“Who else? You have some little friend at work who’s dumber and better-looking than I am? You think I’m too ugly for the society pages?” Tom’s expression was good-natured enough. It was the
languorous self-deprecation of a man who’d never been too ugly, too short, too poor, for anything.
“Who else? You have some little friend at work who’s dumber and better-looking than I am? You think I’m too ugly for the society pages?” Tom’s expression was good-natured enough. It was the languorous
self-deprecation of a man who’d never been too ugly, too short, too poor, for anything.
Once and for all,
renounce this man who hates everything I am and who would hate everything you are if only he knew you.
But Daisy Fay kept her
I met Gatsby’s eyes, but the
stoic set to his face told me nothing.
“Why do you let him
rile you like that?”
Jordan had neither Tom’s cruelty, nor Daisy’s
apathy, nor Gatsby’s senseless optimism.
“We’re the awful
harbingers of everyone intermarrying, Jordan, haven’t you heard?”
Still, the questions
reverberated in me. How did I not know? How did I not know you?
Both rumor and newspaper print debated where Jordan was from, without clear
She was raised in Boston, where Massachusetts cold
dissuaded her neither from the golf course nor from going out dancing.
She might stay away so long that the name Fleurs-des-Bois would
elude her memory, the town she grew up in as vague and distant as the name of an old friend she hadn’t seen in years.
“Is this what all the young men do these days?” Martha Wolf called from the driver’s seat. “Go on long,
brooding walks in a downpour?”
Martha could tell even from the scent whether a bottle had been faked, sure as a museum
curator could tell a forged painting.
How much of her family knew; if she even knew for sure how much of her family knew, or had guessed. If they saw her as fashionable in her tailored jackets, her lipsticks brighter than the deep Bordeaux of the typical shade, and thought she was some
incorrigible daughter, just a different variety than the ones in beaded dresses and pink side lacers.
His firm grip on me, the
curt way he’d patted his hand twice against my back, the hold that was more strong than intimate.
I’m absolutely furious at Tom and his little fit of
He stands outside my bedroom door with his
exhortations. “Oh, come on, Daisy."
But I refuse to be
placated about how he's treated you.
It will be such work teaching Tom not to be so
But I'm glad his
deplorable behavior at least had the welcome benefit of throwing you and Jay together.
Guests put on bathing costumes for the beach, but the pool always seemed to be a more
impulsive decision. They jumped in wearing gowns and fine suits.
As I surfaced, the blue brightened, the sun pleating into layers as delicate as
I know it's too curly and full for a French bob. But there are such neat little tricks. If I put my hair in a
chignon, I can style the pieces in the front to give that same sort of look.
“Where I’m from, we tell directions by barns.”
“You mean, ‘take the road after the third
silo,’ ‘turn after two red barns and a green one,’ that kind of thing?”
With a hand to his chin, he gave a
iterations of a fractal, I understood how Gatsby could wear such a haunted expression at his parties and still want to have them.
He was now a version of himself so utterly
incompatible with North Dakota dust and blood-tainted mud that he might think of these things as belonging to someone else.
The whole train home, I thought of these men’s reckless optimism, and I
seethed against it.
How could I condemn the
idealism of men on Wall Street and yet think so highly of Gatsby’s infinite romantic faith?
partial to their own reasons for despising other people.
But there was no judging their
dauntless cheer without judging Gatsby’s.
“It doesn’t make you look innocent to accuse an
upstanding man,” he said.
Men in top hats and bowlers who thought any land ribboned with silver ore belonged to them. Women in emerald green and
Her smile was fond and pitying, and I despised myself for being both cynical and