Are you corrupt?

Once at 17, when she used to read books and add a new chapter to them if she wasn’t entirely satisfied with the endings, she hoped to meet someone unexpectedly; like in a film or a book or a video clip. At 22; her boobs grew larger, her skin got better, her thoughts matured and her interests stabilised but she still hoped for the same thing. She was still hoping for the person to sing her ‘My Mistakes were made for you’ immediately after they met.

What would happen if she indeed met with Fitzgerald? What if he said the exact same words to her when they were having a conversation, perhaps over tea? Would it have such an impact on her as it did now when read out from his book published 90 years ago or rather would she be distracted with his thin lips and awkward ears? Is it the fact that he was impossible that was attracting her, fulfilling her need for melancholy, for self-pity, for an excuse to stay in bed?

How cliché was all this?

“All 5 of these girls behind the bar look very different to each other.”

“What do you mean?”

“Like they all listen to a different kind of music.”

Then they went to the table to join their friends’ discussion about the stretching of DNA, Lana Del Rey and sexual fisting.

As usual, she would start appreciating the already spent time better once it was over. Like how she loves the boyfriend more after the break-up, needs the mother when away and decides the event was great at the end. But while at it; she’d only think and obsess about what’s not available; cute guys, dark lights, some drink, money, cigarettes, etc. If God exists, the worst post life punishment uniquely designed for her will be to show her all the possibilities she missed out on by not being mentally wherever she was physically.

“- Are you corrupt?

– I think so. I’m not sure. I’m not sure about good and evil at all anymore.

– Is that a bad sign in itself?

– Not necessarily.

-What would be the test of corruption?

– Becoming really insincere – calling myself ‘not such a bad fellow’, thinking I regretted my lost youth when I only envy the delights of losing it. Youth is like having a big plate of candy. Sentimentalists think they want to be in the pure, simple state they were before they ate the candy. They don’t. They just want the fun of eating it all over again. The matron doesn’t want to repeat her girlhood – she wants to repeat her honeymoon. I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again.

-Where are you drifting?” (F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Side of Paradise)

If the plan was to make things worse, more predictable than any blockbuster movie ending; she would probably need to mention existentialist ennui. Talk about the hard life of being middle class, the boredom, dilemmas, the paradox of choice but at least she had intact central coherence to predict what was about to happen; at least the next 2 steps. Waking up every day to nothing, and nothing waiting ahead.

Ephemerality wasn’t a good nickname or a complicated word heard in a song or read in a poem any more. It was everywhere; right, left and centre.

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