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The Truth of Gatsby's Parties

When I first stepped foot on West Egg I was overcome with a sense of dread. I wasn’t quite sure why at first, although I soon came to realize the reason. I had decided to come to the West Egg, and more specifically to the house of a man called Gatsby, because I felt as if I couldn’t relate to people any more than I could relate to the pen and paper that sat on my desk day in and day out. I needed to get out of my office and step out into the world.
After I made this conclusion I thought back to places I used to go and make conversation with my few friends. None of them struck my interest. I had heard however, once or twice, about the Gatsby place with its enormous and ever-popular parties. No need for an invitation, I overheard. That was the place where I decided to spend my evening, instead of working in my office managing the failing account of Baker Goods; the market I inherited after my father passed away.
I walked around West Egg aimlessly, asking for directions here and there. I eventually found my way to a huge mansion that seemed to never end. I heard the distinct murmur of a party not too far away, and I stood there wondering where I should go. A man spoke suddenly from the front steps of the solid white mansion and startled me:
“Hello, old sport. Are you here for the party?” he asked, looking out over the water.
“Yes, sir,” I replied. “Would you be Mr. Gatsby by any chance?” I had made this assumption by the way he looked over the water. He was someone who was used to this luxury by now.
The man nodded and smiled slightly, turning his head towards me. He had a comfortable and caring smile; the type of smile that could brighten anyone’s day.
“What a beautiful house you have here, Mr. Gatsby,” I said, quite awkwardly as I did not feel as if I belonged there at that time.
“It is quite grand,” he said modestly. “Is there any particular reason why you came to this party?” he asked.
This caught me off guard. I didn’t feel like explaining myself, but it was the polite thing to do. He was the host after all. “Well, I haven’t been out much because the work has been keeping me busy, and so I decided I would take a night off. My father’s French marketplace is failing, so I feel a bit guilty of taking the night off, but I might go crazy if I don’t. I guess the only reason behind it is that America is developing its own cuisine and as the time goes on, my few customers will turn to no customers.” I saw him smile politely, and I realized I had just told him more of my problems than I should have; a burden which I don’t usually put on people.
Gatsby kept that reassuring, caring smile on my face, which convinced me that he didn’t care about me talking too much, and so I didn’t apologize. If fact, I felt the urge to continue. “There is also another reason why I happened to come to this party, if you don’t mind me saying. I have a sister that I haven’t seen for many years. Her name is Jordan Baker. Do you happen to know her?”
“I’m afraid I don’t, old sport, but I’ll keep an eye out for her.”
“Thank you, Mr. Gatsby.”
“You’re welcome. I’m afraid I didn’t catch your name.”
I stood there, embarrassed that I spilled all of my problems onto him before even mentioning my name. “Dennis Baker,” I said, before he led me into the house and I entered the most wonderful and most extravagant party. I turned around, but when I did Mr. Gatsby was not there. How peculiar, I thought to myself. He was nowhere in sight.
I looked around and my surroundings were absolutely amazing. People were dancing in the most high-end costumes, and the food looked mouth-watering to say the least. I asked a butler clad in light blue clothing if there was a restroom around. He directed me to one and I thanked him before entering. The bathroom was spacious with marble flooring and countertops, while the rest was pure mahogany. I didn’t really need to go to the bathroom; I just wanted to freshen up a bit before the party. I looked in the spotless mirror and looked at my face. My blue eyes had darkened over the years and my face was beginning to wrinkle. My lips were chapped and my jet black hair was in disarray. I took some water and put it on my head to straighten it out. It helped a bit, but not much. I was only 35 years old, and it seemed as if I were a decade older. I guess that’s what happens when you work too much, I thought. I left the bathroom, feeling even less confident before. While strolling around the large house and its exterior aimlessly, I found my way to a library with more books than anyone could count in their lifetime. Sitting in the dark brown chair next to an antique desk was a man with wide eyes and even wider spectacles whom I presumed to be drunk.
He was half reading and half drooling over a book when I entered the library. Upon my entrance, he made his way up and stumbled out the door with a bottle of whisky in his hand. He didn’t even look at me when he went out. I went to one of the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and found a book on the bonds business. I was seriously thinking of going into the bonds business, but I had to do everything in my power to save my father’s market first. That was his dying wish.
As soon as I took the book down and flipped through the pages a man came inside. He had a nice suit, and was a bit shorter and better looking than I was at the moment. I wasn’t jealous, though. This man, like Gatsby, had something about his personality that made it impossible to feel any resentment towards him. He told me his name was Nick Carraway, and I told him mine. I made sure not to repeat the same mistake I had made with Gatsby.

“You know, I’m in the bail bonds business too,” mentioned Carraway, noticing the book I was holding.

I clarified to him that I wasn’t in the business, and I told him about my ordeal. I omitted the part about Jordan though. Surely he couldn’t help me with that. Someone called for Nick from outside the library. It was a female’s voice, soft and harsh. Nick Carraway said that he hoped to meet up again during the night, and then he left.
I decided to leave the magnificent library as well, but something stopped me in my tracks. I looked around, as I had gotten the strong sensation that someone was watching me. Nobody was there. I was alone in the silent library, but not for long. I put the book back and went into the parlor. From the parlor, with bunches people dancing like fools, I stepped outside into the fresh and warm night air. I immediately felt a wave of happiness come over me, as if stepping out into the outdoors gave me a new perception on things. I saw people talking and dancing, and was reminded of the life I used to live in my younger years. Those days were long gone now. I walked past groups of couples talking and oddly enough I caught the occasional rumor about Gatsby. I heard that he killed a man, and that he was a German spy during the war. These people are absurd, I thought, they can’t be talking about the same Gatsby that I was talking to. Why would people make up terrible lies about their honest and modest host? I couldn’t help but thinking. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it.

Supper was being served, and I saw every food imaginable. There was chicken and roast meat, with sandwiches and potatoes. Despite the amazing array, I wasn’t hungry; at least not yet. I heard another round of food would be out after midnight. I could wait.

After the food came the entertainment, and I got to wondering how Gatsby could afford all this. I didn’t want to be nosy though, so I took the question out of my head.

The orchestra began playing and an Italian singer began singing. All the while, the wine glasses became bigger and bigger. At one point they were as big a finger-bowls. I didn’t take any alcohol though; I had seen what alcohol can do to a man.

As soon as the orchestra finished playing a piece called Jazz History of the World, I began clapping and then I turned away. I assumed that I would go back to my apartment on 5th street and turn in for the night. It was a nice party, but I was new, and there was no one for me to converse with. Just at the last moment I turned my head and noticed a girl with short blond hair walk out of the house with Gatsby. I immediately knew who the girl was; she was Jordan Baker, my sister. Happiness overcame me. I became proud.
I walked briskly towards her rich-looking person, but then I stopped. What’s the use?, I thought suddenly. So much had changed. She probably wouldn’t even recognize me. The way she carried herself was all grown up and pompous. She was nothing like the little carefree sister I once knew. Times had changed, but I was content; I just had to make sure she was okay after all these years; after the death of our parents and her abandoning me, leaving me alone to work out the family business. I had forgiven her. She had chosen the wise path in life. She seemed okay, and after all I heard she seemed successful too. Sometimes you stay in people lives forever, and sometimes there’s a time where you have to let them free. Jordan was independent now, and she didn’t need any memories of her youth to come back a bite her.
I walked out of the party and through the garden, confident in my decision. I didn’t feel the need to say bye to anyone; it wasn’t that kind of party.
When I made it to the other side of the house, I noticed a car was broke down and the drunk was in it. The car was blocking all others from exiting and I instantly became happy that I didn’t have my car. The peeling blue paint and the bent fender would surely be a dead give-away that I was a failure. It was better to walk. As I was walking to the ferry that would take me to mainland New York, I thought about the party. I decided I wouldn’t go again, but not because it was poorly put together. It certainly wasn’t. I decided not to go again because I came to the conclusion that anyone who goes there needs something. I didn’t need anything anymore. I saw my sister, and I talked to a few kind people. I hoped that all the people there found what they were looking for before it was too late. Above all, I hoped that Jordan found her true happiness. It’s not too late for me, I thought. I am going to close the market, and become a bail bondsman. There was no need for me to struggle to keep the market open that my abusive father left in my hands. It was time to make my own life.

About a week after the party I got a letter from Mr. Gatsby himself, sent directly to my office. Before opening, I looked at it curiously; I was puzzled to say the least. I got my letter opener from the smallest drawer in my desk, and opened the envelope carefully. I felt that anything that had even the slightest thing to do with the Great Gatsby should be handled with care. When I got it out of the envelope I unfolded the letter and read:
Dear Mr. Baker,

It seems to me you decided not to find your sister after all. I understand. After many years pass it seems you have no business in a person’s life other than to make sure they are okay. That is what I am doing right now, making sure you are okay. I have too much money, and I consider that a bad thing. Therefore, enclosed in the envelope I have given you a reasonable sum of money to start your own business. I noticed you took an interest in my bonds books. Good luck, old sport.





Signed,
Jay Gatsby



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SouthernBell99 said...
Jan. 4 at 7:40 pm:
This is really good! I loved reading it!
 
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