New York. 1922.
The tempo of the city had changed sharply. The buildings were higher, the parties were bigger, and the liquor was cheaper. I found myself at a party at a grand mansion. I didn’t know how I wound up there, but the acid I was tripping on gave everything a brilliant neon polish like a Baz Luhrmann movie.
“Who is this Gatsby that everyone keeps talking about?” I wondered aloud.
“Do you know him?” a girl in a horse mask asked me. Or maybe she was a horse wearing a girl body suit.
“I’ve never met him. Have you?” I said, shouting to make myself heard over the thumping Jay-Z and Kanye West track.
“Gatsby is—” she started, but was interrupted when a debonair gentleman in a three-piece Tom Wolfe approached us.
“Well if it isn’t Daisy Buchanan,” the man said with the southern drawl of a plantation owner. “I’d recognize that shapely ass anywhere.”
“Speak of the devil,” Daisy said three-dimensionally, removing her mask. “I’m certainly glad to see you again.”
“I’m certainly glad to see you as well,” the man said. “And I don’t believe we’ve met, Mr….”
“Parker,” I said, shaking his hand. “Peter Parker.”
“Pleased to meet you, Mr. Parker. They call me Gatsby. The Great Gatsby.”
“Mr. Gatsby…. I’d like to know, exactly who are you anyhow? What makes you so great?”
“My money, numb-nuts.”
“If only. About ten years ago I was on a boat that crashed into an iceberg.”
“The Titanic!” I said.
“The unsinkable RMS Titanic,” Gatsby said. “I met Daisy onboard and when the ship went down so did we. It was all very romantic until she wouldn’t scoot over to make room for me on this floating door.”
Daisy rolled her eyes.
“She left me for dead in the freezing northern Atlantic Ocean waters,” Gatsby continued. “After I was finally rescued, I received an enormous settlement from the boat manufacturer in a class-action lawsuit. I’ve been squandering the money ever since on fast cars and fireworks.”
“You and your damn toys,” Daisy said.
“You never used to complain about my…balls,” Gatsby said, smiling at her with wicked intentions flashing behind his eyes.
“Oh, Gatsby! I was a fool to leave you. I don’t want to go home,” Daisy said.
“Then don’t,” Gatsby said.
His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy’s white face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to her rapid breathing. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed like a flower—
“Um, guys, I’m still right here,” I said, feeling very much like I’d become a secondary character in my own narrative.
“Sorry, Parker,” Gatsby said, breaking their liplock. “We’re going to make sex now.”
He took the horse mask from Daisy’s hands and slipped it on his own head. Daisy leapt onto Gatsby’s back. She was a fine woman but no small girl, and Gatsby struggled under her weight. “The poor son-of-a-bitch,” I thought, wondering if a door really could have supported their combined weight in the Atlantic Ocean. Probably not.
I waved goodbye to them, and Daisy slowly rode Gatsby off into the sunset as some Beyoncé and André 3000 cover of an Amy Winehouse song played….