2018-12-03

Notable Quote #13: F. Scott Fitzgerald describes Minneapolis, c. 1905

He had been two months in Minneapolis, and his chief struggle had been the concealing from 'the other guys at school' how particularly superior he felt himself to be, yet this conviction was built upon shifting sands...

His chief disadvantage lay in athletics, but as soon as he discovered that is was the touchstone of power and popularity at school, he began to make furious, persistent efforts to excel in the winter sports, and with his ankles aching and bending in spite of his efforts, he skated valiantly around the Lorelie rink every afternoon, wondering how soon he would be able to carry a hockey-stick without getting it inexplicably tangled in his skates.

...

On Thursday afternoon, therefore, he walked pensively along the slippery shovel-scraped sidewalks, and came in sight of Myra's house, on the half-hour after five, a lateness which he fancied his mother would have favored

...

Myra made out the party ahead, had an instant vision of her mother, and then -- alas for convention -- glanced into the eyes beside her. 'Turn down this side street, Richard, and drive straight to the Minnehaha Club!' she cried through the speaking tube. Amory sank back against the cushions with a sigh of relief.

'I can kiss her,' he thought. 'I'll bet I can. I'll bet I can!''

Overhead the skyway was half crystalline, half misty, and the night around was chill and vibrant with rich tension. From the Country Club steps the roads stretched away, dark creases on the white blanket; huge heaps of snow lining the sides like the tracks of giant moles. They lingered for a moment on the steps, and watched the white holiday moon.

...

Amory spent nearly two years in Minneapolis. The first winter he wore moccasins that were born yellow, but after many applications of oil and dirt assumed their mature color, a dirty greenish brown; he wore a grey plaid mackinaw coat, and a red toboggan cap. His dog, Count Del Monte, ate the red cap, so his uncle gave him a grey one that pulled down over his face. The trouble with this one was that you breathed into it and your breath froze; one day the darn thing froze his cheek. He rubbed snow on his cheek, but it turned bluish-black just the same.

...

All through the summer months Amory and Frog Parker went each week to the Stock Company. Afterwards they would stroll home in the balmy air of August night, dreaming along Hennepin and Nicollet Avenues, through the gay crowd. Amory wondered how people could fail to notice that he was a boy marked for glory, and when faces of the throng turned towards him and ambiguous eyes stared into his, he assumed the most romantic of expressions and walked on the air cushions that lie on the asphalts of fourteen.

[F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise.]


1 comment:

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