GETTING TO KNOW HIS GIRLFRIEND

Gatsby was overwhelmed with joy. His girlfriend was coming to see him. He called me and begged me to visit them both. He wanted to introduce me to her.

We met. She was so entranced by him that she hardly looked at me. She gave the impression of being a woman who was very aware. I looked at my friend with complicity while she truly appeared to be walking on a cloud. We were on the terrace and the weather was good. While the two lovers were both enjoying themselves as if they were the only ones who existed, I was left looking at the trees in the garden. I had already known immortal love and it died. I did not want to know another. With artificial haste, I made my farewells.

I could not quite understand what power he derived from that love potion. Gatsby had become very responsible about his mission, as if that was the agreed salary. It was a kind of vital romanticism that lived inside him, like Fitzgerald's Gatsby. He would sacrifice everything to achieve the object of his love.

Now and then Jimmy would appear, though not as frequently as the first year that we had known each other. On a few occasions we could still spend a few hours together. That day while we walked, Jimmy, as if he had caught Gatsby's romanticism, told me about his true love: Ursula Andress. Jimmy told me how Ursula ended up rejecting him.

During his life on Earth, Jimmy had something special about him that made him both an attractive and conflicting personality at the same time. It was as if his need for affection was constantly testing the heart of the people around him. To me that was a kind of divine gift. Probably Ursula traded the intensity of Jimmy's heart, that might be seen as unstable, for the security of a partner with greater "common sense". But Jimmy still loved her.

"I'm going to call Ursula", he said to me suddenly, walking into a telephone box.

"What are you doing? This man has gone mad!" I said throwing my hands to my head.

Jimmy said and did things that were so out of the ordinary that one always tended to think that he was joking though over time one realized that some of them were not jokes. Others, like this one, are still a question. In a short while he came out.

"What happened?" I asked.

"She doesn't believe that it's me! She doesn't want me to bother her!" He answered, making very funny gestures.

Once we had both calmed down I asked him.

"And after something like that, tell me, what is it that's left?"

"What's left is a 'could have been but wasn't'" he told me more seriously.

For me that was a warning that commanded one to fight for what one wants, because it might never be.

THE MBA.

My friend and I did not see each other very frequently, but when we did we would spend a lot of time together. Gatsby's career was focused towards the world of business organizations. At that time I did not understand it but in 1985 he mentioned to me that the field of business culture was the one where he would exert his influence and within which he needed to develop, at least to start with.

Gatsby appeared to be "designed" for that world. It was such a perfect design that it started to appear to me as his Achilles heel. All his efforts were directed towards great achievements in the field of business. He did not appear to have any point of weakness in it. Nevertheless, first one had to be part of it. That was the only delicate point since my friend was totally incapable of maintaining an attitude of subservience. How could he climb from nothing? That was the question.

After all, Gatsby spoke of ethics in business but he did it in such a way that one could not argue against it. When morality is accompanied by a strength such as the one Gatsby had, one feels that a star is shining close by and no opposition is possible since this is the time of the star.

Nevertheless, first he needed to get there. As opposed to his antithesis, he had to find an adequate pulpit to be seen and heard. Then he would have great influence. And that "needed to get there" was his Achilles heel as Jimmy repeated over and over again.