Agnes of god

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by John Pielmeier

Where do babies come from? Well, I think they come from when an angel lights on their mother's chest and whispers into her ear. That makes good babies start to grow. Bad babies come when a fallen angels squeezes in down there. I don't know where good babies come out. (Silence) And you can't tell the difference except that bad babies cry a lot and make their fathers go away and their mothers get very ill and die sometimes. Mummy wasn't very happy when she died and I think she went to hell because every time I see her she looks like she just stepped out of a hot shower. And I'm never sure if it's her or the Lady who tells me things. They fight over me all the time. The Lady I saw when I was ten. I was lying on the grass looking at the sun and the sun became a cloud and the cloud became the Lady, and she told me she would talk to me and then her feet began to bleed and I saw there were holes in her hands and in her side and I tried to catch the blood as it fell from the sky but I couldn't see any more because my eyes hurt because there were big black spots in from of them. And she tells me things like--right now she's crying, "Marie, Marie!" but I don't know what she means. And she uses me to sing. It's as if she's throwing a big hook under my ribs and tries to pull me up but I can't move because Mummy is holding my feet and all I can do is sing in her voice, it's the Lady's voice, God loves you! (silence) God loves you. (silence) I don't eat because I have been commanded by God. I'm getting fat, there's too much flesh on me. I have to be attractive to God. He hates fat people. It's a sin to be fat. Look at all the statues. They're thin. That's because they're suffering. Suffering is beautiful. I want to be beautiful. Christ said it in the Bible. He said, "Suffer the little children, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven." I want to suffer like a little child. I am a little child, but my body keeps getting bigger. I don't want it to get bigger because then I won't be able to fit in. I won't be able to squeeze into Heaven. I'm too fat! Look at this--I'm a blimp! God blew up the Hindendburg. He'll blow up me. That's what Mummy said. But if I stay little, it won't happen. She says God presents us to our mothers in bundles of eight pounds six ounces. I have to be eight pounds again. I'm being punished. I don't know why. (she holds out her hand, bleeding) It started this morning, and I can't get it to stop. Why me? Why me?

by Charles Johnson 

Welcome to the show. My name is Scotty Devlin. I know what you’re all thinking… How come she has a boy’s name? Actually my real name is Heidi. But I had to change it when I lost my virginity. Everyone named Heidi must change their name when they lose their virginity. That’s the rule. Look at these girls over here all rustling through their programs. You’re all Heidis, right? Sorry. Am I embarrassed or what? Actually, I lied to you. Scotty is my real name. You see, when I was born the doctor was either far-sighted or a prankster, because as I popped out, I remember it vividly, he declared "it’s a boy." In fact, I was a boy until my mother changed my diapers for the first time. Can you imagine their surprise. My mother fainted. My father just stared, "he can’t be my boy." I was in stitches.They tried calling me Judy for a while but I just wouldn’t respond. Would you have? There’s a Heidi nodding her head. Oh, by the way, the part about all Heidis having to change their names when they lose their virginity, I didn’t lie about hat. That is a known fact. Yes, it’s true. Think about it. How many grown women do you know named Heidi? All the Heidis I know are about 8 years old with long blond braids down their backs. They all wear pink dirndls with little white aprons. And are surrounded by goats. They skip their way into high school, getting A’s in Home Ec. Then one day, probably on their 21st birthday- wham- Veronica, Yvonne, Desiree. This is absolutely true, I promise you. You’ve never heard of a child being called Yvonne, have you? If I had been called Judy, I’d have to change my name when I stopped wearing bangs. Have you ever met a seventy year old woman named Judy? It sounds like she should be chewing gum and skipping rope.I’m not making this up. Right before middle age sets in, Cindys become Harriet, or Beatrice, they have that option. All Wendy’s die at puberty. Regrettable, but necessary. I sort of like being called Scotty, besides it’s better than my middle name- Doug. Look, I gotta run. But before I go, I just want to say that I hope all the guys who are sitting here tonight with a girl named Heidi, wake up tomorrow morning with a Desiree.

by Tad Mosel 

Why don't they all leave? You too, Hannah. For I am not going to the funeral. You were right, Hannah. God is coming harder to me now. And Jay, too! I can't seem to find either one of them. Whatever made Jay do it, ever! The night we moved into this house, where did he go! And when he first went to work in Papa's office--! (stopping, remembering more softly) Not when Rufus was born, though. He was very dearly close to me then, very. But other times, he'd feel himself being closed in, watched by superinten-dents, he'd say, and--There was always a special quietness about him afterwards, when he came home, as if he were very far away from where he'd been, but very far away from me, too, keeping his distance, but working his way back. No, I'm not going to the funeral. Do you think he'll rest simply by lowering him into the ground? I won't watch it. How can he rest when he was lost on the very day he died! That's just what I don't know, if he was lost, or drunk or what. I never knew. Not for sure. There were times we all knew about, of course, but there were other times when it wasn't always the whiskey. He'd be gone for a night, or a day, or even two, and I'd know he hadn't' touched a drop. And it wasn't any of the other things that come to a woman's mind, either, in case you're thinking that. Those are easy enemies. It was Market Square. And talking to country people about country secrets that go way back through the mountains. And anyone who'd sing his old songs with him. Or all-night lunch rooms, and even Charlie Chaplin. What's wrong with Charlie, he'd ask me, not because he didn't know what I'd say, but to make me say it. He's so nasty, I'd say, so vulgar, with his nasty little cane, looking up skirts. And Jay would laugh and go off to see Charlie Chaplin and not come home. Where he went, I can't even imagine, for he'd never tell me. It was always easier to put everything down to whiskey. Why couldn't I let him have those things, whatever they were, if they meant something to him? Why can't I let him have them now? I'm glad Ralph didn't tell me if Jay were drunk when he was killed. I must just accept not knowing, mustn't I? I must let Jay have what I don't know. What if he was drunk? What in the world if he was? Did I honestly think that was a gulf. This is a gulf! If he was drunk, Hannah, just if he was, I hope he loved being. Speeding along in the night--singing at the top of his lungs--racing because he loved to go fast--racing to us because he loved us. And for the time, enjoying--revelling in a freedom that was his, that no place or person, that nothing in this world could ever give him or take away from him. Let's hope that's how it was, how he looked death itself in the face. In his strength. That's what we'll put on the gravestone. In his strength.

Maxwell Anderson

Will you give back what you stole from the monasteries, and the men executed? Will you resume with Rome? When you do that I*ll take your word again, But you won*t do it. And what you truly want— you may not know it— Is a fresh, frail, innocent maid who*ll make you feel fresh and innocent again, and young again; Jane Seymour is the name. It could be anyone. Only virginal and sweet. And when you*ve had her you*ll want someone else. Meanwhile, to get her, you*ll murder if you must. (Lashinq out.) Before you go, perhaps You should hear one thing— I lied to you. I loved you, but I lied to you! I was untrue! Untrue with many! You may think this is a lie. But is it? Take it to your grave! Believe it! I was untrue! Only what I take to my grave you take to yours! With many! Not with one! Many! I*ve never thought what it was like to die. To become meat that rots. Then food for shrubs, and the long roots of vines. The grape could reach me. I may make him drunk before many years. Some one told me the story of the homely daughter of Sir Thomas More, climbing at night up the trestles of London Bridge where they*d stuck her father*s head on a spike, and hunting among the stinking and bloody heads, of criminals, still she found her father*s head, his beard matted and hard with blood. And climbing down with it, and taking it home. To bury in the garden, perhaps. Would they fIx my head up on London Bridge? No. Even Henry would object to that. I*ve been his queen. He*s kissed my lips. He wouldn*t want itI*ll lie in lead—or brass. Meat. Dead meat. But if my head were on the Bridge he wouldn*t climb to take it down. Nobody*d climb for me. I could stay and face up the river, and my long hair blow out and tangle round the spikes—and my small neck. Till the sea birds took me, and there was nothing but a wisp of hair and a cup of bone. I must think of something to say when the time comes. If I could say it—with the axe edge toward me, Could I do it? Could I lay my head down— and smile, and speak? Till the blow comes? They say it*s subtle. It doesn*t hurt. There*s no time. No time. That*s the end of time. Go your way, and I*ll go mine. You to your death, and I to my expiation. For there is such a thing as expiation. It involves dying to live. Death is a thing the coroner can see. I*ll stick by that. A coroner wouldn*t know you died young, Henry. And yet you did.

By Jane Martin

So, the casting agent says to me, "You're not right for it; you're a character woman." I die. My blood congeals. Fissures appear. It's the actresses' death knell. I go through menopause in five seconds. All fluids dry. I become the Mojave Desert. Character woman! I, who have screwed every leading man on the East Coast, become their mother. Vertigo. I scream out in a silent, un attending universe: "I'm too young to be a character woman!" and the echo replies, rolling out of infinite space: "They want to see you for the funny aunt at the wedding!" (She ritually disembowels herself) Bad day. I once believed I could be very good. I wanted to be so concentrated, so compressed, so vivid and present and skillful and heartfelt that any- one watching me would literally burst into flame. Combust. I never did it. It never happened. I used to think that theatre could change people's lives. The truth is, two months later the audience can't remember the name of the play. I mean, honestly, has anybody you know to be a sentient being ever walked up to you and said the play changed their life? No, fine, okay. You know who is changed by Chekhov? Me. I finish a play, it's like, "Get me an exorcist!" He eats my life. He chews me up. He spits me out. I'm like bleeding from Chekhov. The audience? Who knows what their deal is? They come from the mists; they return to the mist. They cough, they sneeze, they sleep, they unwrap little hard candies, and then they head for their cars during the curtain call. And once, once I would like to step out and say to the ones who are up the aisles while we take the bows, "Hey! Excuse me! Could you show a little mercy because I just left it all out here on the stage and even if you don't have the foggiest notion what it was or what it meant, could you have the common courtesy to leave your goddamn cars in the garage for another forty seconds and give me a little hand for twenty years of work!"

Brighton Beach Memoirs

By Neil Simon


I’m not going to let you hurt me, Nora. I’m not going to let you tell me that I don't love you or that I haven't tried to give you as much as I gave Laurie… God knows I’m not perfect because enough angry people in this house told me so tonight… but I am not going to be a doormat for all the frustration and unhappiness that you or Aunt Kate or anyone else wants to lay at my feet… I did not create this Universe. I do not decide who lives and dies, or who’s rich or poor or who feels loved and who feels deprived. If you feel cheated that I had a husband who died at thirty-six. And if you keep on feeling that way, you’ll end up like me… with something much worse than loneliness or helplessness and that’s self-pity. Believe me, there is no leg that’s twisted or bent that is more crippling than a human being who thrives on his own misfortunes… I am sorry, Nora, that you feel unloved and I will do everything I can to change it except apologize for it. I am tired of apologizing. After a while it becomes your life’s work and it doesn’t bring any money into the house… if it’s taken you pain and Aunt Kate’s anger to get me to start living again, then God will give me the strength to make it up to you, but 8I will not go back to being that frightened, helpless woman that I created!.. I’ve already buried someone I love. Now its time to bury someone I hate.


Maxwell Anderson
Mrs. Daigle

Thanks. I’m Mrs Daigle. You didn’t have to let me in, you know. I’m a little drunk. I guess you never get a little drunk. Now, you, Mrs. Penmark. You’ve always had plenty. You’re a superior person. Oh yes, your father was rich. Rich Richard Bravo. I know. Me, I worked in a beauty parlor. Miss Fern used to come there. She looks down on me. I was that frumpy blonde. Now I’ve lost my boy and I’m a lush. Everybody knows it. But I know what I’m about just the same. Just the same. May I call you Christine? I’m quite aware that you come from a higher level of society. You prolly made a debut and all that. I always considered Christine such a genteel name. Hortense sounds flat—that’s me, Hortense. "My girl, Hortense," that’s what hey used to sing at me, "hasn’t got much sense. Let’s write her name on the privy fence." Children can be nasty, don’t you think? You’re so attractive Christine. You have such exquisite taste in clothes, but of course you have amples of money to buy ‘em with. What I came to see you about, I asked Miss Fern how did Claude happen to lose the medal, and she wouldn’t tell me a thing. You know more than you’re telling. You’re a sly one—because of the school. You don’t want the school to get a bad name. But you know more than you’re telling, Miss Butter-Wouldn’t-Melt Fern. There’s something funny about the whole thing. I’ve said so over and over to Mr. Daigle. Rest. Sleep. When you can’t sleep at night, you can’t sleep in the daylight. I lie and look at the water where he went down. There’s something funny about the whole thing, Christine. I heard that your little girl was the last one who saw him alive. Will you ask her about the last few minutes and tell me what she says? Maybe she remembers some little thing. I don’t care how small it is! No matter how small! Oh, my poor little Claude! What did they do to you? Somebody took the medal off his shirt, Christine. It couldn’t come off by accident. I pinned it on myself, and it had a clasp that locks in place. It was no accident. He was such a lovely, dear little boy. He said I was his sweetheart. He said he was going to marry me when he grew up. I used to laugh and say, "You’ll forget me long before then. You’ll find a prettier girl, and you’ll marry her." And you know what he said then? He said, "No, I won’t, because there’s not a prettier girl in the whole world than you are." Why do you put your arms around me? You don’t give a damn about me. You’re a superior person and all that, and I’m—oh, God forgive me! There were those bruises on his hands, and that peculiar crescent-shaped mark on his forehead that the undertaker covered up. He must have bled before he died. That’s’s what the doctor said. And where’s the medal? Who took the medal? I have a right to know what became to the penmanship medal! If I knew, I’d have a good idea what happened to him. I don’t; know hwy you took it on yourself to put your arms around me. I’m as good as you are. And Claude was better than your girl. He won the medal, and she didn’t—I’m drunk. It’s a pleasure to stay drunk when your little boy’s been killed.



by Neil Simon

What do I want to do? Is that how it works? You have an affair, and I get the choice of forgetting about it or living alone for the rest of my life?...It’s so simple for you, isn’t it? I am so angry. I am so hurt by your selfishness. You break what was good between us and leave me to pick up the pieces...and still you continue to lie to me. I knew about that woman a year ago. I got a phone call from a friend. I won’t even tell you who..."What’s going on with you and Jack?" she asks me. "Are you two still together? Who’s this woman he’s having lunch with every day?" She asks me...I said, "Did you see them together?" ,,She said, "No, but I heard."...I said, "don’t believe what you hear. Believe what you see!" and I hung up on her...Did I do good, Jack? Did I defend my husband like a good wife?...A year I lived wit that, hoping to God it wasn’t true, and if it was, praying it would go away...and God was good to me. NO more phone calls, no more stories about Jack and his lunch more wondering why you were coming home late from work even when it wasn’t busy season...until this morning. Guess who calls me?...Guess who Jack was having lunch with in the same restaurant twice last week?... Last year’ lies don’t hold up this year, Jack...This year you have to deal with it


by Robert Shaffron


I don*t know when I stopped living my life and my life started living me. (A beat.) My mother was a Christian. A Bible slamming, fire and brimstone, halleluhjah Christian. I remember the day — the night — of her conversion. I was sleeping. She tore into the apartment — I slept on the couch — and she was out of breath, and her hair was, well, some of it had slipped out from under the elastic band she always had it pulled back in. And she ran around the room turning on all the lamps, and she turned on the light in the little half-kitchen, and she turned on the lights in her bedroom and left the door open so the light came into theliving room where I was sleeping. I sat up, I was scratching and trying to straighten the crumpled sheets under me with my eyes closed the lights were so bright and I asked her, "Ma why are you turning all the lights on like that it hurts my eyes." And she rushed over to me and she pulled me off the couch onto the floor and said, "Evelyn, we*re gonna get down on our knees and pray. In the light. And we*re gonna pray to the Lord that we may always live in the light. The clean, pure holy light that falls down on us from the good Lord in heaven." We*d never prayed in our lives. I didn*t even know what praying was, really. I knew people prayed in church. I*d seen pictures of churches, and they always looked beautiful and scary with the colored lights all coming through the stained glass windows and shiny wood benches and gigantic stone arches, and I wondered how in hell we were gonna pray in our little apartment with the greasy walls and the chipped tile floors and bare lightbulbs — scary but not beautiful like the churches. (A beat.) All Mother wanted was a man who wouldn*t leave her so she brought God home. And he stayed. Mother went crazy with religion. And as soon as I was old enough, I did the only thing I could think to do. I got pregnant and left home. Amen

by Robert Shaffron

MARY is sitting, writing furiously in the margins of a discarded newspaper. SHE suddenly stops writing, and looks up at the audience, suspicious.)

Whattaya lookin at? Whattaya lookin at?? Bastids always lookin, lookin — wanna see what Im writin here. Dirty bastids always lookin at me outa the sides a their eyes so they think I dont know theyre lookin. Know what Im writin here? Im writin the Bible. Thats right. Ya read the Bible, aint ya, ya dirty bastid? Well, I wrote it. Only it aint finished. I gotta finish it. Sometimes I aint got enough paper and I gotta write it on the New York Newsday. Only first I gotta cross out all the words thats already printed there so nobody gets the Bible mixed up with the New York Newsday. (A n outburst.) HEY YOU TRYIN TO LOOK UP MY DRESS YOU DIRTY BASTID I KNOW WHAT YOU WAS LOOKIN AT YOU SLIMY SCUMBAG YOU JUST GET YOUR EYES OUTTA THERE AINT NOTHIN UP THERE YOU GOT NO BUSINESS GOOGLIN AT! I KNOW WHAT YOU WAS TRYIN TO LOOK AT SNEAKINPEEKS UP MY DRESS WHILE IM WRITIN THE HOLY WORD YOU LOWLIFE SCUM BASTID!! (A beat, then back to normal tone.) You know why Im writin the Bible? You know why? God tel me to. God the little infant Jesus tel me to. That bastid. You know why he picked me? He knows what I seen. He knows the evil I seen. Thats right. I seen somethin. I seen the worst evil in the world and the Holy Lord our savior Jesus Christ tells me the word and he writes the Holy Epistle through me. Im a vessel. Im a vessel of the Lord. You wanna know my name? Ill tell ya. Its Mary. Thats all. Nothin else. Just Mary. Used to be Evelyn Kantmeier. Now its Mary. Whattaya lookin at?? Filthy bastid ya was lookin at my bag, wasnt ya? Wanna see whats in my bag, doncha? Wanna see what I got in here. Everybody does. Everybody wants to see. Wanna know? Wanna see whats in here? Youll rot in hell first. Nobody gets in my bag. Its my bag. Its fulla my treasures. Man touched my bag once. Hes sorry. I was sittin in Grand Central Station I like it there you can feel the Lords presence in the echoes. Im sittin there writin the Bible with my special bag down between my feet I keep the handle wrapped around my leg so no stinkin scumsucker bastid can steal it ‘cause everybody wants it. Wants to possess it its precious. Im sittin right on that bench writin and keepin an eye out for evil — Im the Holy Lords guardian of evil. I keep an eye out when God is watchin over things over in Italy or somethin — bastid comes up tries to touch my bag. Musta been crazy is the only thing I can figure. But I got him. Fixed the crazy son of a bitch good. Put a curse on him. Ordained his hands to fall off. Hell never touch another bag again. Eye for an eye. I wrote that. (A beat.) Dont touch my bag. You dont ever touch my bag. Thou shalt not lay a rotten finger on my bag and thats a commandment. (A beat.) You wanna know whats in my bag? Huh? You wanna? Sacraments. Holy sacraments and treasures and some sacred relics. And some cigarettes. (A beat.) Airight. Ill show ya. But only if you swear on the holy mothers eyes not to covet nothin in here. But you will. Youll covet it all. Its holy. (SHE pulls out an old cardigan sweater with pearls or sequins on it. Its wrinkled and dirty.) Here. This heres sacred vestments. Jesus wore this at the Last Supper. Then he gave it to me. Isnt it beautiful? (SHE shakes it so the sequins catch the light.) It glows. Thats holy light. You wanna touch it? It heals. You wanna touch it? (SHE hold it out, then snatches it back.) Dont even try. (SHE rummages in the bag and finds a keychain with keys on it. SHE shakes it.) This heres Jesus lucky keychain. He blessed this. Sometimes it spouts wine. (SHE goes back into the bag, pulls out a crumpled box of Count Chocula cereal.) This is the holy communion. This box got the wafers thats the flesh of Christ. (SHE opens the box, places a single piece of cereal on her tongue.) Aint supposed to chew it. Gotta let it lie on your tongue and count your sins while it melts. (SHE takes a handful of cereal and eats it.) Only I aint got no sins. I been purified. ‘Sgot marshmallows in it. (SHE rummages in the bag again, pulling out a succession of objects, until SHE comes up with a tattered baby doll.) This is Him. This is the Holy Infant Jesus himself. Not Him. His image. The Baby Jesus. My beautiful, blessed Baby Jesus. This heres loaded with holy magic spiritual power. No one, no one can ever hold this Infant Jesus. ‘Cept me. One little touch and hell resurrect and smite you but good.



by William Inge


Mebbe I'm a sap. I dunno why I don't go off to Montana and marry Bo. I might be a lot better off'n I am now. But all he wants is a girl to throw his arms around and hug and kiss, that's all. The resta the time, he don't even know I exist. I never did decide to marry him. Everything was goin' fine till he brought up that subjeck. Bo come in one night when I was singin' "That Ole Black Magic." It's one a my best numbers. And he liked it so much, he jumped up on a chair and yelled like a Indian, and put his fingers in his mouth and whistled like a steam engine. Natur'ly, it made me feel good. Most a the customers at the Blue Dragon was too drunk to pay any attention to my songs. Anyway...I'd never seen a cowboy before. Oh, I'd seen 'em in movies, a course, but never in the flesh...Anyway, he's so darn healthy-lookin', I don't mind admittin, I was attracted right from the start. But it was only what ya might call a sexual attraction. The very next mornin', he wakes up and hollers, "Yippee! We're gettin' married." I honestly thought he was crazy. But when I tried to reason with him, he wouldn't listen to a word. He stayed by my side all day long, like a shadow. At night, a course, he had to go back to the rodeo, but he was back to the Blue Dragon as soon as the rodeo was over, in time fer the midnight show. If any other fella claimed t'have a date with me, Bo'd beat him up. He kep tellin' me all week, he and Virge'd be by the night the rodeo ended and they'd pick me up and we'd all start back to Montana t'gether. I knew that if I was around the Blue Dragon that night, that's what'd happen. So I decided to beat it. One a the other girls at the Blue Dragon lived on a farm 'cross the river in Kansas. She said I could stay with her. So I went to the Blue Dragon last night and just sang fer the first show. Then I told 'em I was quittin'...I'd been wantin' to find another job anyway...and I picked up my share of the kitty...but darn it, I had to go and tell 'em I was takin' the midnight bus. They had to go and tell Bo, a course, when he come in a li'l after eleven. He paid 'em five dollars to find out. So I went down to the bus station and hadn't even got my ticket, when here come Bo and Virge. He just steps up to the ticket window and says, "Three tickets to Montana!" I din know what to say. Then he dragged me onto the bus and I been on it ever since. And somewhere deep down inside me, I gotta funny feelin' I'm gonna end up in Montana.



by Tennesse Williams

Yes, it's too bad because you cant wring their necks if they've got no necks to wring! Isn't that right honey? Yep, they're no-neck monsters, all no-neck people are monsters? (children shriek downstairs) Hear them? Hear them screaming? I don't know where their voice boxes are located since they don't have necks. I tell you I got so nervous at that table tonight, I thought I would throw back my head and utter a scream you could hear across the Arkansas border an' parts of Louisiana an' Tennessee. I said to our charming sister-in-law, Mae, "honey, couldn't you feed those precious little things at a separate table with an oilcloth cover? They make such a mess an' the lace cloth looks so pretty!" She made enormous eyes at me and said, "Ohhh, nooooo! On Big Daddy's birthday? Why, he would never forgive me!" Well, I want you to know, Big Daddy hadn't been at the table two minutes with those five no-neck monsters slobbering and drooling over their food before he threw down his fork an' shouted, "Fo' God's sake, Gooper, why don't you put them pigs at a trough in th' kitchen?"- Well, I swear, I simply could have di-ieed! Think of it, Brick, they've got five of them and number six is coming. They've brought the whole bunch down here like animals to display at a county fair. Why, they have those children doin' tricks all the time! "Junior, show Big Daddy how you do this, show Big Daddy how you do that, say your little piece fo' Big Daddy, Sister. Show you dimples, Sugar. Brother, show Big Daddy how you stand on your head!"- it goes on all the time, along with constant little remarks and innuendos about the fact that you and I have not produced any children, are totally childless and therefore totally useless!- Of course it's comical but its also disgusting since it so obvious what they're up to!



by Tennessee Williams

Brick, y'know, I've been so God damn disgustingly poor all my life!- that's the truth, Brick! Always had to suck up to people I couldn't stand because they had money and I was poor as Job's turkey. You don't know what that's like. Well, I'll tell you, its like you would feel a thousand miles away from Echo Spring!- And had to get back to it on that broken ankle? without a crutch! That's how it feels to be as poor as Job's turkey and have to suck up to relatives that you hated because they had money and all you had was a bunch of hand-me-down clothes and a few old moldy three-per-cent government bonds. My daddy loved his liquor, he fell in love with his liquor the way you've fallen in love with Echo Spring!- And my poor Mama, having to maintain some semblance of social position, to keep appearances up, on an income of one hundred and fifty dollars a month on those old government bonds! When I came out, the year that I made my debut, I had just two evening dresses! One, mother made me from a pattern in Vogue, the other a hand-me-down from a snotty rich cousin I hated! - The dress that I married you in was my grandmother's weddin' gown? So that's why I'm like a cat on a hot tin roof! You can be young without money, but you can't be old without it. You've got to be old with money because to be old without it is just too awful, you've got to be one or the other, either young or with money, you cant be old and without it. - That's the truth, Brick? Well, now I'm dressed, I'm all dressed, there's nothing else for me to do. (Forlornly, almost fearfully) I'm dressed, all dressed, nothing else for me to do? (She moves about restlessly, aimlessly, and speaks, as if to herself.) What am I-? Oh!-my bracelets? (She starts working a collection of bracelets over her hands onto her wrists, about six on each, as she talks.) I've thought a whole lot about it and now I know when I made my mistake. Yes, I made a mistake when I told you the truth about that thing with Skipper. Never should have confessed it, a fatal error, tellin' you about that thing with Skipper.

Casey Kurtti

(To God, as if she is in church.) Hey, come on out, I want to talk to you. It*s me, Elizabeth. You can hide behind any statue in this place, but you better listen to me. I don*t know if you know this but after my grandmother moved in with us, everything was different. We used to sit in my room, after school. She*d ask me questions about all sorts of things. Then she*d listen to my answers real close because she said I was an important person. Some nights, after we went to bed, I would hear her talking to my grandfather in the dark. If I made any noise she*d stop. Because it was private. One night I saw that she was crying. I made some noise and she stopped. Then she asked me if I remembered my grandfather. I did, she liked that. We fell asleep on her bed like sisters. Sunday mornings were kind of strange. Nobody would give up eating bacon and some smells made her sick. My father would tell her if the grease bothered her so much, to take her eggs and go into the bedroom and wait until breakfast was over. I helped her stuff towels into the cracks under the door; but the smell got in anyway. Then my father would make me come back to the table and eat with the rest of the family I*d go, but I wouldn*t eat that bacon. Sometimes, if she was feeling a little better we*d take short walks. After we had rested, she*d tell me stories about my mother and bring along pictures that I had never seen. I didn*t know why my mother was so sad and neither did my grandmother. One day, my father came home from work and told me that my grandmother would have to move back to the Bronx. He said it was just not working out. She needed more care and besides she was making the family crazy. I told him that she wasn*t making me crazy I told him she let me be near her. He didn*t understand that. And now I see that you didn*t either. You took her and I don*t think that*s fair. You*re supposed to do the right thing, all the time. I don*t believe that anymore. You just like to punish people, you like to interrupt their lives. You didn*t let me finish. She doesn*t know what I think, and I was almost ready to tell her. Why don*t you take my mother next time? Oh, you like to take little kids, don*t you? Grab one of my brothers next, they*re all baptized. Why don*t you take my whole stinking family, in one shot, then you won*t waste any time. That would be some joke. But I want to tell you something. It*s a personal message, I*m delivering it, myself Don*t you ever lay your hands on me, cause if I ever see you, you can strike me dead. . . try . . . I will spit all over your face, whatever it looks like. Because you and everyone else in this world are one big pack of liars. And I really think I hate you. Something else: You don*t exist.


by Woody Allen

I won’t sit here and be accused. I am not having an affair with your husband. It*s not me! Alright!! I admit it! What do you want me to do? We fell in love! You*re such a bully! Bully! Bully! We fell in love--nobody planned it--nobody wanted to hurt anyone. This affair has caused us nothing but anguish and pain. Don*t dirty it up--it*s not what you think. It’s not just about sex. Stop being so judgmental--you know from your work these things happen--it*s chemistry--two people meet--and a spark flares up and suddenly it has a life of its own. It*s serious, Phyllis. It’s been going on for barely three years. We haven*t been sneaking around town--we have an apartment. The East Fifties. It’s small. Only three rooms. Stop being snotty--we*re trying to communicate— It*s just a place to go to, to be calone--to relax--to--to--to talk— Phyllis, we*re in love--oh God--I never thought I*d be saying this--it*s--everything--yes, it*s sensual, but it*s more--we share feelings and dreams. Phyllis, what do you want me to say? He fell out of love with you years ago. I don*t know why. Certainly not over me. It was finished in Sam*s mind between you two before he ever said anything to me. It happened New Year*s Eve at Lou Stein*s party. There was no groping. It wasn*t like that. He came over to me--I was watching the fireworks--and he whispered in my ear--can you meet me next week for lunch without mentioning anything to Phyllis. Well, as you can imagine, I was a bit surprised. I said, why? And he said I need your help on something. You had led a group out onto the terrace, against their will, in the five degree temperature, to watch the fireworks. And Howard was in the kitchen getting the Stein*s recipe for Babaganoush. And I said, what kind of help? With what? And Sam said, Phyllis*s birthday is soon and I want you to help me get her something but it has got to be something special. So the following Thursday we met for lunch at his club and we pitched some gift ideas back and forth. And after lunch we went on our shop--I remember going to Bergdorfs and Tiffany*s and James Robinson and finally in this tiny old antique store on First Avenue we found a stunning pair of art-deco earrings--diamonds with tiny rubies— Well, I was flabbergasted. He bought them, and we walked out on the street and then he handed the box to me and said, "Here, I want you so badly." I said, whoa--wait a minute--we came to buyPhyllis a birthday gift--if I take this we have to at least pick out something for her. Yes, we got you’re the silver candlesticks...Please, they cost a fortune! Phyllis, face it. He couldn*t stand being married to you anymore and he told me that over lunch--he initiated the relationship.. he salivated over me--he looked me in the eye at lunch and tears formed--I*m not happy, he said— so. From the first moment Howard and I met you and Sam I knew he was miserable. This woman is not making him happy--I told that to Howard that first night we met you two—She may be a brilliant shrink and the center of every conversation with some new variation of how great she is—but she’s not enough woman for him—she’s not thre to gudie him—to bring him coffee–Sam had tremendous hostility—but you know that now. I did nothing wrong. Your husband stopped loving you before he met me. Believe me, I did not seduce Sam. He played around plenty before I came on the scene. Face up to it! Ask Edith Moss and Steve Pollack’s secretary. Don’t lay it all on me! I didn’t turn your husband into a philanderer. You’re such a phoeny—pretending your marriage is so perfect—You were a laughing stock.


Hi. My name is Hannah Mae Bindler. I live right across there, across that little patch of grass. My back door faces your back door. If you saw someone painting our place last week and figured someone was moving in, well, Honey, you were a hundred percent right, cause we just did. Me and my lug Carl Joe. We*re your new next door neighbors. How about a cup of coffee? (Takes cup out of purse.) I brought my own cup. I don*t leave you much choice, do I? If I was you, I*d fill my cup and ask me to sit down. Already we couldn*t be happier with Westchester County and we only hope Westchester County can be happy with us. Back home in little ol* Austin, Tcxas, Westchester County is notorious for its opulent homes, proximity to the Big City, and wives constantly messing around. Saw you mowing your lawn last night. Immediately I became intrigued. I love physical activity, but Carl Joe doesn*t permit me. Then you were done. The light goes on in your TV room. You sit down, but you don*t turn it on. You just sit there looking at the blank screen. "Goddang," says me to myself, "this is one Westchester honey who*s different. Must be some kind of unique thoughts filling up her head." Boy, am I excited. When I get excited, I have trouble breathing. It*s a common occurrence with people of passion. Finally your light goes out. I don*t go upstairs to Carl Joe, no ma*am. I sleep right there on the couch near the window. When 1 wake up, Carl Joe*s already on the train to work, and Goddang if my smile wasn*t better than ever. That*s when I knew that little ole me had to come knock at your door and say "Hi!" Hi! You*re just like my sister Lucy Sue. Boys used to say she was born to moan. Anyway, Lucy Sue wasn*t much of a talker either. The more you want her to say something, the quieter she gets. Standing there like she knew a whole lot of stuff about you that was way over your head. One day I figured her out. She didn*t have any secrets. Just didn*t really trust the thoughts she did think and was afraid that saying ‘em out I wouldn*t look up to her no more. (Phone rings. After third ring.) Honey, your phone*s ringing. Sure you got yourself a sweet-looking kitchen. Everything where it oughta be. Right out of Better Homes and Gardens. Got to bring Carl Joe by and show it to him. We*re remodeling and we still haven*t landed on the right color scheme. Wait till you see the shoulders on Carl Joe! A guy*s body ain*t supposed to mean as much to us as ours do to them, but on our second date he took off his shirt and that was it. Carl Joe played tackle for Texas football back in the late ‘50sand like he says,"Except you, Hannah Mae, everything since then*s been a real anti-climax. Really love the lug.


by Horton Foote

Oh, my God! That worries me so. Suppose I think I*m in love with a man and I marry him and it turns out I*m not in love with him. (A pause.) What does being in love mean? I wish I didn’t think so much. I wish to heaven I didn*t. Everything bad that happens to a girl I begin to worry it will happen to me. All night I*ve been worrying. Part of the time I*ve been worrying that I*d end an old maid like Aunt Sarah, and part of the time I worry that I*ll fall in love with someone like Syd and defy Papa and run off with him and then realize I made a mistake and part of the time I worry.. (A pause.) that what happened to Sibyl Thomas will happen to me and.. (A pause.) could what happened to Sibyl Thomas ever happen to you? I don*t mean the dying part. I know we all have to die. I mean the other part having a baby before she was married. How do you think it happened to her? Do you think he loved her? Do you think it was the only time she did? You know.. (A pause.) Old, common, Anna Landry said in the girls room at school, she did it whenever she wanted to, with whomever she wanted to and nothing ever happened to her. And if it did she would get rid of it. How do women do that? I guess we*ll never know. I don*t trust Anna Landry and I don*t know who else to ask. Can you imagine the expression on Mama*s face, or Aunt Lucy*s or Mrs. Cookenboo*s if I asked them something like that? (A pause.) Anyway, even if I knew I would be afraid to do something like that before I got married for fear God would strike me dead. (A pause.) Aunt Sarah said that Sibyl*s baby dying was God*s punishment of her sin. Aunt Lucy said if God punished sinners that way there would be a lot of dead babies

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