Tom…from The Glass Menagerie 1

Tom…from The Glass Menagerie 1

Modern – Men

By Tennessee Williams (Signet: pp.52-53)

[End of sc. 3. Amanda has accused her son of jeopardizing the security of the family by staying out late every night and not dedicating himself to his job at the shoe warehouse.]

TOM: Listen! You think I’m crazy about the warehouse? [He bends fiercely toward her slight figure] You think I’m in love with Continental Shoemakers? You think I want to spend fifty five years down there in that celotex interior? with–florescent tubes! Look! I’d rather somebody picked up a crowbar and battered out my brains–than go back mornings! I go! Every time you come in yelling that Goddamn “Rise and Shine!” “Rise and Shine!” I say to myself, “How lucky dead people are!” But I get up. I go! For sixty five dollars a month I give up all that I dream of doing and being ever! And you say self—self’s all I ever think of. Why, listen, if self is what I thought of Mother, I’d be where he is—GONE! [He points to his father’s picture] As far as the system of transportation reaches! [He starts past her. She grabs his arm.] Don’t grab at me, Mother! I’m going to the movies!…No, no I’m going to opium dens! Yes, opium dens, dens of vice and criminals’ hangouts. Mother, I’ve joined the Hogan gang, I’m a hired assassin, I carry a Tommy gun in a violin case! I run a string of cat houses in the Valley! They call me Killer, Killer Wingfield, I’m leading a double life, a simple, honest warehouse worker by day, by night a dynamic czar of the underworld, Mother. I go to gambling casinos, I spin away fortunes on the roulette table. I wear a patch over one eye and a false mustache, sometimes I put on green whiskers. On those occasions they call me–El Diablo! Oh I could tell you many things to make you sleepless. My enemies plan to dynamite this place. They’re going to blow us all sky high some night! I’ll be glad, very happy and so will you! You’ll go up, up on a broomstick, over Blue Mountain with seventeen gentlemen callers! You ugly–babbling old–witch…