The Blue Notebook
SHE: You’re blacklisted, you’re a hero, that’s your alibi for the rest of your life …
HE: No, dove; no, baby, you’re my alibi for the rest of my life — who wakes me every morning of my life at four A.M., screaming and wailing that you and your children’ll end up on the Bowery if I don’t write some more crap for our good friend Bill here?
SHE (laughing, her face distorted with laughter): OK, so I wake up at four every morning. OK, so I’m scared. Want me to move to the spare room?
HE: Yeah, I want you to move to the spare room. I could use that three hours every morning for working in. If I could remember how to work. (Suddenly laughing.) Except that I’d be in the spare room with you saying I was scared I might end up on the Bowery. How’s that for a project? You and I on the Bowery together, together until death-do-us-part, love until death.
SHE: You could make a comedy of it, I’d laugh my head off.
HE: Yeah, my ever-loving wife’d laugh her head off if I ended on the Bowery. (Laughing.) But the joke is, if you were there, stranded drunk in a doorway, I’d come after you for assurance, yeah, it’s the truth. If you were there I’d come after you, I need security, yes, that’s what I need from you, my analyst says so, and who am I to contradict?
SHE: Yeah, that’s right, that’s what you need from me. And it’s what you get. You need Mom, God help me.
(They are both laughing, leaning towards each other, screaming with laughter, helpless with it.)
HE: Yeah, you’re my mom. He says so. He’s always right. Well it’s OK to hate your mom, it’s in the book. I’m right on the line. I’m not going to feel guilty about that.
SHE: Oh no, why should you feel guilty, why should you ever feel guilty at all?
HE (shouting, his dark handsome face distorted): Because you make me guilty, I’m always in the wrong with you, I have to be, Mom’s always right.
SHE (suddenly not laughing, but desperate with anxiety): Oh, Nelson, don’t get at me all the time, don’t do it, I can’t stand it.
HE (soft and menacing): So you can’t stand it? Well, you’ve got to stand it. For why? Because I need you to stand it, that’s why. Hey, perhaps you should go to the analyst. Why should I do all the hard work? Yeah, that’s it; you can go to the analyst, I’m not sick, you’re sick. You’re sick!
(But she has given in, turned away from him, limp and desperate. He jumps towards her victorious but appalled): And now what’s wrong with you? Can’t take it, huh? Why not? How d’you know it’s not you that’s sick? Why should it always be me that’s in the wrong? Oh, don’t look like that! Trying to make me feel bad, as usual, huh? Well, you’re succeeding. OK, so I’m in the wrong. But please don’t worry - not for a moment. It’s always me that is in the wrong. I said so, didn’t I? I’ve confessed, haven’t I? You’re a woman, so you’re in the right. OK, OK, I’m not complaining, I’m just stating a fact - I’m a man, so I’m in the wrong. OK?