On not being Fitzgerald


So as a pretentious yet lifelong amateur writer (i.e., possessing a George McFly-like fear of editorial rejection), I guess I fancied myself as a bit of a female, Asian, British F. Scott Fitzgerald. I’ve spent my youth mingling among the moderately privileged, simultaneously curious about about but also snobbishly vexed by them.

It might have been that I started my private schooling 9 years after most of my 14-strong classmates, or that I was the token brown kid (though the latter was true even in serf school), but I’d always felt like a bit of an outsider. I observed rather than participated. And because of that, I always felt in the way – taking up someone else’s time when they could be doing something else or seeing someone else – and so in my head I consigned my social interactions to deserve only standing outside of a group looking wistful, knowing I don’t belong, yet still wanting to participate.

I never met my Zelda, and I don’t intend to. When I threw parties they were Hallowe’en shindigs for my friends, in a boring village in South England that just didn’t Hallowe’en – not for some shallow, self-absorbed, common weed flower-namesaked twunt who I hoped would wander in one day.


But I’m probably not like Fitzgerald, even though I adore Paris, and I even made a friend in the Left Bank. I like bourbon. I’m partial to owning cats through various people with whom I’ve shared homes. I have no time for bullshitters.

And I like the Wharf here in Salem.


The stone benches are comfortable enough for even my shard-like butt bones to rest on, and the middle set of those on left side (as you’re walking down) are far enough out from the street that the tourists are too lazy to choose them (so they will take the first set), but not far our enough for the beer can-litterers and blunt-smokers (so they will take the set at either of the far ends). Thus, like an Asian, British, brunette Goldilocks, this middle-left set has been and always will be my perfect Wharf thinking throne, and there’s nothing quite like the sea air, here – how it smells, how it flutters past your face, how you can’t quite tell whether it’s going to be humid, mouldy breezes, or dry, hair-in-the-face-whipping gusts or just oppressively back-punching sunshine with its shit-eating grin, busting through a dead-air sky like a celestial Kool-Aid man.

And because of all of those aforementioned likes – especially my tedious description of the above – I’ve realised I’m actually goddamn fucking Hemingway. The Young Woman and the Sea.

But I could never shoot my own cat.


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