Friday, April 20, 2012

The Freshest Boy by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Dear Mother: There is not much to say today, but I thought I would write you about my allowance. All the boys have a bigger allowance than me, because there are a lot of little things I have to get, such as shoe laces, ect.” -Fitzgerald, The Freshest Boy

Took a break from the Fitzgerald and stood in class today looking out the window over the small buildings and the banyan trees, the sky overcast and pouring thunderous rain in windy sheets as the students read aloud. Their voices dim and muted, echoing behind like some memory long gone while I wonder about the rain.
“Doctor Bacon was at his desk. He was a handsome, redheaded Episcopal clergyman of fifty whose original real interest in boys was now tempered by the flustered cynicism which is the fate of all headmasters and settles on them like green mold.” -Fitzgerald, The Freshest Boy

My friend from when I was a little boy told me a story this week about walking the long roller coaster road up Gray's Hill into the gravel beyond Dooghie past the one room school house with the clown on the door, getting caught out in the rain under an old evergreen. One and only time her Dad had to come get them on a walk in the warm truck with the heat cranked up. She still remembers.
“This was a gaudy paradise of cheap sugar. Its odor, heavy and sickly and calculated to bring out a sticky sweat upon an adult’s palms.” -Fitzgerald, The Freshest Boy

Everyone has stories about rain.
“But that all changed- he was going to Europe.” -Fitzgerald, The Freshest Boy

Here in Taiwan tonight we ordered a pizza and sat on the floor putting Lego houses together. The little fingers and hands of my girls so perfect for these button sized pink plastic flowers and swing sets and fence posts and window sills. Lego's have come a long way since I was a boy.
“But Basil took it to bed with him that night, and thinking of it, holding it to him happily to the last, fell easily to sleep.” -Fitzgerald, The Freshest Boy

Memory washes us clean. In the end, it's all we have.

No comments:

Post a Comment