22 May 2010
21 May 2010
“How much longer do we have?”
The same question, on a loop, slips from Gatsby’s every orifice as he waits for a more pleasing answer. And the responses have blended together, no matter who takes upon himself the responsibility to provide Gatsby some sort of temporary solution to his now nearly-twenty-year problem. But in his fixed state of legs languidly crossed and head slightly tilted, he sits in one secluded area of the barren wasteland that used to nurture and shelter him – until he turned seventeen.
The others – Agathos, Nick, and Holden – separate themselves from each other as Gatsby has done with himself; they all possess their own damp, dark areas to which they confine themselves nowadays, because, what else are they to do after living together, chafing one another’s “lives” with fractious remarks and attempts at fratricide? They are brothers, after all, and even brothers hate each other after being trapped in the presence of each other for unbearable lengths of time. And this time, in particular, has stolen their once-collective glow and replaced it with a wan look of “I’m scared but can’t show it.”
Faintly, their existence ceases to pursue vibrancy as days pass in a seemingly timeless mind-trap. The monotonous drips of comatose dreams from skull walls lull them into their own sort of vegetative persistence.
“It’s been a hundred years in this sonofabitch and I’m sick of it here,” and the complaints never halt to evade Holden’s lips and fill the fragile and limited cerebral air with vehement stupidity.
“Actually, it has been merely nineteen years and three hundred and sixty-four days,” Agathos rebukes, as his tolerance of repetitive gripe grows weary.
“For crissake, who gives a damn?”
“Apparently you do.”
“I never said that.”
“The intimation was all anyone needed.”
And the rebuttal continued until Nick finally got fed up with the others’ genuine disregard for the futility of such a quarrel.
“Would both of you just be quiet?” And Nick’s question echoed in the hollow cavern of a dormant thought-shell, crusted over and dust-covered for years upon years. But the truth is there is no easy way for a group of four denizens in a cave-like dwelling to completely avoid temperamental issues among themselves after being born into said abode from the imagination of a geriatric’s unconscious mind.
And it is only natural for each of them to feel the need to isolate himself from the others; Nick, Holden, and Gatsby do, however, ostracize Agathos more than each other because of his complete difference in belief and attitude toward their “life” as a whole.
In their nineteen years and three hundred and sixty-four days together, they have figured out that where they are is not right and that there is something beyond the barriers by which they are all encompassed. Nick, Holden, and Gatsby, though, have adapted to a joint belief that their entrapment is pure punishment from some ulterior force while Agathos believes in the power of words. And while he believes in the power of words, he also has gained the theory that there is even more power in dreams.
“A dream, you see, is a culmination of those alluring moments – the wonderful and the enticing, the horrid and the frightening moments – of the everyday that, through words and through the sentiment of the contact into which we come with our surroundings every second of every minute, enthrall our very beings,” Agathos claims with unaffected conviction.
“Digression!” exclaims Holden, scornfully.
“No, actually. There is no digression whatsoever. In all of your uncertainty, Holden, of letting go of your innocence, remind yourself of where you are and what you’ve experienced, because there is no way of taking back what you’ve unconsciously given up without the slightest notice.”
“I agree with Holden,” says Gatsby with a bit of confidence.
“You do? Well it would only make sense that you do since you, like Holden, are stuck on a fine tight rope between your younger years and your potential maturity.”
“You have no idea what you’re talking about, Agathos,” Nick contends with a bit of apprehension.
“And Nick, your fear, even in your heartiest endeavor to hide it, shines through your translucent cloak of whatever is engraved in your brain. Remind me, please, what that is again.”
“I’m scared… but I can’t show it.”
The once-collective glow was not merely replaced by a frightened look, but rather, fear entwined itself with the minds of the inhabitants in their light-lacking residence and tore them down to incapable dead weight.
“What scares you, Nick?” Agathos asks with a clear look of concern painted on his face.
“A lot of things scare me.”
“Name a few.”
“There are too many.”
“Name three, from the least scary to the most.”
“I’m scared of the dark.”
“And I’m afraid of dying.”
“And I’m afraid of myself.”
“Of course. But you see, Nick, why on Earth would you be afraid of something that doesn’t exist?”
And in the eye of a Wink, faintly, the dream had passed, as had twenty years of Rip Van Winkles life.