sort ofâohâfling you together. You knowâlock you up accidentally in linen closets and push you out to sea in a boat, and all that sort of thingâââ
âGood night,â called Miss Baker from the stairs. âI havenât heard a word.â
âSheâs a nice girl,â said Tom after a moment. âThey oughtnât to let her run around the country this way.â
âWho oughtnât to?â inquired Daisy coldly.
âHer family is one aunt about a thousand years old. Besides, Nickâs going to look after her, arenât you, Nick? Sheâs going to spend lots of week-ends out here this summer. I think the home influence will be very good for her.â
Daisy and Tom looked at each other for a moment in silence.
âIs she from New York?â I asked quickly.
âFrom Louisville. Our white girlhood was passed together there. Our beautiful whiteâââ
âDid you give Nick a little heart to heart talk on the veranda?â demanded Tom suddenly.
âDid I?â She looked at me.
âI canât seem to remember, but I think we talked about the Nordic race. Yes, Iâm sure we did. It sort of crept up on us and first thing you knowâââ
âDonât believe everything you hear, Nick,â he advised me.
I said lightly that I had heard nothing at all, and a few minutes later I got up to go home. They came to the door with me and stood side by side in a cheerful square of light. As I started my motor Daisy peremptorily called: âWait!â
âI forgot to ask you something, and itâs important. We heard you were engaged to a girl out West.â
âThatâs right,â corroborated Tom kindly. âWe heard that you were engaged.â
âItâs libel. Iâm too poor.â
âBut we heard it,â insisted Daisy, surprising me by opening up again in a flower-like way. âWe heard it from three people, so it must be true.â
Of course I knew what they were referring to, but I wasnât even vaguely engaged. The fact that gossip had published the banns was one of the reasons I had come East. You canât stop going with an old friend on account of rumors, and on the other hand I had no intention of being rumored into marriage.
Their interest rather touched me and made them less remotely richânevertheless, I was confused and a little disgusted as I drove away. It seemed to me that the thing for Daisy to do was to rush out of the house, child in armsâbut apparently there were no such intentions in her head. As for Tom, the fact that he âhad some woman in New York.â was really less surprising than that he had been depressed by a book. Something was making him nibble at the edge of stale ideas as if his sturdy physical egotism no longer nourished his peremptory heart.
Already it was deep summer on roadhouse roofs and in front of wayside garages, where new red gas-pumps sat out in pools of light, and when I reached my estate at West Egg I ran the car under its shed and sat for a while on an abandoned grass roller in the yard. The wind had blown off, leaving a loud, bright night, with wings beating in the trees and a persistent organ sound as the full bellows of the earth blew the frogs full of life. The silhouette of a moving cat wavered across the moonlight, and turning my head to watch it, I saw that I was not aloneâfifty feet away a figure had emerged from the shadow of my neighborâs mansion and was standing with his hands in his pockets regarding the silver pepper of the stars. Something in his leisurely movements and the secure position of his feet upon the lawn suggested that it was Mr. Gatsby himself, come out to determine what share was his of our local heavens.
I decided to call to him. Miss Baker had mentioned him at dinner, and that would do for an introduction. But I didnât call to him, for he gave a sudden intimation that he was content to be aloneâhe stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and, far as I was from him, I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seawardâand distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock. When I looked once more for Gatsby he had vanished, and I was alone again in the unquiet darkness.
That books is worse than the fan fiction in the OP.
Football .. Basketball .. Baseball .. Other Sports .. RC Didn't Offer .. Gamboool
Varsity .. Hole in the Wall .. PCL .. Einstein's .. Nasty's .. GM Steakhouse .. NSAA
Bada Bing .. Can you help me with this? .. Shagslist .. Cloak Room .. Classics .. Bellmont