Sunday, May 29, 2011

Stray molecule, pitch of the deck

Leona: Do you like being alone except for vicious pickups? The kind you go for? If I understand you correctly? .. Christ, you have terrible eyes, the expression in them. What are you looking at?

Quentin: The fish over the bar ..

You're changing the subject.

No, I'm not, not a bit .. Now suppose some night I woke up and I found that fantastic fish .. what is it?

Sailfish. What about it.

Suppose I woke up some midnight and found that peculiar thing swimming around in my bedroom? Up the Canyon?

In a fish bowl? Aquarium?

No, not in a bowl or aquarium: free, unconfined.


Granted. It's impossible. But suppose it occurred just the same, as so many impossible things do occur just the same. Suppose I woke up and discovered it there, swimming round and round in the darkness over my bed, with a faint phosphorescent glow in its big goggle-eyes and its gorgeously iridescent fins and tail making a swishing sound as it circles around and about and around and about right over my head in my bed.


Now suppose this admittedly preposterous thing did occur. What do you think I would say?

To the fish?

To myself and the fish .. I'll tell you what I would say, I would say: 'Oh, well ..'

What I would say is: 'Get the hell out of here, you goggle-eyed monstrosity of a mother,' that's what I would say ..

You don't see the point of my story?


Do you [turning to Bobby] see the point of my story? Well, maybe I don't either.

Then why'd you tell it?

Quentin: What is the thing that you mustn't lose in this world before you're ready to leave it? The one thing you mustn't lose ever?

Leona: Love?
Bobby: Interest?

Quentin: That's closer, much closer. Yes, that's almost it. The word that I had in mind, though, is surprise. The capacity for being surprised ..

Tennessee Williams
Small Craft Warnings
New Directions, 1970©

ii, Simon Nessman at cine
iv, Andrew Cooper and Will Chalker

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