This summer, I showed Budd’s inscription to Scott again, then I told him we were selling our place. Looking as sad as I feel now, he noted, “You’ll get as much as Budd’s house fetched. I wish you were not leaving. But…I guess you can’t afford to stay.”
He’s right. We – my siblings and I who own this large, old house – can’t keep it up anymore. The $10,000 a year to the Town of Southampton for taxes is too much for us, though my rich friend over on Shelter Island says, “That’s nothing! I pay $23,000 a year.”
After we sell our house, $1.7 million or not, Scott and I will stroll down to the edge of Quantuck Bay one last time. He wants me to bring Budd’s book and Ober’s signature; he has this wistful notion that we’ll remain connected that way.
We look across the water to the green light. He’ll probably quote a line from the end of The Great Gatsby, and laugh: “On the last night, with my trunk packed, I went over to look at that huge incoherent failure of a house once more.”
I’ll protest that our house was not a failure. He’ll shrug. “You still believe in the orgastic future.” I do. It will just happen without him.
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