What I'm trying to say is that it is a book that is unfilmable. I've read the book more than once. It's a favorite. Why is it a favorite when the story--the plot--is just sort of...meh? Because of the words, that's why. It's the way Fitzgerald puts words together. His word usage and sentence structure are the stars of that work...that's why when it's filmed, it just kind of lays there.
I sometimes fear that I live in the past. People say: "The past is the past. It's over and done. That was then, this is now. The only thing that matters is NOW!" And so on and so forth.
But are we not in the NOW everything in our past has brought us to? I think so. And nowadays, I think the past really was better. Better because we didn't have EVERYTHING spelled out to us by little hand-held devices. I liked that you couldn't have instantaneous access to people: that you had to find a pay-phone or use a paper map that never folded back the right way.
So, here's something from my past that has come forward to the present, for whatever reason.
As you may also know, I did not see the film until fairly recently. However, back in 1997, when I was living on 13161/4 Westerly Terrace in Silverlake, I had a copy of this magazine. Had I purchased it? I certainly didn't have a subscription. Did I get it from work, at Lakeshore Entertainment? Did I find it at the dentist's office (probably not...I went to the U.S.C. school of dentistry for my dental needs. They gave me some great gold work that still resides in my mouth to this day. I get lots of compliments from dentists and dental assistants and dental hygenisits; usually along the lines of: "Wow, that gold work is amazing. They don't make 'em like that anymore!"). I probably bought it, as I occasionally would splurge on the "newsstand price." I must've been drawn to that photo of Matt Damon. His pixieish, yet masculine puss. And the toothbrush. Why is he brushing his teeth...during a photo shoot. Why is he brushing his teeth in the bathtub? It's kinda gross! Does he have water in his ear? What's going on Annie Leibovitz? I'm just assuming she took the picture. Oh, wait...it says so right there on the magazine cover.
In any event, I was apparently so...intrigued...by this picture that I decided to draw it. However; and this is lost to the mists of time as to why: I decided to draw just his mouth and nose. Here is the drawing:
I think I kinda nailed it!
Matt, if you're interested in owning the original, you know how to get in touch. It's about three inches square and it's yours for only $250,000.00!
I remember drawing this. It was night. I was at the table in my apartment at 1316 and 1/4 Westerly Terrace, as I mentioned. I just looked it up. Talk about a blast from the past! I lived in the bottom unit, which was literally a pied-a-terre (if that, in fact, means an apartment on the ground floor from which you can step to the ground). It was a three story building, built in the 1920's and it still had it's original plumbing and wiring. Have you ever seen 1920's wiring? It's scary! Apparently, the place has had a top to bottom remodel. Here's a view of my unit, as it looks now:
In the bedroom, I had the head of my bed against the opposite wall. That's a door to the outside behind that bed. It used to give me the creeps, as did that small window in the kitchen. I always imagined someone breaking in through one of them as I was drifting off to sleep. Otherwise, I loved my time there. I had attempted a little unauthorized remodeling myself. The living room, which you can see in the middle photo had horrible teal colored wall to wall carpeting, that I tore up without the owner's permission. Once Tim saw the wood floor, he immediately had it redone, which was fine by me. Tim was kind of a guardian angel. He was extremely thin, to the point of emaciation. Wondering if he was still with us, I looked him up. Timothy Stirton is not exactly a common name, and sure enough, he was the first in the search. He passed away in 2020. I was a little shocked that he made it that long. To be honest, I thought he was in the late stages of AIDS when I knew him. He died in a traffic accident, riding a Vespa. Not what I would've thought.
Here is the building from the back:
God bless you Tim. You were one of the good ones.
"...So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."