Carson McCullers: Scene Seven
Carson McCullers and Tennessee Williams are sitting at two ends of the
same table, writing. Preferably outside in Nantucket. She scribbles furiously,
crosses out. He is looking at the birds.
Because I want you. Because I be cause you cause (crosses out) I am inside you, I am outside you—to be one with you—to slither through you to course through you causally, casually. No you. No you. The joining—no death without your death, the same stench. One entity, one imagination—the you, the me, the you from me, but with myself at the center of we. The we of me. (
Crosses out all but the last line.)
The we of me.
TENNESSEE (Like he was breathing.)
The show is over. The monkey’s dead.
You’re just jealous because my inspiration
is so instantaneous.
Really? You stole that line from a story I
wrote when I was nineteen.
Oh dear, now you’ve had too much to
drink. Have a drink.
No dear, you’ve had too much to drink,
have a drink. The show’s over and the ’
s monkey’s dead is from my story, “Instant of
The Hour After,” which I wrote for my creative
writing professor, long before I’d ever
No, no, no, it’s completely my sort of line.
To the point, unusual, slightly odd, poetic.
Thank you for the compliment.
Don’t be ridiculous.
You’ve read all my juvenalia. You’ve read it. You’ve read The show’s over, the monkey’s dead. Here, do you want some more?
Take this: country children at country
fairs. You can have it.
Well, Choppers, I guess we’re really
enmeshed. It’s that we of me you’ve been
I admit, I don’t want to endure my nervous
compulsions without you but that is not
romantic love. Reeves is coming back from
the war. We’ve been writing regularly. He’s
suffered and that opens my heart. But he’s
not what I want either.
What do you want?
That Swiss woman. I can’t get her out of
Can she get you out of hers?
She would pay money to get rid of me,
Whenever she sees me it’s like a bad memory,
like realizing that the gas is still on.
Even I have had more success with women
than you have.
That’s not true.
Of course it’s true, you’ve never even had
a serious grope.
I have so.
With Gypsy. I had full intercourse with
her only last week.
It was divine rapture. And I was excellent
What day last week?
Right before dinner. And again after.
Dear Choppers, you were with me all
afternoon and evening last Thursday. In
fact, you spent the night here, in the guest
Don’t be so cheeky, dearie. I like the story
the way it is.
Poor dear. Have a drink.