Tuesday, September 6

A Fleeting Tender Moment

"You once like me, didn't you?" he asked.

"Liked you - I loved you.  You could've had anybody you wanted for the asking-"

"There has always been something between you and me." 

She bit eagerly.  "Has there, Dick?"

"Always - I knew you troubled and how brave you were about them."  But the old interior laughter had begun inside him and he knew he couldn't keep it up much longer.

"I always  though you knew a lot," Mary said enthusiastically.  "More about me than any one has ever known.  Perhaps that's why I was afraid of you when we didn't get along so well."

His glance fell soft and kind upon hers, suggesting and emotion underneath; their glances married suddenly, bedded, strained together.  Then, as the laughter inside of him became so loud that it seemed as if Mary must hear it, Dick switched off the light and they were back in the Riviera sun. 

Part III, Chapter XII, Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fizgerald published 1934. 

This little moment of awkward intimacy in a glance is so life like and beautifully put.  Do you think so?  It's on the second last page of the book - a last second of almost romance to thrive on.  But however tender the night was, morning has arrived and a fresh new day awaits.  That was so cheesy that I had to add it. 

Now I'm just waiting for The Picture of Dorian Gray.  I'm even more excited than I was before after everyone's been saying how much I'm going to enjoy it and what a great book it is.  Does that mean you'll have some of your own favourite bits to share from it? 

By the way, our Extraordinarily Ordinary challenge ends tomorrow afternoon.  We'll start a new challenge almost immediately if you like, and we'll try and get into the habit of having something interesting to read or write about as often as possible.  It's good fun for me too.  Oh, and just as I'm finishing, the interviews for the shortlisted school captain candidates are being held tomorrow! 


  1. Like you said, an extraordinary personification of awkward intimacy indeed. But my favourite bit of the passage was the last line. '..Dick switched off the light and they were back in the Riviera sun.' Lovely that was!

    As soon as you start reading the book, I'll share my favourite bits with you, if you like. :D And I'd love another challenge.

    Also, good luck with the interviews! :)

  2. Wonderful quote! And best of luck with your interviews!!!

    Here is my challenge submission, it was quite rushed, sorry!:

    If I were to describe her, I would say this: Time means everything to her. Were I to describe her in any other way, to include other aspects of her person that I may have noticed, such as the way she looks, the way that she dresses, or her likes and dislikes; would be to cheapen the description. To change her through words into someone that she is not.

    Time is her core; everything else is filler, something for the world to see. A show, a charade. No, the only thing that really exists in her world is time.

    I often wonder if her obsession with time or the clock came first. I wonder if she began lugging it around for a dare, then continued taking it around after the dare was over, half for comfort and half as a joke. Until the years had passed and it became as necessary to her as breathing.

    But her love for time probably came first. She began with watches, then alarm clocks, until she found the perfect companion. Her clock is large, one that you would hang on your wall in the living room. She has a little space for it in the cardboard box she carries everywhere. A nice little nest made up of blankets and old sweaters. She lives and breathes according to that clock.

    She is always early, sitting silently and waiting alone for the rest of the world to catch up. Once she walked out halfway through a meeting she was running because the clock hands had reached four, and that was when it was scheduled to finish.

    People found it odd. I did at the time. But now I think it noble. We are always changing, evolving, liking things that we once hated and hating things that we once loved. Not her. She is inflexible. Life to her is set in stone. And by god she believes in that clock with a rock-solid passion that so few of us ever find.

    Yes, if I were to describe her, I would say this: Time means everything to her.


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