F. Scott Fitzgerald is doing my head in. Everything is so dire and sad and beautiful. When the female lead says "I love you" she means it, sticks to her man through thin and thin. My life was once like that, it isn't now.
There are periods in Fitzgerald's stories when wealth, youth and beauty slowly decay. Then there are pivotal events, everything changes in a moment. A teetotal grandfather drops in unexpectedly on his heir during a riotous party, millions of dollars disappear as the old man trudges back down the stone path to his waiting car. The heir and his wife are like goldfish in an empty tank, lying flapping, "unable to even swim to each other".
I remember when romantic relationships broke up in a park late at night, a serious conversation, a difficult explanation, tears, an awkward tram ride home. Now it seems they drift apart, no one is ever sure if it is on or off. Frankly, no one has any balls, any strong stance, any belief in anything, it is easier to just not see as much of the other person until they get the hint. Fitzgerald's characters cling to love like a raft, the women I know put it down like a shopping bag.
Couples once waited until the time was right to say "I love you", save it like a lucky penny to be spent on the real thing. "I love you too." Now it is a way to end a phone conversation. Ill educated folks employ repetition to make a point, are unable to choose words carefully, feel and time their swing. Saying "I love you" a lot doesn't make it any more true than shouting "more" when the band has left the arena, it's just a pleasing sound for the crowd.
Sexual promiscuity is the norm now, in fact the two words don't mean anything together any more. It was much more fun when it was frowned upon. We have also lost the idea of sexual loyalty. Broken intimacy is a tragedy, it should haunt us. Fitzgerald describes this intimacy in terms of kisses, passionate words. When was the last time you heard a passionate word from a lover? When was the last time you truly kissed?
F. Scott Fitzgerald was of his time, yet his words speak to me now. Perhaps I yearn for the jazz age, dancing fools questioning everything? I was born into an era of dancing idiots questioning nothing.
I yearn for a time when "I love you" meant something, when there was beauty in sadness, perhaps it is up to me to make my life like that again, despite the times?