Some nights are just destined for trouble, wherever you are. There is something afoot, something hard to characterize, its not a visible thing but rather some kind of mischief in the air, you sense it, your body senses it, everybody senses it and still you climb those stairs towards the music and the lights, your pale shawl carelessly trailing behind your pointed, shiny shoes.
You go to the party that you are meant to attend. I have been to that party on that warm night, like the crazy, Bugsby Berkeley-esque version of the party at Jay Gatsby in Boz Luhrmann’s movie. That party was way overdone and needlessly so. I’ve been to that house. I’ve been both parts – Daisy and Gatsby and I can tell you firsthand that none of that was necessary, all you needed was the pheromones and the alcohol and all the beautiful young people and the night, the night, the golden caplets on the Sound, the muffled drum beat of the tide, the brassy music and of course those other things, the longing, the magic, the musk.
On a night like that in August, autumn reaches one of its frigid hands around your shapely sunburnt shoulders, warning you for one instant that this moment is fleeting and will never come again. On nights like that you need protection but instead you get direction, from the champagne, from the slinky fabric of your summer dress, from the look in his eyes, the moon.
Oh, whatever. I was so fortunate to go to all those parties, all those slow moving nights, time in a cha cha abeyance, nothing outside this room, this house, this beach. Those nights unseen by Mr. and Mrs. America and all the ships at sea, those nights that send you fleeing some time later to that dull, enclosed feeling of home where, if Turgenev is right, you find some “warm corner of safety”.
Yes, it’s dull, predictable boring. The fiefdom of the old and of all who have survived. But its not as if we don’t remember, perhaps we remember too well.