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Wisdom: A little light reading

March 1, 2009

A few passages from Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs:

    Kate: You told me he lived up on Riverside Drive. With a view of the river. A three-hundred-dollar-a-month apartment he had. A man like that.

    Jack: Who are the ones you think go bankrupt? You live in a cold-water flat on Delancey Street, bankruptcy is the one thing God spares you.

    • • •

    Eugene: (To the audience) It was the first day in my life I didn’t get blamed for what just happened. I felt real sorry for everybody, but as long as I wasn’t to blame, I didn’t feel all that bad about things. That’s when I realized I had a selfish streak in me. I sure hope I grow out of it.

    • • •

    Jack: Blanche, stop this! Stop it right now. What the hell is going on here, for God’s sakes? Two sisters having a fight they should have had twenty-five years ago. You want to get it out, Blanche, get it out! Tell her what it’s like to live in a house that isn’t yours. To have to depend on somebody else to put the food on your plate every night. I know what it’s like because I lived that way until I was twenty-one years old. Tell her, Kate, what it is to be an older sister. To suddenly be the one who has to work and shoulder all the responsibilities and not be the one who gets the affection and the hugs when you were the only one there. You think I don’t see it with Stanley and Eugene? With Nora and Laurie? You think I don’t hear the fights that go on up in those rooms night after night? Go on, Kate! Scream at her! Yell at her. Call her names, Blanche. Tell her to go to hell for the first time in your life. And when you both got it out of your systems, give each other a hug and go have dinner. My lousy ice cream is melting, for God’s sakes.

No moral to the story here. Besides, if I actually told you what I was thinking, you’d feel cheated. Just … let it be.

—bd

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