February 27, 2013

"Forms leaned together in the taxis as they waited, and voices sang, and there was laughter from unheard jokes, and lighted cigarettes outlined unintelligible gestures inside."

Today's "Gatsby" sentence. It almost feels as though we've seen this one already. I had to check to make sure it was new. It has that visual obscurity, that life slightly out of reach, that we feel we've seen so many times.

Forms leaned and voices sang. Laughter existed, disembodied from the laughers and disconnected from whatever the jokes were. And then there were cigarettes, little lights that made it possible to discern gestures. We couldn't really see the people — they were forms — and there was a bit of sound — but it was for jokes we never heard — and there were gestures, barely seen, marked by the glowing ends of cigarettes — and the gestures — unintelligible — could not be understood.

How distanced and left out we feel! Inside those taxis, there is real life, people going places, talking about things, leaving us behind.

10 comments:

edutcher said...

Very expressive, this one is good.

You can see it being used in the movies of the 30s.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

This sentence satisfies me.

edutcher said...

PS and OT:

I was going to put this in the cafe, but it hasn't moved in a while.

For those of us of a certain age, this will mean something.

Dale Robertson died today at age 89.

kentuckyliz said...

Is the sentence from some observing outside the taxi, like in the next car over at a stop light, or walking and crossing the street in front of the taxi? Or someone in the taxi, who feels alienated, socially and/or they're way too stoned?

Is it about one taxi? Are the people singing and telling jokes at the same time? Singing comedy songs? Alternating between jokes and songs? Telling a joke but then a song comes on the radio and it's everyone's favorite, so everyone cuts past the joke and starts singing along with the radio?

Sing me your songs, you're the piano man!

How does the joke teller feel, being cut off like that? Do they go back to telling it, or has the moment passed?

traditionalguy said...

I don't remember this sentence. But it is very descriptive. Maybe I was asleep while reading it.

phx said...

Could I get these Gatsty posts and comments in ebook format after you are finished please?

wyo sis said...

ennui

Chip Ahoy said...

Gatsby taxi forms, laughing, smoking, inside the taxi!

Regina Hampson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Regina Hampson said...

if you have to go anywhere but don't have a car or don't want to drive you need to call the best airport taxi service in San francisco