The sidewalks were scratched with brittle leaves, and the bad little boy next door froze his tongue to the iron mail-box.Snow before night, sure...but Roger Halsey, standing on his own front porch, assured the dead suburban sky that he hadn't the time for worrying about the weather.
A young working husband comes home and explains to his wife they are going to have to lock themselves up for the next 6 weeks so he can pour himself into his work. If he is able to pull it off they will be set. She tells him they have one last engagement that they must attend that night. Gretchen and Roger, the young married couple, visit with their friend George that evening. George is concerned that Roger is going to work himself into a state, and that he needs to find a more balanced life, a life like he has carved out for himself, "a balanced life". Over the next 6 weeks Gretchen is restless and continues to go out with George as Roger works hard every evening. As he is getting close to the end of his 6 weeks, and has only one more day to push through, he starts to worry about his wife and all of her excursions. He figures he needs to give himself some peace of mind and decides to drug her for the last 24 hours of his 6 week work marathon. After he drugs her he packs all of her shoes in a suitcase and cuts the phone line. A day later, Roger learns his hard work paid off, he rushes home to tell Gretchen and he finds her disoriented and confused. She calls for the Doctor who prescribes Gretchen some sleep. Soon we find out that George has cracked and that all of his "balance" was too much for him. And in the end the Doctor announces that Roger has never looked better in his life.
I will admit, I am not sure about this story. I didn't like it. To me it seems like it was Fitzgerald working out his own issues, his frustrations of his work load and not being able to go out, and his jealousy of Zelda and worries of what she was up to.
Does anyone know if that is it? And what, if anything, I am missing in this one? I read it 3 times and just feel like there should be more.
Read Gretchen's Forty Winks