The 20th century, with all its joys and horrors, bellowed a final wail on the morning of Saturday March 26, 2005 – the day before Easter. Small children, bouquets of freshly picked morning glories in their innocent palms, lined up to glimpse the open casket of Fitzgerald. His crisp blue sport coat and yellow silk tie radiated artistic integrity; his lean fingers clutched not a rosary, but a deck of red playing cards. A pane of stained glass window directed a precise beam of pure light at his angular nose, a tiny rainbow of refraction dripping from a nostril. As devout parishioners, fervent fans and loyal disciples passed the humble pine coffin, cries of sorrow rippled from St. Charles Catholic Church, filtering through the streets of his beloved Toluca Lake. Monsignor Murphy, his conscience no doubt troubled in recollection of his harsh treatment of Fitzgerald, whispered a prayer for the repose of the soul of one so kind, so generous, so talented. Yes, Fitzgerald was dead - but his words remained, to be studied and digested, analyzed and scrutinized, by future generations. Fitzgerald, his pink pocket square perfectly pressed and folded, lay solemn and reflective, replicating his earthly countenance. Former seductresses kneeled in contrition, regretting their failed attempts at testing Fitzgerald’s virtue. Candy, a former Playmate, plucked rose petals from her plunging neckline, and sprinkled the handsome cadaver with their romance. Even his tight-fisted landlord, Mr. Stiles, paused and stared into the sealed orbs of ocean blue, trying desperately to hold back tears, painfully aware that his repeated financial demands perhaps triggered the collapse of the young artist’s left ventricle. (excerpt from The Fitzgerald Files, courtesy of the Fitzgerald Archives)
This author believes that when you live each day with an awareness of your eventual death, you will begin to live a happy life. Will today be the day when you shed your earthly chains? Will the last breath take place after dozing off in a mite-infested sleeping bag, a cracked ceiling and a spider’s stray web your final glimpse of this world? Or will it be after choking on an Egg McMuffin, alone in your studio apartment, oily crumbs dangling from your purple lips?
Live every day as if it will be your last chance to accomplish the significant goals for which you were created. You are trying your best -- that’s the important thing. (Numerous references will be made throughout the course of this treatise on how the individual should focus on reaching his/her own goals before even considering the married state. Some people believe that the mere acquisition of a mate will make his/her life happier and more fulfilled. However, you need to reach the point of fulfillment on your own. You need to be an entity unto thyself!) Yet how does the single soul decide on life goals? Can Fitzgerald, a Hollywood hipster of great wisdom and learning, offer a technique?
Imagine that you've been told by a “Cahuenga corridor” psychic that you will be struck dead by a lightning bolt in six months ... and that there's nothing you can do about this untimely demise. What will you do in the remaining time? Drown in your tears at The Frolic Room? Drunk dial your ex’s? Troll the dark corners of Boardner’s? What's really important to you now?
Make a list of everything you would like to accomplish before the lightning bolt zaps your last heartbeat. Write them down on a separate sheet of paper. Now limit the list to the top five goals. In Fitzgerald’s case, the goals are as follows:
Goal #1 To complete this dissertation in forty days so that future generations of original spirits may absorb its contents and live happier, more fulfilled lives.
Goal #2 To create a pair of self-cleaning dress slacks for the single man. (Note: experiment with soft strain of plutonium -- contact secret source in Malibu; use kitchen skillet to protect crotch region)
Goal #3 To gather the lint and stray hairs in my residence and create a line of celebrity rock star toupees, suitable for marketing (Examples: "The Orbison", "The Bowie", "The Sting", "The Little Richard", etc.). In the event of a radiation leak or atomic blast, these could be a big hit.
Goal #4 To design a line of sporty undergarments for the elderly. Aging baby boomers demand fashion. (Note: experiment on Toluca Lake Seniors Club)
Goal #5 To produce a compact disc which amplifies and orchestrates the natural sounds of the human digestive system. This collection may be useful for purposes of relaxation or meditation. (Note: contact iTunes music store immediately to pitch concept)
After you have written down and analyzed your goals, you must decide which goal is most important. What do you have the urge to finish first? On what can you focus your attention for extended periods of time? What can you make a commitment toward accomplishing? (Nothing should get in your way!) My foremost goal is to complete this manuscript. Write yours down here:
Excellent, dear reader. Now how will you accomplish this goal? What's your strategy? Will you labor at least one hour every day? Will you deprive yourself of meaningless romance, idle conversation and standard hygiene in order to accomplish the goal? (If you are not able to avoid these diversions, perhaps this particular mission lacks substance.) Make a list of ways you will accomplish the goal. Here’s Fitzgerald’s plan of action:
Nothing can stop this writer from completing this treatise. Likewise, you should develop a plan of action. The time to scrutinize your life is now!
Once you accomplish a goal, move on to the next one. When you've accomplished the top five, even then only remotely consider the possibility of marriage. Surely there must be something else for you to accomplish. Fitzgerald’s sixth project has been a dream since childhood: to translate Joyce's Ulysses into Yiddish.
Note: Be sure to mention to the readers about having realistic goals. For instance, Fitzgerald will never be the next Calvin Klein model due to the severe physical limitations of the Irish Curse (miniscule genitalia).