The year is 1922 and you are in love. You're not quite sure what love can really be, but it's warm inside and out, New York City shines under the sun.
He is your neighbor. His smile is full of success, shiny white teeth, and when he smiles your way the scorn in your soul for everything around you melts away.
You're afraid to be alone, you go to dinner parties. Your cousins smoke down to their fingers, drink until their heads, swim, and you go along for the ride because you have nothing else to do on a Saturday afternoon.
This is New York City, life diluted.
You introduce your cousin to your neighbor, he smiles at her the way he smiles at you except his eyes crinkle and shine and he glances at her longer.
She is full of money and sadness and sunlight. You are still in love.
You drink at parties and your family fights, your cousin's husband is a violent man and the woman on your shoulder is a stranger.
You drink and drink, there is shouting and the screeching of tires. Two accidents will follow, both will be fatal, your cousin flees the city and no one holds you when you sob.
The year is 1922 and you are standing alone above a coffin, you are somehow, sadly, still in love.
The year is 1922. Happy 30th birthday.

Written March 2022

Inspired by The Great Gatsby.

Take me back.

Take me home.