Saturday, September 02, 2006

Just out of reach

Scott Fitzgerald called it a blinking green light.

He put it across the water. Within Jay Gatsby's sight, but just beyond his grasp. There it sat, night after night, on again, off again, for Jay and Nick Carraway to look at, to hope for, to dream about.

Sometimes it takes the form of a woman. I saw her recently. She sat there, eating her lunch, winking, as if she knew something and I didn't. It made me mad and I wanted to hold her again. But I left instead to face the afternoon alone.

Perhaps it's in that feeling you get, in the fall, when the air first cools and thoughts turn to classrooms and the gridiron. I long to be on a college campus somewhere, contemplating Faulkner and Fitzgerald, Lee and Grant, algebra and astronomy.

It's there on the days when the words come, when the world seems alive and the 'burb is blooming, and all you want to do is stay in the moment forever. But of course it passes and you move on and wait for the lightning to strike again.

The scenes change and sometimes the names do, too. Everything and nothing stays the same. The days grow long, then short. Calendars are pulled from month to month like scenes in a movie they don't make anymore. Five years go by, ten, fifteen.

The seasons blend together and the music begins to sound the same. Lots of new friends with the same old problems. Moments. Minutes. Months.

Still the green light blinks. So close. So painfully close.

But always out of reach.

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