Mature people have always found me exasperating. It's true. You can always pick the most mature person out when I'm around. It's the one who looks like he or she is nursing a migraine.
Perhaps that's why I'm so fond of F. Scott Fitzgerald. A brilliant stylist who was arguably the great English language writer of the 20th century, Fitzgerald had a knack for aggravating those with adult dispositions.
Ernest Hemingway looked down on him. Gerald and Sarah Murphy came to find him insufferable. Thomas Wolfe refused to even take him seriously.
None of those people, however, created a work of art quite like The Great Gatsby. None of them crafted a tale of loss and redemption like Babylon Revisited, either. Simply put, none of those people were able to express themselves like Fitzgerald. None of them even came close.
This isn't to say “Fitz” couldn't be genuinely infuriating. Along with his wife, Zelda, the man caused scandal and disruption across both sides of the Atlantic. Any person who rips up newspapers in a newspaper office or passes out under a restaurant table is sure to try people's patience.
Still, there's more to all of us than the horrible impressions we may make. Fitzgerald proved that better than anyone. Through his writing, the man expressed a sensitivity and poetic insight that's marveled at to this day.
Perhaps that's what we less mature individuals wish for. Not more patience (we're aware we can be annoying), but an understanding that there's more than one side to every individual. We may not always be at our best, but then again, who is?
So we beat on...