Back to previous something elses »

13 Oct 2014

One night in Chicago he asked me to drive him past the Old Town Gardens, an apartment complex built in the 1930s where he lived as a boy with his family. I parked, he got out and walked up the front steps and then stepped out carefully onto a ledge and reached for something as far as he could. He climbed down and returned to the car.

“It’s still there,” he said.


“A quarter I wedged between the bricks when I was a kid. That was my bedroom window. I left it there.”

We didn’t need to discuss the meaning of this. We send messages to ourselves in the future and receive them from the past. We’re both conscious of the passage of time, of its flow slipping through our fingers like a long silk scarf, until it runs out and flutters away in the wind. Every time I see Bill, I asked him to recite for me from memory the closing words of The Great Gatsby, and every time he does. He did it when Chaz and I were married, and at this own second marriage to Carolyne Starek, whom i love for many reasons, one of them that she has an infinite patience for listening to Gatsby. This recitation is not merely a ritual. It is an observance in defiance of time. In some way we are still sitting over coffee in the 1960s, and he is still reciting it to me for the first time.

— Life Itself, Roger Ebert.

Back to previous something elses »

Copyright © Kevin Wong