Torch Song Trilogy
written by Harvey Fierstein
Arnold Beckoff: I think my biggest problem is being young and beautiful. It's my biggest problem because I've never been young and beautiful. Oh, I've been beautiful. And God knows I've been young, but never the twain have met. Not so as anyone would notice anyway. Y'know a shrink acquaintance of mine believes this to be the root of my attraction to a class of men most subtly described as old and ugly. I think he's underestimating my wheedles. See, a ugly person who goes after a pretty person gets nothing but trouble, but a pretty person who goes after a ugly person gets at least cab fare. Now, I ain't sayin' I never fell for a pretty face, but when les jeux sont fais gimme a toad with a pot o' gold and I'll give you three meals a day, cuz honeys, ain't no such thing as a toad when the lights go down. It's either feast or famine. It's the daylight you gotta watch out for. Well face it, a thing of beauty is a joy 'til sunrise. (drags on his cigarette) There's another group you gotta watch your food stamps around: The hopeless. They break down into three major categories: married, just in for the weekend (wink) terminally straight. Those affairs are the worst. You go into them with your eyes open, knowing all the limitations, accepting them maturely. Then WHAM BAM, you're writing letters to dear abbey and you're burning black candles at midnight. And you ask yourself "Wah happened?" I'm gonna tell you "Wah happened?" You got just what you wanted. The person that thinks they're mature enough to handle an affair that’s hopeless from the beginning is the very same person that keeps the publishers of gothic romances up to their tragic endings in mink. (holds a scarf up to his face) What do you think? Gorgeous, huh? (pause) Gimme a break, it's still under construction. For those of you what ain't yet guessed, I am an entertainer, or what's left of one. I go by the name Virginia Ham. Ain't that a kick in the rubber parts? You should hear some of my former handles: Anita Mann, Fonda Boys, Clair Voyant, Fay Ways, Bang Bang La Desh. Yeah, I'm among the last of a dying breed. Well, once the ERA and Gay Civil Rights Bills have been passed, me and mine will find ourselves swept under the carpets, like the blacks done to Amos, Andy and Aunt Jemima. Hey, that’s all right. With a voice and a face like this, what do I got to worry about? I can always drive a cab. You know there are easier things in this life than being a drag queen. But I ain't got no choice. See, um….Try as I may, I just can't walk in flats. (laughs) You know there was one guy once. His name was Charlie. Aw, he was everything you could want in an affair and more: he was tall, handsome, rich, deaf. The deafness was the "more." He ain't never yelled at me, never complained if I snored. All his friends was nice and quiet. I even learned me some of that deaf sign language. Oh I…I remember some. "Cockroach." Means "fuck." Oh this here's my favorite. Means "I love you." And I did too. But um…"not" "enough." (pause) You know, in my life I've slept with more men than are named and or numbered in the bible, old and new testaments put together. But not once has someone said "Arnold, I love you." That I could believe. And I ask myself: "Do you really care?" You know the only honest answer I can give myself is "yes." I care. I care a great deal. But, "not" "enough."
Kudos and much thanks go to JimmyDean for this monologue, it is very much appreciated.
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