Monday, March 17, 2008

The Curse of the Starving Class

From The Curse of the Starving Class, by Sam Shepard:

WESLEY: Did you call the cops?

ELLA: Last night?


ELLA: Sure I called the cops. Are you kidding? I was in danger of my life. I was being threatened.

WESLEY: He wasn’t threatening you.

ELLA: Are you kidding me? He broke the door down, didn’t he?

WESLEY: He was just trying to get in.

ELLA: That’s no way to get into a house. There’s plenty of other ways to get into a house. He could’ve climbed through a window.

WESLEY: He was drunk.

ELLA: That’s not my problem.

WESLEY: You locked the door.

ELLA: Sure I locked the door. I told him I was going to lock the door. I told him the next time that happened I was locking the door and he could sleep in a motel.

WESLEY: Is that where he is now?

ELLA: How should I know?

WESLEY: He took the Packard I guess.

ELLA: If that’s the one that’s missing I guess that’s the one he took.

WESLEY: How come you called the cops?

ELLA: I was scared.

WESLEY: You thought he was going to kill you?

ELLA: I thought—I thought, “I don’t know who this is. I don’t know who this is trying to break in here. Who is this? It could be anyone.”

WESLEY: I heard you screaming at each other.

ELLA: Yes.

WESLEY: So you must’ve known who it was.

The dialogue is from the first scene of the first act, and this is one reason why I love Sam Shepard so much. He understands. He understands people and their relationships and how men and women act at their most base.

Men get drunk because they're hurt and in pain, and they can't just come out and say they're hurting.

Woman call the police, not because they're scared, but because they're mad. But they have to be feminine, so they can't say they're mad, they have to lie and say they're scared.

And I love Sam Shepard because the characters stay and slug it out. It's their world and they're trapped in it, but there's no running away. No sweeping things under the carpet. Things are faced and addressed and paid attention to.

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