Thirty-Eight Year Old – Dick Diver

 

At first he thought nothing. She was young and magnetic, but so was Topsy. He guessed that she had had lovers and had loved them in the last four years. Well, you never knew exactly how much space you occupied in people’s lives. Yet from this fog his affection emerged – the best contacts are when one knows the obstacles and still wants to preserve a relation. The past drifted back and he wanted to hold her eloquent giving-of-herself in its precious shell, till he enclosed it, till it no longer existed outside him. He tried to collect all that might attract her – it was less than it had been four years ago. Eighteen might look at thirty-four through a rising mist of adolescence; but twenty-two would see thirty-eight with discerning clarity. Moreover, Dick had been at an emotional peak at the time of the previous encounter; since then there had been a lesion of enthusiasm.

F.Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night 

Published in: 38 Years Old | on August 6th, 2010 | 3 Comments »

Thirty Year Old – Nick Carraway

 

greatgatsby

 

After a moment Tom got up and began wrapping the unopened bottle of whisky in the towel.

‘Want any of this stuff? Jordon? … Nick?’

I didn’t answer.

‘Nick?’ He asked again.

‘What?’

‘Want any?’

‘No … I just remembered that today’s my birthday.’

I was thirty. Before me stretched the portentous, menacing road of a new decade.

It was seven o’clock when we got into the coupe with him and started for Long Island. Tom talked incessantly, exulting and laughing, but his voice was as remote from Jordan and me as the foreign clamour on the sidewalk or the tumult of the elevated overhead. Human sympathy has its limits, and we were content to let all their tragic arguments fade with the city lights behind. Thirty – the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning brief-case of enthusiasm, thinning hair. But there was Jordan beside me, who, unlike Daisy, was too wise ever to carry well-forgotten dreams from age to age. As we passed over the dark bridge her wan face fell lazily against my coat’s shoulder and the formidable stroke of thirty died away with the reassuring pressure of her hand.

So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight.

F.Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Published in: 30 Years Old | on May 9th, 2010 | 1 Comment »