F. Scott Fitzgerald, jucăuș, dând impresia că poate scrie în orice registru, punând mereu într-o tensiune benefică ironia și lirismul, despre o alegere. „Și mintea sa nu avea să mai zburde ca mintea lui Dumnezeu”. O scenă urbană, americană, cu un tânăr ofițer sărac și o fată dintr-o familie bogată, așteptând „să înflorească” la sărutarea lui. Alegerea: într-o poetică de suburbie, tânărul are percepția acută a frumuseții, a minunii, a unei lumi ce i se oferă ca terenul de joacă unui copil. Și știe că e ceva ciudat, ceva mare, care îl depășește, ceva ce așteaptă alegerea lui: între a zburda ca mintea lui Dumnezeu și a se uni cu aceste buze, această răsuflare efemeră. Peste ani, va fi măcinat de nostalgie și va miza totul pe reproducerea acelui timp. Iar cel care ascultă, naratorul, vrea să spună ceva, își amintește de un lucru, de un adevăr uitat, un mister pierdut în veacuri, vrea să exprime acest lucru, dar totul se risipește.
„‘I’m going to fix everything just the way it was before’, he said, nodding determinedly. ‘She’ll see.’
He talked a lot about the past and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into living Daisy. His life had been confused and disordered since then, but if he could once return to a certain starting place and go over it all slowly, he could find out what that thing was…
…One autumn night, five years before, they had been walking down the street when the leaves were falling, and they came to a place where there were no trees and the sidewalk was white with moonlight. They stopped here and turned toward each other. Now it was a cool night with that mysterious excitement in it which comes at the two changes of the year. The quiet lights in the houses were humming out into the darkness and there was a stir and bustle among the stars. Out of the corner of his eye Gatsby saw that the blocks of the sidewalk really formed a ladder and mounted to a secret place above the trees – he could climb to it, if he climbed alone, and once there he could suck on the pap of lifre, gulp down the incomparable milk of wonder.
His heart beat faster and faster and Daisy’s white face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.
Through all he said, even through his appalling sentimentality, I was reminded of something – an elusive rhythm, a fragment of lost words, that I had heard somewhere a long time ago. For a moment a phrase tried to take shape in my mouth and my lips parted like a dumb man’s, as though there was more struggling upon them than a wisp of startled air. But they made no sound and what I had almost remembered was uncommunicable forever.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gasby