[The following conversation takes place over the phone on a Sunday. Early afternoon. It is beautiful outside]
Can I tell you a quick story? Yeah? Okay, I think this'll help you get out of bed. Okay, alright. So we're going to end this conversation, right? You'll get yourself dressed, put on a little bit of makeup, and maybe a bow in your hair -- you know, the way you do that. And you'll walk to the park, okay? With a book in hand. It's that tattered and torn copy of Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night, yeah, brown cover, the one you stole from our high school, yeah, yeah. That one.
You'll put a blanket down on the grass. It's not a real populated area, you have enough space to yourself, you'll put your earbuds in and start listening to whatever you listen to while you read, I don't know or care what that is but you're listening to it, okay? And you'll start reading. You'll get lost in the book, you know? You'll be in your own universe, okay? And, wait, wait, this is the best part. Then a man will walk up to you. He needs to use your phone, his died on the way over.
And yeah, you'll look up to him -- you're laying on your back, book in face -- and you'll move that book out of the way and you'll see the most handsome guy you've ever seen in your life. Yeah, he has short-cropped hair, it looks messy but it's obvious he styles it. His shirt is tucked in to his pants and he's wearing... uh, you know those nice boots that are also shoes, yeah the ones I can't afford but even if I did I wouldn't buy them [laughing]. Yeah, those ones. Anyway, he'll look at you and you'll notice that he's stunned, that he finds you so beautiful and he completely forgets that he needed to use your phone, okay? But then he'll ask you if you want to get a drink.
You'll say no, at first, because, you know, who's going to fucking drink at noon with a stranger? But he assures you, he says, no, no, I mean coffee. You laugh at his awkwardness, you can tell that he kind of likes you. You know, he's throwing weird awkward vibes at you and you feel happy because you haven't had that happen to you in a long time.
So, you'll go get coffee, right? And the first thing you notice is that no one is there and the baristas -- is that what they're called? Yeah, okay, cool -- all know his name. Hey... Mark! They yell out, yeah his name is Mark, now. And you take a seat in a quiet corner of the coffee store and, like, he asks you what you want and he walks away to get it for you. He insists, you know. He still plans on using your phone or whatever.
Next to you, you'll notice a lot of books on this shelf. Like a lot of old books. Books you really love reading, you know? But they're all so old looking that there's a part of you that's afraid to touch them. You don't want to put anything out of its place, you know? And he comes back, but like, he notices you glancing at a particular book and, uh, it's like a movie. He just grabs the exact book you were looking at and puts it on the table in front of you, "that's a good one" he says. And you smile at him, that weird fucking smile you have, and he smiles back at you but, like, he has a weird fucking smile, too, you know? You guys are perfect for each other. Are you still listening? I'm almost done, okay. Are you there? [laughs] Okay, okay.
Anyway, you guys start dating for a while, you know? All he wants to do is be with you. It doesn't matter what you guys do. Like, you'll wake up one morning and he'll grab you by the hand and just tell you you're going on another adventure, right? And you will, you'll explore places you've never been before. You'll sit next to him while he paints -- yeah he's a painter, too I guess -- and he'll sit with you and run his fingers through your hair while you read or write or work from home because he knows you love working and he fucking respects that, you know? And you'll finally think, finally, I found one worth keeping, right?
And I don't know, a year might go by, maybe two. And you'll go to bed next to him one night. But, like, he'll wake you up. And he's kind of a jerk, but like, a funny jerk, so he'll start talking to you about his life. And how you're too good for him, too perfect, too beautiful, too smart. And you'll start to worry, you know? You're scared he's backing out. But he'll look down and his facial expression will change and he'll ask you to marry him. You'll say yes. Fuckin' of course you'll say yes. You're in love with him and he's in love with you.
But then he'll grab your hand, you know, tell you to get dressed but you don't know where he wants to go. It's okay, you've been doing that for years but something about today feels different. So you get dressed and you look beautiful. He'll tell you that, he'll say "You're so beautiful, you're dressed perfectly. You're perfect." Then he'll kiss you, he's fucking Clark Gable right now. And when you get off the train and start walking that's when he'll phone me -- yeah I'm in this story, too, I'm always in every story -- and he'll say "Hey man, I'm getting married right now and need a witness, you down" and I'll say, yes, of course I am.
And you'll hear him. And you'll start crying. He'll smile at you and he'll kiss you again with his arm around you. You'll meet up with me and I'm sorry, I lied to you. I knew this was happening so I'm already dressed in a suit [laughs] yeah, me, in a fucking suit. He asks me if I brought the thing, and yeah, I brought the thing. Don't worry I'll get to the thing, geez, keep your dress on, alright?
So you'll get married and it'll be nice and I'll take a bunch of bad photographs of you guys. And I'll be happy because my two best friends are getting married, you know? Yeah, Mark's a friend of mine, too. But I left that part out 'cause, you know, this isn't about me right now. It's about you how anything can happen any time and you should get the fuck out of bed.
Anyway. We go to a bar. And we drink. And I hand him the thing. And he hands it to you. It's a small white box just big enough to hold a book. And you get excited, you know, you love reading. Yeah, open it. Open it.
Inside, there's a Hardcover copy of "Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F.Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald". And you start tearing up. And you read the inside cover where he wrote something just for you. What's it say? Well, I don't know, he wrote it [laughs]. Okay, okay, it says:
You have always been my Zelda. From the day I met you 'til the day I die. I can be your Scott. I love you, dearly, wholly, and fully. My love, my love, my love. - Mark
And you'll kiss him hard. And he'll kiss you back. And you'll live the life you've always wanted.
So, go. Get off the fucking phone with me. And meet your Mark.