At the Great American Lunch Hour young George O'Kelly straightened his desk deliberately and with an assumed air of interest. No one in the office must know that her was in a hurry, for success is a matter of atmosphere, and it is well not to advertise the fact that your mind is separated from your work by a distance of seven hundred miles.
George O'Kelly is in love, but he senses his girl is ready to call off the engagement. He is frantic. He gets fired from his job when he asks for time off. but he makes the trip down to Tennessee, anyways, only to find that, even though Jonquil is happy to see him, she has continued to see other boys. She does not put George at ease. Eventually, she breaks the engagement he is dejected
"...he felt very ridiculous and weak in his knowledge that the scene had been ridiculous and weak in the end."He leaves town vowing to come back. He goes away and makes a brillant success of himself, in less than 1 year. He comes back to see about Jonquil, but soon finds out that everything has changed.
I love this story. It is exactly what I look for in a Fitzgerald story.
The poor boy who is hopelessly in love, but has no hope in getting the girl, unless he makes his fortune, and eventually does.
These stories of his are what captured me. The idea of all the paths a lost love could take. In Gatsby, he tries to relive the love, and believes that if he only tries hard enough it will happen and they can pick up right where they left off. In Winter Dreams he doesn't get the girl, but in the end he loses something even more important, the memory of his great beauty. And in "The Sensible Thing" he finds that you can not go back and have the same love, even with the same person. I can't remember, but I think there are more of these stories, and I look forward to discovering them.
I am a romantic like Fitzgerald. I like to relive the past. Not that I want to go back and really take a second stab at it, no. I do however, like to revisit. I like the memories. Some are good and lovely and some are filled with heart break and hard won life lessons. I like to play the "what if" game, or the "What could have been" scenario, but I always realize that that type of thinking is futile, as you can only get so far before the possibilities of outcomes are too great to get an accurate picture. It may be why I love these types of stories, it's as of Scott, too wanted to play a "what could have been" game. So what if an author only has one or two good stories? If there are as many outcomes as this type of story has you have thousands of tale that can be told.
There are all kinds of love in the world, but never the same love twice.
I like the simplicity in this...
"...as Jonquil drew him into a familiar embrace under the dim light of the front hall and told him in a dozen ways, of which the best was without words, how she had missed him."
Question? when George comes back to Tennessee and calls Jonquil he introduces himself as George Rollins. Is this a mistake? Was Rollins an alternative last name for this character?
"The sensible thing - they had done the sensible thing. He had traded his first youth for strength and carved success out of despair. But with his youth, life had carried away the freshness of his love."
Read "The Sensible Thing"