I am reading "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" tonight. I am reading it not only because I am interested in seeing the movie when it comes out later on this month, but mainly because it is written by a good friend of mine: F. Scott Fitzgerald. By friend, I mean literary great whose work I have admired since my final year of high school. Though the style of this short story I am reading is a bit different from his usual form and style, it reminds me of why I have enjoyed Fitzgerald for years now. One of my biggest disappointments in university was that I didn't get the chance to read any Fitzgerald with my English courses.
I've always been intrigued by the story of Fitzgerald's life, and how it so closely spoke into the stories he wrote. His stories weren't biographies, but they shared his life story through different lenses to each reader who picked up his books. His stories resonated with me in an eerie way, because I found so much of his literature and actual life resonated with mine. I can't tell you how much the real life story of F. Scott and Zelda freaked me out because of its reoccurring nature in the present. However, while I am amazed at the way stories can resonate from Keats, to Fitzgerald, to now, I find solace in knowing that resonance does not mean all outcomes are determined. There are times when I wonder whether I squander the gifts and abilities I have as I'm caught up in the apathy of our age - just as F. Scott squandered his in the excess of his - but am calmed in knowing I can opt out of that trend. Though F. Scott bore the scars of love come undone, this does not mean that the same follows for me (thankfully). I am ever amazed at the way our lives are narratives that resonate beyond our births and deaths, but I am more thankful that this resonance is not a determined sentence, but more of a assurance that our highs and lows have occurred before. With this perspective I am able to appreciate my unique opportunity to experience hopes, and not be overwhelmed by the fears that have been common for the rest of my fleshed siblings in time.