Bill: As a matter of fact, I have. I've got a great, cushy job now and it pays thirty dollars a week more!! I take care of everybody's business for them!
Helen: Aren't you the Mister Big, then? Good for you! And I suppose your post office woman helps you with all of her might? You must make an ideal couple! Is she pregnant, yet?
Bill: You wouldn't be interested in that.
Helen: Yes, I would!! Tell me. Is she pregnant, yet?
Bill: Yes, she is. But I didn't come here to discuss my life.
Helen: Well, I have to congratulate you, my lovely EX. You have everything now.... What could you possibly want with me? Look how our parting has given you such good fortune!
Bill: And for you, too!!
Helen: That's for sure! If it wasn't for you, I never would have met your family doctor -the "veterinarian", twenty years ago! If he had taken decent care of me, I would have had a son like James right now! Remember when you said that "everything went OK"? Remember that??.. Once in my sleep, I called James "my son"... he heard what I said. I was so embarrassed!! You men!! You think you should shoot all women that can't bear you a child! But let's forget such talk!! Let's have another brandy, my dear EX!.. To all the great castles in the sky!! Skol! Cheers!! Come on, come on... drink up!!
Bill: (Raises his glass and drinks) To you, my dear Helen!! I wish you the very best!!
Helen: At times like this, only the dead and the angels are doing very well!! tell me... who am I, do you think? A dead one, or an angel?
Bill: That's a stupid remark, Helen! Don't talk like that!
Helen: Darling, Darling!... I just wanted you to tell me that I am your Angel!! It's been such a long time!!... But...
Just why did you come here anyway? What was your reason? To tell me that you are so happy?.. that you have a new wife?... a new job?.. .a better future than ever before? Why? Why??
Oh, just forget it!! Thank you for coming! Be happy. Please... please be happy!!
Well, maybe I'm happy, too!! I just don't shout it from the rooftops!! Yes!! I am happy!! Happy and free!!.... Did you hear me??.. .I'm happy and free!!
Bill: I'm sorry, Helen. I didn't mean to make you angry. Please, don't be angry.
It's so hard to explain.... Yes, I did have much good luck! But please forgive me if you have room in you heart to do that. I don't know how it happened. I... I... I just wanted to kill myself after you left.. .But I couldn't do it! I just couldn't!
And then... then she was there. Just asking why I was sending those letters every day. It was a simple thing... but it happened.
Is this my fault?? Did I betray you? I couldn't go on like that!! I couldn't live like that!... without you!
I've always loved you.. you know that! And don't tell me you didn't know! Lord knows I told you many times.!!
And now, with such sarcasm, you scream "New Job, new future... 30 more dollars!" Yes!! 30 more lousy dollars! I can't just up and leave my job like you did! Lord knows I'd like
to... .more than you know... but I can't! I have to save every cent I can now. I spend all my money for my wife and my new child! Clothes, food... I can't help it that Nina has all kinds of medicines to take... that she needs a special diet with fruits and nuts and milk every day!.... It's not my fault that the baby inside her could be weak and could die without all this attention... it's not my fault, I tell you!! I don't know anything about these doctors and their fancy, high-priced medicines!! I only know it costs a hellava lot of money!!
And that new boss of mine is a rat-faced so-and-so.... him and his lording it over everybody under him! But I kiss his ... you-know-what... just because I need that extra 30 bucks a week.... for my wife and kid. I sure couldn't go to stealing... like some people I know. I still do have my pride, you know! I hear God telling me that my life has been one big mistake, and I'm just about to get that "pink slip".
If only you and I could have had a child, I would've done the same thing... I'd have worked my tail to the bone, just to keep us going
Helen: But you know better than that now.. .and you knew it then. I can never have children!!... and you know it!!
Bill: Who could imagine twenty years ago, that in the end, my whole life would have only one purpose... to have children?? Ha!! That's the biggest laugh in the whole world!
Helen: Oh, I don't really blame you for this. Bill... honestly I don't. I'm even happy about it. I've never had a real lover like you.... Never. You used to tell me that you loved me, too. Does True Love ever really end?
Bill: No, Helen. No it doesn't. Not real love... it never ends.
Helen (tears welling in her eyes): Oh, dammit to Hell!! Tears.,. tears of... of what?.. Of sorrow?... joy?... self-pity? Please... give me your handkerchief. Bill. (Bill gives her the handkerchief, and they embrace). (Helen backs away from Bill) Ah-h.. that music was so-o-o romantic! It almost made me forget..... But, where is that James? He should be here by now. What time is it, anyway?
Bill: I.... I'm sorry I said anything about my baby. It was very rude of me... I just didn't think... Please forgive me..
Helen: That's all right... I don't care. I really don't... and I can't do anything to help you in your misery.
Bill: I don't need your help. and I am not miserable!
Helen: Oh, Lord! dear Lord! Please bring some happiness to my poor, dear, ignorant ex-husband! At least give him some happiness!! He doesn't need much, you know... just some.
Listen, Bill... I'll bet that Nina doesn't have time to wash and cook and sew and everything... would you like me to help? I'm always free in the daytime!
Bill: No, No! Forget that kind of talk! I can't have you upsetting Nina in her condition! The doctor says that she could very likely have a miscarriage - and I sure don't want to take a chance on that! Besides, I told her that you had left town... left the country, in fact. ... and that you were never coming back. But why are we talking about such a thing? We're through with each other anyway!
Helen: Oh, don't worry "daddy". I understand. I'm really not as dumb as you think, you know. I still have some sense left.
Bill: I'm sorry I said that, Helen. Please forgive me. Sometimes I just get carried away. I've often imagined what might happen if you did come over unexpectedly some day. There'd be hell to pay, that's for sure!
Helen: That's funny, you know? I have walked by your house a time or two... but I never stopped. I don't know why.... just lost my courage, I guess. But tell me - why did you feel you had to lie to her? She knew you had been married, didn't she?
Bill: Well, yes, she did. I don't know why I told her such a foolish fib. It was all innocent at first - and then I just had to keep on telling it... the truth would have crushed her.
Helen: But Bill, you did miss me, didn't you? Even just a little? .... just a little?
Bill: (trying to change the subject, turns to the table) Can I look at your pictures? It looks like you've been taking a lot of them lately.
Helen: Of course you can. (picks up the stack of pictures to show Bill) This is one of James and me at the ski resort - I learned to ski, you know. Not very well, but I have fun. I'm probably the funniest-looking skier on the mountain, but I don't care. These are some of James' friends. I don't know who they are. This is my favorite photo! The morning sun was so bright and beautiful. I didn't have time to put my makeup on, but I think I look OK. Some women just don't look good in bright sunlight, you know. This one... oh, this is a terrible one of me! I was a little tipsy that evening - James likes to take a lot of candid shots. I think it's terrible.. but..
Bill: You don't have to tell me all of his faults, you know. We all have some... some people more than others... but that's life! Men adore women who are proud of themselves, .. women who know how to take care of themselves, like you do.
Helen: Oh, my! Look who's talking! The ex-husband telling the ex-wife how to get along with her new lover! Thank you s-o-o-o much, 'darling', but I don't need your help, I'm getting along just fine without your sage advice!
But, say!! How would you like to go to bed with me right now? Who knows how long you'll have this glow in your heart for me!
Bill: And what about your James? What would he think? What if he comes in the door?
Helen: He never gets here on time anymore. In tact, he has only been here a couple of nights these past two weeks. I don't know where he is, or when he'll show up.
Bill: Maybe we should - just for old times sake. But first I have to have a little more brandy... to get as tipsy as you were in that favorite picture of yours! (As Bill reaches for the bottle on the table, the doorbell rings). Who can that be? (He whispers)
Helen: Go, and see who it is!

(Bill goes to the door, opens it, pauses and says 'thank you'. He comes back to the table carrying a new bottle of brandy and a bouquet of flowers - a quizzical expression on his face)

Bill: It was a messenger. He says these gifts are for you. It must be some mistake... isn't it?
Helen: No, it's no mistake. It's just another special gift for me. Bill: But who would be sending you these 'special gifts'?
Helen: They're from 'them'. This is the second bottle of brandy that I've gotten from 'them' today. She's so sure that I'll drink her fine brandy! Well, I'll show them. I will drink it!!
Bill: Who is this 'she' person, Helen?
Helen: I have no idea who 'she' is... sometimes I think that she is every woman who ever was. But don't worry, honey, because today is my lucky day! 'She' was very kind today. Two days ago, somebody threw a bomb into the apartment.... a real one!! But it was so puny that it just popped and smoked. It almost made me laugh just to watch it fizzling.
But another time someone tried to scald me with boiling water as I was washing up in the bathroom. I never did get a good look at the person, but it had to be a woman, I'm sure! It seems I'm in the midst of a big war... a war of love... of jealousy and hate... something that's boiling up in somebody!
Bill: My god, Helen! Can't you talk to James about this? Couldn't he do something? Why don't you call the police, if he doesn't?
Helen: Because this makes me feel like a real woman! I'll stand up to them until this 'war' is over. I'm not going to cave in like some old dish rag would do.
Bill: This is madness!! Sheer, stupid madness!!
Helen: Oh, be quiet, love of my life. Today is a day for great celebration! I have brandy to drink, and a strong, handsome man to defend me. What more could I ask? This has been a wonderful day!!
Bill: Yes, some wonderful day indeed! But, Helen... Helen...Why did you leave me?
Helen: Why did I leave? (idly arranging the flowers in a vase) Because I found real love. I love James, that's why. I cannot breathe without him... I curse the day I met him, but I really love him! Am I stupid?.. am I a fool?... am I ugly?.. What I am is .... is a whore!! He can do what he wants with me and I don't care. Even in my shame, I love him all the more.
I have to know that he will come to me... maybe tonight... or tomorrow... or next week. I only know that I must see him again and gaze into his eyes... hear his voice speak to me... feel his strong hands in mine.
It's terrible! My god, it's terrible and ... and overpowering! I can't believe this is happening to me...
You are a good man. Bill. You want to take me away to another city... another country, so that I could never return . ..like some lost stray cat, trying to find its way home. But it's too late for that now. How could I live without James? What can I do?
Bill: (quietly): Would you like me to have a talk with James?
Helen: What could you possibly tell him? That "My wife loves you so?", that "She needs you?". What good would that do? He already knows that... and more!
But that's enough of this crying and self-pity! That love has nothing to do with us! That love is in another world! We have each other now. We are in our own world. 'She' gave us a whole new bottle of brandy .. and these beautiful flowers.. we can't waste such thoughtful gifts by moping around! We don't need to talk about all this crap anyway!... the brandy is waiting. (Helen moves to the record player and starts it) Come,... open the bottle and pour us a glass of that 'nectar of the gods'... and dance! we'll dance the tango.. our favorite music!
(they move together and begin to dance while carrying their half-full glasses of brandy)
It's really a shame that you won't introduce me to your lovely Nina. I could tell her a lot of stories about you... That your heart is really soft.. not as hard as you sometimes pretend it is... What foods you like... or don't like. That you are such a marvelous lover... I could give her a real lesson on how to treat you to the best of everything in life!
Bill: Please, Helen... please don't say such things. That would only make things worse than they already are.
Helen: OK... I'm sorry. Just forget that I said anything. I don't want to upset you now. I just want you..... to want me.
(They stop dancing and Bill fondly embraces Helen)
Was that so disgusting?... to give me that kiss?... to still have some compassion for my soul?
Bill: ... I love you, Helen.... I've always loved you... and I guess I always will... even if....
Helen: But 1 love James now. 1 used to love you, you know, years ago,... but we just seemed to have drifted apart over the years. You had your life.... and your ideas... and I had mine. And they just didn't seem to come together anymore. I don't know why.... it just happened, I guess.
But we must get back to reality!! James could be coming home any minute now!
Bill: No, Helen. He won't be coming back anymore.
Helen: What? How can you know? How can you know that my lover will not be coming back to me? What makes you say such a terrible thing?
Bill: Believe me, Helen. James will not return to you... he told me so himself!... he wanted me to tell you.
Helen: W-h-a-t? I don't believe you!! He sent you here to tell me that HE doesn't want to see me anymore? I don't believe it!! He wouldn't do such a thing!!
Bill: Oh, Helen, Helen! it is the truth, I swear! He wanted me to tell you that it's over... that you have to move out of this place.. find a place of your own...
Helen: Like hell I will!! I don't believe you!! You're lying to me.. as sure as you're standing there!! You're lying!! He wouldn't...
Bill: It's true, Helen. I swear on a stack of Bibles, it's true. Lord knows I wish it wasn't, but it is... it is... I'm so sorry. James is a bastard!! A cowardly, damn liar. .he can't even face up to his own cowardice!!



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