A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница

A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница

Well—

[Mitch laughs uneasily.] Well...

MITCH:

I guess it must be pretty late—and you're tired.

BLANCHE:

Even the hot tamale man has deserted the street, and he hangs on till the end.

[Mitch laughs uneasily again] How will you get home?

MITCH:

I'll walk over to Bourbon and catch an owl-car.

BLANCHE [laughing grimly]:

Is that streetcar named Desire still grinding along the tracks at this hour?

MITCH [heavily]:

I'm afraid you haven't gotten much fun out of this evening, Blanche.

BLANCHE:

I spoiled it for you.

MITCH:

No, you didn't, but I felt A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница all the time that I wasn't giving you much—entertainment.

BLANCHE:

I simply couldn't rise to the occasion. That was all. I don't think I've ever tried so hard to be gay and made such a dismal mess of it. I get ten points for trying!—I did try.

MITCH:

Why did you try if you didn't feel like it, Blanche?

BLANCHE:

I was just obeying the law of nature.

MITCH:

Which law is that?

BLANCHE:

The one that says the lady must entertain the gentleman—or no dice! See if you can locate A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница my door-key in this purse. When I'm so tired my fingers are all thumbs!

MITCH [rooting in her purse]:

This it?

BLANCHE:

No, honey, that's the key to my trunk which I must soon be packing.

MITCH:

You mean you are leaving here soon?

BLANCHE:

I've outstayed my welcome.

MITCH:

This it?

[The music fades away.]

BLANCHE:

Eureka! Honey, you open the door while I take a last look at the sky.

[She leans on the porch rail. He opens the door and stands awkwardly behind her.]

I'm looking for the Pleiades, the Seven A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница Sisters, but these girls are not out tonight. Oh, yes they are, there they are! God bless them! All in a bunch going home from their little bridge party.... Y'get the door open? Good boy! I guess you—want to go now....

[He shuffles and coughs a little.]

MITCH:

Can I—uh—kiss you-goodnight?

BLANCHE:

Why do you always ask me if you may?

MITCH:

I don't know whether you want me to or not.

BLANCHE:

Why should you be so doubtful?

MITCH:

That night when we parked by the lake and I kissed you, you A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница—

BLANCHE:

Honey, it wasn't the kiss I objected to. I liked the kiss very much. It was the other little—familiarity—that I—felt obliged to—discourage.... I didn't resent it! Not a bit in the world! In fact, I was somewhat flattered that you—desired me! But, honey, you know as well as I do that a single girl, a girl alone in the world, has got to keep a firm hold on her emotions or she'll be lost!

MITCH [solemnly]:

Lost?

BLANCHE:

I guess you are used to girls that like to be lost. The A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница kind that get lost immediately, on the first date!

MITCH:

I like you to be exactly the way that you are, because in all my—experience—I have never known anyone like you.

[Blanche looks at him gravely; then she bursts into laughter and then claps a hand to her mouth.]

MITCH:

Are you laughing at me?

BLANCHE:

No, honey. The lord and lady of the house have not yet returned, so come in. We'll have a night-cap. Let's leave the lights off. Shall we?

MITCH:

You just—do what you want to.

[Blanche precedes him A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница into the kitchen. The outer wall of the building disappears and the interiors of the two rooms can be dimly seen.]

BLANCHE [remaining in the first room]:

The other room's more comfortable—go on in. This crashing around in the dark is my search for some liquor.

MITCH:

You want a drink?

BLANCHE:

I want you to have a drink! You have been so anxious and solemn all evening, and so have I; we have both been anxious and solemn and now for these few last remaining moments of our lives together—I want to create—joie A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница de vtvre! I'm lighting a candle.

MITCH:

That's good.

BLANCHE:

We are going to be very Bohemian. We are going to pretend that we are sitting in a little artists' cafe on the Left Bank in Paris!

[She lights a candle stub and puts it in a bottle.]



Le suis la Dame aux Camellias! Vous etes—Armand! Understand French?

MITCH [heavily]:

Naw. Naw. I—

BLANCHE:

Voutez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir? Vous ne comprenez pas? Ah, auelle dommage!—I mean it's a damned good thing.... I've found some liquor. Just enough for two shots A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница without any dividends, honey...

MITCH [heavily]:

Thats—good.

[She enters the bedroom with the drinks and the candle]

BLANCHE:

Sit down! Why dont you take off your coat and loosen your collar?

MITCH:

I better leave it on.

BLANCHE:

No. I want you to be comfortable.

MITCH:

I am ashamed of the way I perspire. My shirt is sticking to me

BLANCHE:

Perspiration is healthy. If people didn't perspire they would die in five minutes.

[She takes his coat from him]

This is a nice coat What kind of material is it?

MITCH:

They call that stuff alpaca.

BLANCHE A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница:

Oh. Alpaca.

MITCH:

It's very light weight alpaca.

BLANCHE:

Oh. Light weight alpaca.

MITCH:

I don't like to wear a wash-coat even in summer because I sweat through it.

BLANCHE:

Oh.

MITCH:

And it don't look neat on me. A man with a heavy build has got to be careful of what he puts on him so he don't look too clumsy.

BLANCHE:

You are not too heavy.

MITCH:

You don't think I am?

BLANCHE:

You are not the delicate type. You have a massive bone-structure and a very imposing physique A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница.

MITCH:

Thank you. Last Christmas I was given a membership to the New Orleans Athletic Club.

BLANCHE:

Oh, good.

MITCH:

It was the finest present I ever was given. I work out there with the weights and I swim and keep myself fit. When I started there, I was getting soft in the belly but now my belly is hard. It is so hard now that a man can punch me in the belly and it don't hurt me. Punch me! Go on! See?

[She pokes lightly at him.]

BLANCHE:

Gracious.

[Her hand touches her chest.]

MITCH:

Guess how A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница much I weigh, Blanche?

BLANCHE:

Oh, I'd say in the vicinity of—one hundred and eighty?

MITCH:

Guess again.

BLANCHE:

Not that much?

MITCH:

No. More.

BLANCHE:

Well, you're a tall man and you can carry a good deal of weight without looking awkward.

MITCH:

I weigh two hundred and seven pounds and I'm six feet one and one-half inches tall in my bare feet—without shoes on. And that is what I weigh stripped.

BLANCHE:

Oh, my goodness, me! It's awe-inspiring.

MITCH [embarrassed]:

My weight is not a very interesting subject to talk A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница about

[He hesitates for a moment]

What's yours?

BLANCHE:

My weight?

MITCH:

Yes.

BLANCHE:

Guess!

MITCH:

Let me lift you.

BLANCHE:

Samson! Go on, lift me.

[He comes behind her and puts his hands on her waist and raises her lightly off the ground]

Well?

MITCH:

You are light as a feather.

BLANCHE:

Ha-ha!

[He lowers her but keeps his hands on her waist. Blanche speaks with an affectation of demureness]

You may release me now.

MITCH:

Huh?

BLANCHE [giddly]:

I said unhand me, sir.

[He fumblingly embraces her. Her voice sounds gently reproving]

Now A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница, Mitch. Just because Stanley and Stella aren't at home is no reason why you shouldn't behave like a gentleman.

MITCH:

Just give me a slap whenever I step out of bounds.

BLANCHE:

That won't be necessary. You're a natural gentleman, one of the very few that are left in the world. I don't want you to think that I am severe and old maid school teacherish or anything like that. It's just—well—

MITCH:

Huh?

BLANCHE:

I guess it is just that I have—old-fashioned ideals!

[She rolls her eyes, knowing he cannot see A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница her face. Mitch goes to the front door. There is a considerable silence between them. Blanche sighs and Mitch coughs selfconsciously.]

MITCH [finally]:

Where's Stanley and Stella tonight?

BLANCHE:

They have gone out With Mr. and Mrs. Hubbell upstairs.

MITCH:

Where did they go?

BLANCHE:

I think they were planning to go to a midnight prevue at Loew's State.

MITCH:

We should all go out together some night

BLANCHE:

No. That wouldn't be a good plan.

MITCH:

Why not?

BLANCHE:

You are an old friend of Stanley's?

MITCH:

We was together in the Two-forty A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница-first.

BLANCHE:

I guess he talks to you frankly?

MITCH:

Sure.

BLANCHE:

Has he talked to you about me?

MITCH:

Oh—not very much.

BLANCHE:

The way you say that, I suspect that he has.

MITCH:

No, he hasn't said much.

BLANCHE:

But what he has said. What would you say his attitude toward me was?

MITCH:

Why do you want to ask that?

BLANCHE:

Well—

MITCH:

Don't you get along with him?

BLANCHE:

What do you think?

MITCH:

I don't think he understands you.

BLANCHE:

That is putting it mildly. If it weren't A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница for Stella about to have a baby, I wouldn't be able to endure things here.

MITCH:

He isn't—nice to you?

BLANCHE:

He is insufferably rude. Goes out of his way to offend me.

MITCH:

In what way, Blanche?

BLANCHE:

Why, in every conceivable way.

MITCH:

I'm surprised to hear that.

BLANCHE:

Are you?

MITCH:

Well, I—don't see how anybody could be rude to you.

BLANCHE:

It's really a pretty frightful situation. You see, there's no privacy here. There's just these portieres between the two rooms at night. He stalks through the rooms in A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница his underwear at night. And I have to ask him to close the bathroom door. That sort of commonness isn't necessary. You probably wonder why I don't move out. Well, I'll tell you frankly. A teacher's salary is barely sufficient for her living expenses. I didn't save a penny last year and so I had to come here for the summer. That's why I have to put up with my sister's husband. And he has to put up with me, apparently so much against his wishes.... Surely he must have told A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница you how much he hates me!

MITCH:

I don't think he hates you.

BLANCHE:

He hates me. Or why would he insult me? The first time I laid eyes on him I thought to myself, that man is my executioner! That man will destroy me, unless—

MITCH:

Blanche—

BLANCHE:

Yes, honey?

MITCH:

Can I ask you a question?

BLANCHE:

Yes. What?

MITCH:

How old are you?

[She makes a nervous gesture.]

BLANCHE:

Why do you want to know?

MITCH:

I talked to my mother about you and she said, "How old is Blanche?" And I wasn't A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница able to tell her.

[There is another pause.]

BLANCHE:

You talked to your mother about me?

MITCH:

Yes.

BLANCHE:

Why?

MITCH:

I told my mother how nice you were, and I liked you.

BLANCHE:

Were you sincere about that?

MITCH:

You know I was.

BLANCHE:

Why did your mother want to know my age?

MITCH:

Mother is sick.

BLANCHE:

I'm sorry to hear it. Badly?

MITCH:

She won't live long. Maybe just a few months.

BLANCHE:

Oh.

MITCH:

She worries because I'm not settled.

BLANCHE:

Oh.

MITCH:

She wants me to be settled down before A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница she—

[His voice is hoarse and he clears his throat twice, shuffling nervously around with his hands in and out of his pockets.]

BLANCHE:

You love her very much, don't you?

MITCH:

Yes.

BLANCHE:

I think you have a great capacity for devotion. You will be lonely when she passes on, won't you?

[Mitch clears his throat and nods.]

I understand what that is.

MITCH:

To be lonely?

BLANCHE:

I loved someone, too, and the person I loved I lost.

MITCH:

Dead?

[She crosses to the window and sits on the sill, looking out. She pours herself another drink A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница.]

A man?

BLANCHE:

He was a boy, just a boy, when I was a very young girl. When I was sixteen, I made the discovery—love. All at once and much, much too completely. It was like you suddenly turned a blinding light on something that had always been half in shadow, that's how it struck the world for me. But I was unlucky. Deluded. There was something different about the boy, a nervousness, a softness and tenderness which wasn't like a man's, although he wasn't the least bit effeminate looking—still—that thing A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница was there.... He came to me for help. I didn't know that. I didn't find out anything till after our marriage when we'd run away and come back and all I knew was I'd failed him in some mysterious way and wasn't able to give the help he needed but couldn't speak of! He was in the quicksands and clutching at me—but I wasn't holding him out, I was slipping in with him! I didn't know that. I didn't know anything except I loved him unendurably but without being able A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница to help him or help myself. Then I found out. In the worst of all possible ways. By coming suddenly into a room that I thought was empty—which wasn't empty, but had two people in it... the boy I had married and an older man who had been his friend for years....

[A locomotive is heard approaching outside. She claps her hands to her ears and crouches over. The headlight of the locomotive glares into the room as it thunders past. As the noise recedes she straightens slowly and continues speaking.]

Afterwards we pretended that A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница nothing had been discovered. Yes, the three of us drove out to Moon Lake Casino, very drunk and laughing all the way.

[Polka music sounds. In a minor key faint with distance.]

We danced the Varsouviana! Suddenly in the middle of the dance the boy I had married broke away from me and ran out of the casino. A few moments later—a shot!

[The polka stops abruptly.]

[Blanche rises stiffly. Then, the polka resumes in a major key.]

I ran out—all did!—all ran and gathered about the terrible thing at the edge of the lake! I couldn't get A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница near for the crowding. Then somebody caught my arm. "Don't go any closer! Come back! You don't want to see!" See? See what! Then I heard voices say—Allan! Allan! The Grey boy! He'd stuck the revolver into his mouth, and fired—so that the back of his head had been—blown away!

[She sways and covers her face.]

It was because—on the dance-floor—unable to stop myself—I'd suddenly said—"I saw! I know! You disgust me..." And then the searchlight which had been turned on the world was turned A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница off again and never for one moment since has there been any light that's stronger than this—kitchen—candle...

[Mitch gets up awkwardly and moves toward her a little. The polka music increases. Mitch stands beside her.]

MITCH [drawing her slowly into his arms]:

You need somebody. And I need somebody too. Could it be—you and me, Blanche?

[She stares at him vacantly for a moment. Then with a soft cry huddles in his embrace. She makes a sobbing effort to speak but the words won't come. He kisses her forehead and her eyes and finally her lips A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница. The polka tune fades out. Her breath is drawn and released in long, grateful sobs.]

BLANCHE:

Sometimes—there's God—so quickly!

SCENE SEVEN

It is late afternoon in mid-September. The portieres are open and a table is set for a birthday supper, with cake and flowers. Stella is completing the decorations as Stanley comes in.

STANLEY:

What's all this stuff for?

STELLA:

Honey, it's Blanche's birthday.

STANLEY:

She here?

STELLA:

In the bathroom.

STANLEY [mimicking]:

"Washing out some things"?

STELLA:

I reckon so.

STANLEY:

How long she been in there?

STELLA:

All A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница afternoon.

STANLEY [mimicking]:

"Soaking in a hot tub"?

STELLA:

Yes.

STANLEY:

Temperature 100 on the nose, and she soaks herself in a hot tub.

STELLA:

She says it cools her off for the evening.

STANLEY:

And you run out an' get her cokes, I suppose? And serve 'em to Her Majesty in the tub?

[Stella shrugs]

Set down here a minute.

STELLA:

Stanley, I've got things to do.

STANLEY:

Set down! I've got th' dope on your big sister, Stella.

STELLA:

Stanley, stop picking on Blanche.

STANLEY:

That girl calls me common!

STELLA:

Lately you been doing all you can think A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница of to rub her the wrong way, Stanley, and Blanche is sensitive and you've got to realize that Blanche and I grew up under very different circumstances than you did,

STANLEY:

So I been told. And told and told and told! You know she's been feeding us a pack of lies here?

STELLA:

No, I don't, and—

STANLEY:

Well, she has, however. But now the cat's out of the bag! I found out some things!

STELLA:

What—things?

STANLEY:

Things I already suspected. But now I got proof from the most reliable sources A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница—which I have checked on!

[Blanche is singing in the bathroom a saccharine popular ballad which is used contrapuntally with Stanley's speech.]

STELLA [to Stanley]:

Lower your voice!

STANLEY:

Some canary-bird, huh!

STELLA:

Now please tell me quietly what you think you've found out about my sister.

STANLEY:

Lie Number One: All this squeamishness she puts on! You should just know the line she's been feeding to Mitch—He thought she had never been more than kissed by a fellow! But Sister Blanche is no lily! Ha-ha! Some lily she is!

STELLA:

What A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница have you heard and who from?

STANLEY:

Our supply-man down at the plant has been going through Laurel for years and he knows all about her and everybody else in the town of Laurel knows all about her. She is as famous in Laurel as if she was the President of the United States, only she is not respected by any party! This supply-man stops at a hotel called the Flamingo.

BLANCHE [singing blithely]:

"Say, it's only a paper moon, Sailing over a cardboard sea—But it wouldn't be make-believe If you believed in me!"

STELLA A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница:

What about the—Flamingo?

STANLEY:

She stayed there, too.

STELLA:

My sister lived at Belle Reve.

STANLEY:

This is after the home-place had slipped through her lily white fingers! She moved to the Flamingo! A second class hotel which has the advantage of not interfering in the private social life of the personalities there! The Flamingo is used to all kinds of goings-on. But even the management of the Flamingo was impressed by Dame Blanche! In fact they were so impressed by Dame Blanche that they requested her to turn in her room-key—for permanently A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница! This happened a couple of weeks before she showed here.

BLANCHE [singing]:

"It's a Barnum and Bailey world. Just as phony as it can be—But it wouldn't be make-believe if you believed in me!"

STELLA:

What—contemptible—lies!

STANLEY:

Sure, I can see how you would be upset by this. She pulled the wool over your eyes as much as Mitch's!

STELLA:

It's pure invention! There's not a word of truth in it and if I were a man and this creature had dared to invent such things in my presence A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница—

BLANCHE [singing]:

"Without your love, It's a honky-tonk parade! Without your love, It's a melody played, In a penny arcade..."

STANLEY:

Honey, I told you I thoroughly checked on these stories! Now wait till I finish. The trouble with Dame Blanche was that she couldn't put on her act any more in Laurel! They got wised up after two or three dates with her and then they quit, and she goes on to another, the same old line, same old act, same old hooey! But the town was too small for this to go on A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница forever! And as time went by she became a town character. Regarded as not just different but downright loco—nuts.

[Stella draws back.]

And for the last year or two she has been washed up like poison. That's why she's here this summer, visiting royalty, putting on all this act—because she's practically told by the mayor to get out of town! Yes, did you know there was an army camp near Laurel and your sister's was one of the places called "Out-of-Bounds"?

BLANCHE:

"It's only a paper moon. Just as phony as it A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница can be—But it wouldn't be make-believe, If you believed in me!"

STANLEY:

Well, so much for her being such a refined and particular type of girl. Which brings us to Lie Number Two.

STELLA:

I don't want to hear any more!

STANLEY:

She's not going back to teach school! In fact I am willing to bet you that she never had no idea of returning to Laurel! She didn't resign temporarily from the high school because of her nerves! No, siree, Bob! She didn't. They locked her out of that high school A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница before the spring term ended—and I hate to tell you the reason that step was taken! A seventeen-year-old boy—she'd gotten mixed up with!

BLANCHE:

"It's a Barnum and Bailey world, Just as phony as it can be—"

[In the bathroom the water goes on loud; little breathless cries and peals of laughter are heard as if a child were frolicking in the tub.]

STELLA:

This is making me—sick!

STANLEY:

The boy's dad learned about it and got in touch with the high school superintendent. Boy, oh, boy, I'd A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница like to have been in that office when Dame Blanche was called on the carpet! I'd like to have seen her trying to squirm out of that one! But they had her on the hook good and proper that time and she knew that the jig was all up! They told her she better move on to some fresh territory. Yep, it was practickly a town ordinance passed against her!

[The bathroom door is opened and Blanche thrusts her head out, holding a towel about her hair.]

BLANCHE:

Stella!

Stella [faintly]:

Yes, Blanche?

BLANCHE:

Give me another bath-towel A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница to dry my hair with. I've just washed it.

STELLA:

Yes, Blanche.

[She crosses in a dazed way from the kitchen to the bathroom door with a towel.]

BLANCHE:

What's the matter, honey?

STELLA:

Matter? Why?

BLANCHE:

You have such a strange expression on your face!

STELLA:

Oh—[She tries to laugh] I guess I'm a little tired!

BLANCHE:

Why dont you bathe, too, soon as I get out?

STANLEY [calling from the kitchen]:

How soon is that going to be?

BLANCHE:

Not so terribly long! Possess your soul in patience!

STANLEY:

It's not my soul, it A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница's my kidneys I'm worried about!

[Blanche slams the door. Stanley laughs harshly. Stella comes slowly back into the kitchen.]

STANLEY:

Well, what do you think of it?

STELLA:

I dont believe all of those stories and I think your supply-man was mean and rotten to tell them. It's possible that some of the things he said are partly true. There are things about my sister I don't approve of—things that caused sorrow at home. She was always—flighty!

STANLEY:

Flighty!

STELLA; But when she was young, very young, she married a boy who A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница wrote poetry.... He was extremely good-looking. I think Blanche didn't just love him but worshipped the ground he walked on! Adored him and thought him almost too fine to be human! But then she found out—

STANLEY:

What?

STELLA:

This beautiful and talented young man was a degenerate. Didn't your supply-man give you that information?

STANLEY:

All we discussed was recent history. That must have been a pretty long time ago.

STELLA:

Yes, it was—a pretty long time ago....

[Stanley comes up and takes her by the shoulders rather gently. She gently withdraws A Streetcar Named Desire 5 страница from him. Automatically she starts sticking little pink candles in the birthday cake.]

STANLEY:

How many candles you putting in that cake?

STELLA:

I'll stop at twenty-five.

STANLEY:

Is company expected?

STELLA:

We asked Mitch to come over for cake and ice cream.

[Stanley looks a little uncomfortable. He lights a cigarette from the one he has just finished.]

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