The International Writers Magazine: Dreamscapes
Scottie and Zelda Fitzgerald
‘Flowers for Zelda, with love from her Scottie.’
‘Flowers, for me? You should not have gone to all that trouble.’ She said. He loved her for saying that because he knew that she sounded pleased. Her happiness meant the world to him..
‘Do not be angry with me for not being happier.’ He loved her even more, this girl with her perfumed hair.
‘Can we steal this warm day, this morning light, this, this what we have right now and run away.’
‘But dear', she would say hesitantly. 'You are not thinking straight now. I have errands to run.’
He will argue that love cannot wait. It is impossible for love to wait.
‘Stop talking to me as if you are a writer. As if, I am a character in one of your short stories. Scottie, you have neglected me.’
‘Well, I am sorry if you feel that I have abandoned you in any way.’
‘Have you met someone else? Do I bore you?’
‘No. It just happens sometimes in relationships that one person feels neglected and the other is so full of themselves that they forget to pay attention to the people in their environment.’
‘It can be the only reason that you have brought me flowers. To apologise for something that is going to happen in the future.’
To this, he had nothing to say and looked out of the window.
‘Zelda are you happy here? I am crazy for you dear.’
‘I am crazy full stop. Kaput. I know you have a lover. I know you live in Hollywood with her and that she is a gossip columnist.’
‘I am not in love with her.’
‘You admit it then.’
‘You do not have to lay a heavy guilt trip on me.’
‘You will learn to love with a passion and a yearning year after year. So, you will learn to love someone else and play by their rules. Their machinations.’
‘Just don’t write about us.’
‘Us. If there even is such a word. Hemingway never liked me.’ Zelda said with a pout.
‘I drink too much.’ Scottie looked out of the window.
‘Whose fault is that? You are it for it now. You are in it for the money.’
‘What else do you expect me to do Zelda? I need the money. I need to live. I need to eat. I need to put bread on the table.’
‘Take me to Paris.’
‘Well now, that is out of the question.’
‘We were happy there.’
‘I would not exactly say that we were happy there. I drank too much. I wasted my talent for years. For years I wasted my literary talent.’
‘I will come again.’
‘I will come again to visit you soon.’
‘To bring me more comaed flowers I suppose.’
‘I think they brighten up your room.’
‘What do you know about anything, you alcoholic?’
‘Jesus woman. You are terrible.’
‘Nobody I know would call me that to my face.’
‘Friends. Do you actually have friends, my boy?’
‘Yes, in fact I have.’
‘Your lover. Is she your ‘beautiful little fool’ like I once was.’
‘Don’t cry now.’
‘I am not crying fool. Coward. I just sometimes miss ‘us’. The way we used to be. I mean I was a socialite once. For God’s sake, I was a real somebody and now. Now I am a real nobody.’
‘Zelda. We have a child together. A daughter. She misses you like any daughter misses her mother.’
‘Does she know I am locked up in here? That I stare day in day out at four walls blankly going quietly insane inside of my head. Am I insane I wonder? Have I just lost touch with reality? Is there a difference husband?’
‘I love you Zelda.’
‘Don’t love me. Stop loving me. Love does me no good in here. I feel so isolated and lonely. Talk to me some more before you go. We have rather splendid memories of the good life, golden boy.’
‘Why do you have to call me that?’
‘You are nobody special to me anymore. I even call the psychiatric nurse golden. These golden girls. These angels. Do you believe in angels Scottie? What does love have to do with life? I want to keep on living. I promise you this that I want to keep on my living but is it just so damn hard.’
‘Have you spoken to the doctors? There are good doctors here.’
‘Oh, you mean the psychiatrists. The meanies. Well, I try to explain to them about the voices inside my head and they sit with their pen and notebook in hand. Some take notes and on some days, they hardly bother with me at all. I am crazy Scottie.’
‘It does not matter to me if you are or if you are not.’
‘Then take me home with you.’
‘I can’t do that Zelda.’
‘I love you Scottie.’
‘I love you too Zelda.’
‘What the dickens is wrong with me? It feels as if my head is buried underground, lights flashing, going on and off, and the craziest things are happening to me. I cannot explain it. Can you explain it to me Scottie?’
‘Zelda, it is getting late and you need your rest. Will you eat something before I go? Be a good girl. Eat something before I go.’
‘Don’t leave me here.’
‘I have to. It is for your own good.’
‘If you love me, you would not leave me here.’
‘I do love you and that is exactly why I am leaving you here. The doctors here will look after you.’
‘Sometimes I despise everything and everybody that we ever knew. None of them comes to see me. Am I really such a bad person?
‘No. You are a lovely person. You have a smashing personality.’
‘You are such an innocent Scottie. If you only knew what happens when you leave. What happens behind these brick walls? I seem to evaporate. Scottie what am I going to do with you? Tell you what. I will keep on loving you even though you are obstinate about the whole thing. Even if you do not love me anymore. That is the thing with crazy. Life will grab you by the hand and tell you to move towards the light, concentrate ’
‘I am lonely Scottie. Stay with me a while longer. There are too many illiterates in this place. When they ask me if I am married, I say well yes of course I am. When I mention your name, it is as if I have taken out a bazooka and they ask me for real. You are making that up. Then they think that I am the crazy one in that algorithm. I am lonely Scottie. Break me out of here.’
‘I am lonely too Zelda.’
‘I wish we could be together again. A proper family. Kiss me Scottie. I do not care if people are about. They can mind their own business. It is tickets for me anyway. Do you know what I mean by that?’
In his heart F. Scott Fitzgerald knew that many people out there were walking, talking, not saying much about anything idiots. He knew that a lot of them were also well to do alcoholics; some of them were even crazy.
She will be sitting in her room. Always sitting in her room. Waiting for him, forever waiting for him and upon his arrival the conversation would always be the same. He would tell her how much he loved her and she would tell him how much she missed him. They would hardly talk about the kid. He knew that. Staring out of the window. It was not that he had always hated the sanitary smell of hospitals. It always reminded him of death or the wards of hell. A good location for a horror flick. He would creep up on her and surprise her. Kiss her on the cheek. Scottie wanted to say that he was falling apart too but men of that age never made disclosures of that kind. I have lost all my confidence I am afraid he wanted to tell her because he thought that she was the only girl in the world who would understand him and not mistake him for a romantic.
He stared at her as if he was looking at her on their wedding day. He felt slightly out of place. Breathing heavily after all those stairs. Still she did not turn around. It was only when he said her name that at last she turned around. He was afraid that she would not remember him. That he would have to say, it is me, darling. Your husband who has come to see you and he soon forgot all the ugliness in the world and how much he needed a drink. He felt so helpless and cold at the same time. As if, he was carrying winter in his pockets. He wanted to leave. That was his first instinct but she looked so happy to see him. It crushed his heart to see her like this but what could he do under the circumstances. This was the best place for her. I like this weather. He heard himself say from far away. The stars in the city miss you. I do not miss that city for the entire world she replied.
He still felt a kind of passion for her. He blinked back the tears in his eyes. To Scottie this was just a parallel life like when rain meets the pavements, drenches them with liquid and when the liquid mixed with the dust and the rotten dirt of the streets it turned into mud.
You smell like champagne Scottie. Sometimes I think that you are too tender with me Scottie. She did not talk about the separation. Thank goodness for that.
Are you happy my dear, the words were on his tongue.
Of course, I am happy. I am with you am I not. You promised me diamonds. Where are they?
There was a choke in his throat. He coughed. Oh, I will bring with me the next time I come.
You are such a liar Scottie. You would not have come without a gift. I promise.
She changed then and stared out the window again. Her wanted her to come life again as she had before.
It was always ‘Scottie this’ and ‘Scottie that’. Bright moths seemed to whisper, whisper, and whisper her name at night. The nights in his bedroom in Hollywood. You are my dream girl Zelda, is all that Scottie wanted to say to her when she was like this in the hospital. You are just a ghost story. You are good at making up stories but what is the use of stories? What is the use of it all if there is not any truth in it? I love your stories Scottie because they are so fresh and when you write about girls, I can see that you are writing about me. Sometimes I think I am illusion. Am I an illusion to you Scottie? ‘Dream girl’, I like those words. Scottie would smile at her, feeling young at heart. Feeling lighthearted. You are careless sometimes Scottie. I do not know why you have to be so careless with my heart sometimes because you know that you are the only one who will ever have access to it.
Scottie sat back in the chair and looked at his wife. Really looked at her. Just do not drink yourself to death friend because then you will be a real loser and all your great talent will be wasted. That was something along the lines of what Hemingway said. In addition to that, Hemingway also said that his wife was insane and they just did not get on. All he could think about was how much he loved her but if he took her in his arms, he would not or could not let go of her and he would see the confusion in her eyes. She would tell him not to remember her like this. To remember her as a socialite, golden boy. He knew that loneliness was just a word. Writers were wed to that word. Their hearts threaded to every catalyst in those letters. He was feeling lukewarm. Scottie felt as if nothing could touch him and Zelda in that moment but he felt he still needed a stiff drink. There is a game in music. Scottie knew Zelda’s games. Zelda knew his.
‘Do you remember pursuing me Scottie?’
‘Of course I do.’
‘I wish that I was not so sentimental. What you do writer folk call it? You call it by another name.’
‘Is nostalgia the name you are looking for Zelda?’
‘Yes, nostalgia. Nostalgia it is.’
‘You loved me to death I am afraid Scottie and now it is too late. I can never be a girl again and you can never be that boy again.’
‘What do you mean by that Zelda? People fall in love all the time.’ Scottie could see that her thoughts were far away.
© Abigail George August
Email address: abigailgeorge79 at gmail.com
On Not Leaving Home
They look at you as if to say. You are not beautiful. You are not pretty. It is a pity. Shame. At least you are good for a laugh.