I am not even faintly like a rose

I am not even faintly like a rose.
I wasn’t even vaguely engaged.
I have been drunk just twice in my life.
I was standing beside his bed.
I was lying half asleep in the cold lower level
of the Pennsylvania Station.
I had been actually invited.
Most of the time I worked.
I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes.
I wasn’t actually in love.
I felt a sort of tender curiosity.
I am one of the few honest people
that I have ever known.
I was more annoyed than interested.
I don’t believe they heard a sound.
I stayed late that night.
I was reminded of something.
I wanted to get up and slap him on the back.
I was tempted to laugh whenever he opened his mouth.
I just remembered that today’s my birthday.
I was feeling a little sick and
I wanted to be alone.
I walked away and left him standing there.
I couldn’t sleep all night.
I didn’t want to go to the city.
I thanked him for his hospitality.
I wanted to get somebody for him.
I’m five years too old to lie to myself
and call it honor.
I turned away.
I went over.
I erased it.
There was nothing I could say.
I sat there, brooding on the old unknown world.

(Nick Carraway’s confessions, as they appear chronologically in The Great Gatsby. Submitted by Gary)