LAURA: At home… my prized possession was my glass menagerie. [she smiles faintly at the memory] My favourite was the unicorn. However… it broke. I brought the horn here with me. The other part… is with a man. BLANCHE: [she raises her hands in exasperation] Hah! Men! Terrible, hulking brutes most of them are. Especially those Polacks. What was it Wilde said? “Women are a decorative sex! ” If I am to have any chance of happiness I must be innocent, attractive and, most of all, youthful! [Slight polka music can be heard in the distance.]
LAURA: Funny, that sounds like what my mother used to say… Girls are a pretty trap! Screen Image – Amanda Wingfield BLANCHE: [she has a distant look in her eyes as she contemplates the various men that have become part of her past] Yes dear, they are. And don’t you forget it when you’ve still got time. This man who has the unicorn – is he your husband? Boyfriend? LAURA: [getting progressively quieter] In high school Jim was the only one that ever spoke to me. Then he turned up at the house and he… he… kissed me.
Of course, he never really liked a cripple like me. He was engaged… [fighting back tears. ] Screen legend – the day at the amusement park BLANCHE: Typical! I too have had my fair share of shocking dates. In New Orleans I met a gentleman named Mitch. [she begins to talk quickly, as if she were addressing herself] I accompanied him to the amusement park on Lake Pontchartrain, a rather dismal place more suited to easily-amused children. However, this was my first date with a gentleman since… since… forever! I could absolutely not afford to mess this one up.
[giggly pause] I was as giddy as a schoolgirl courting behind the bicycle shack – not that I would have engaged in such activity, absolutely not – although I fear dear Mitch saw through my facade. I did try. I tried so very hard. I even pretended I was pleased with that ghastly plaster statuette of Mae West. The erogenous nature of her films draws up memories of a past I wish to forget! [the polka music increases in volume and tempo. ] LAURA: [not following] Oh, I see… BLANCHE: Every time I look at a man all I can think of is my dear Allen!
I ended up telling Mitch about my past, my marriage, when I was just a girl. It was as if Mitch crashed through the invisible barrier I strived for so long to erect. It just – tumbled out! They were words I had desired to tell someone for so long. They had been entombed inside of me for so long it was as if they had gone stale, distasteful even! Even as he embraced me… all I could envisage… was Allan’s desperate touch! [she dramatically outstretches her arms towards an invisible point] Oh Allan, forgive me! [In her fervour BLANCHE knocks over the ketchup bottle, its crimson innards spilling onto her lap.
She frantically dabs at it with a serviette, but to no avail. Her white dress has been permanently tarnished, the bloody hue of the condiment combining with the once wholesome dress. ] BLANCHE: [returning to reality with a jolt] Would you look at that mess! What will ever become of us? LAURA: [visibly shaken, but speaking with determination] We can’t let little things like this ruin our lives… When I get discharged I’ll go back to Rubicam’s Business College. Yes, I will! BLANCHE: [she clutches LAURA by the shoulders] You can say that, you’re still young!
What hope is there for an old maid like me? [The polka music and The Glass Menagerie combine austerely in the minds of the patients. An unholy union, two entities that never should have met. ] LAURA: [jumping up from her chair, repulsed at being touched] I-I think I’m done here! [in her haste to vacate the table she knocks her plate to the floor, where it duly shatters into countless pieces that dance across the floor. The light reflects off the porcelain pieces, framing LAURA in an impromptu spotlight. The breaking noise is audible over the tumultuous din of the room.
Many diners turn to look at the spectacle. ] LAURA: [in a tone of utter despair, covering her face with her hands] No… Stop staring…! I’m going to be sick! [Exit LAURA, who runs away from the scene. The cafeteria soon returns to its natural state, having forgotten that Laura Wingfield ever existed. ] BLANCHE: Shakespeare got it right! ‘Alas, I am a woman friendless, hopeless! ’ – There is truly no hope for some people in this world! [the sound of the door slamming behind Laura as she flees is audible as the light gradually fades out. ]