Torch Song Trilogy by Harvey Fierstein

Torch Song Trilogy by Harvey Fierstein

Author:Harvey Fierstein [Fierstein, Harvey]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Published: 2018-09-25T00:00:00+00:00

“Yet each man kills the thing he loves,

By each let this be heard,

Some do it with a bitter look,

Some with a flattering word.

The coward does it with a kiss,

The brave man with a sword!”

ED: Very good.

MA: What? You think I raised a dope?

ARNOLD: We had to learn it in high school. Y’know, I still get shivers when I think of that poor man going through all that pain and torment just to write a cliché.

DAVID: What’s a cliché?

ARNOLD: The sincerest form of flattery.

DAVID: (To Ed) Was that a joke?

ARNOLD: (Coming out of kitchen) Did your teacher happen to mention how Oscar Wilde came to be imprisoned?

DAVID: Maybe. Who listens?

ARNOLD: He was in jail for being gay.

DAVID: No, I think I woulda remembered that.

MA: (Embarrassed) Arnold, I can’t find the oil.

ARNOLD: In a minute, Ma. See, ten years earlier, the Parliament passed a law against homosexuality. And Oscar Wilde had this young lover named…

MA: Arnold, could you please give me a hand?

ARNOLD: Just a second. His name was Lord Alfred.

DAVID: Royalty, huh?

ED: (To Ma) Anything I can help you with?

MA: No, thank you, Ed.

ARNOLD: Now, Lord Alfred’s father found out about them and started causing scenes in public; chasin’ ’em outta hotels and stuff. But the straw that broke the dam was a note sent to Wilde’s hotel. It said, “To Oscar Wilde, who poses as a Sodomite.”

MA: For God’s sake, Arnold. Could you change the subject?

ARNOLD: (Annoyed) I’ll finish later. (Goes back to kitchen)

ED: Here, we’ll read the poem together and I’ll explain anything you don’t understand.

DAVID: I want the rest of the dish. (Ed kicks him.) Ouch, that hurt.

(David and Ed read quietly and we hear the conversation from the kitchen.)

ARNOLD: I wish you wouldn’t interfere like that; it’s very embarrassing.

MA: Excuse me, but listening to that is very embarrassing.

ARNOLD: I’m sorry you feel that way, but I have a responsibility to his education.

MA: I am sure that the people who put him here did not have that kind of education in mind.

ARNOLD: The people who put him here had exactly that kind of education in mind. And I’ll thank you not to interfere.

MA: I am only suggesting that you should consider the huge responsibility you’ve taken on here.

ARNOLD: You think I’m unaware of it?

MA: Then act like it. You should be setting an example for the boy.

ARNOLD: And I’m not?

MA: Not when you talk like that, you’re not. You’ve got to consider what you say to him for the remaining time. He’s at an impressionable age. After all, it’s only for a few more months.

ARNOLD: (Ed and David stop.) What’s for a few more months?

MA: He’s here on a nine-month program, right? And he’s already been here six months, so…

ARNOLD: And what do you think happens then?

MA: He leaves.

DAVID: No, you misunderstoo— (Ed kicks him again.) Ow! This is getting serious.

ARNOLD: There seems to be a misinterpretation afoot. Yes, David is here on a nine-month program, but after that, if we agree and the Bureau of Child Welfare allows, I will legally adopt David.


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