Pretty Little Fools


So, Gatsby. It happened.

I remember this book from long afternoons dissecting its imagery and metaphor in a stuffy classroom. Third floor, last period. I remember talking about Daisy and the green light and the nouveau riche and, of course, the desperate, grasping Gatsby himself.

All of this came washing back to me when news of Baz Lurhmann’s adaptation came out, and I wondered why 3D? Why on earth would it be 3D? It seemed gimmicky and lord knows there wasn’t going to be explosions or missiles or things flying at your head.

As I sat there tonight in our town’s single-screen theatre, in a creaky red velvet chair with ill-fitting glasses creating a dent in the bridge of my nose I wondered how we ever did without it.

The excess, the opulence, the sheer impossibility of it all, I mean, how could it not be 3D?

I spent the whole first half of the movie missing being drunk. (Seriously.)That feeling of weightless joy, swirling rooms and undulating floors. The sweaty, frantic crush of the dance floor. Collapsing into bed with blurred eyes and waking still clothed and reeking of smoke, with furry teeth and a headache as loud as last night’s music.

I don’t remember the last time I was drunk. Everyone needs a little excess, and I miss mine.

I spent the second half remembering the book. Watching that green light, and sifting through their words for the significance they hid.  I miss that, searching for subtext and plumbing for meaning. It always reassured me that people were still willing to dig. Still willing to try and look beneath the obvious and read between the lines.

It’s encouraging, isn’t it?

When the movie ended I handed in my 3D glasses to an old lady at the door and I said goodbye to my friend and we spilled into the street and I drove home under a full moon to my sleeping baby.

And I fell asleep with music thumping in my chest, feeling – in spite of it all- hopeful.

That green light, it’s contagious I suppose.

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