and so we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past

Thus ends The Great American Novel, and so reads the humble stone marking the grave of Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald.

If one lives in DC one can take the Red Line to the Bethesda Station, hop the highway median, cross the other half and walk a block to a church made of bricks that slump downward on one another, mortar peering out in places like toothpaste squeezed from a tube and fossilized, looking like the ash from black pellet snake fireworks.

The fence is locked so hop the low stone wall. Don’t waste thought on whether it will dissemble beneath you — don’t be so tacky as to concern yourself with injury among this landfill of corpses. Walk the grounds, see the statue of Mary in prayer for the carefully enclosed person-husk, her head bent, eyelids relaxed over her eyes, transcendent in contemplation of the thing buried beneath the earth.

End your musings the second time your friend calls you. You’ll find Fitzgerald’s grave close to the church, the headstone facing it, diminutive next to Zelda’s.

A quote from her is inscribed on her stone, whic stands garishly taller than his. I don’t recall the words.

My friend tuned to me after a time with tears held on his lower eyelids by adhesion until a rivulet runs from his right eye. And you stare at the stone and try to find the feeling or feelings that make that happen.

…There is something you will never understand. There is such discomfort in people’s eyes… In looking at people’s eyes as theirs look at yours.

Does “Tender Is the Night” break me the less because I fail to leak?

…I can never know. I will always try to know.

dbmllc

in care of alienandroid

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