The Velvet Chamber
An Anthology of Revisioned Myth and Fairy Tale

Explore the dark side of the female psyche --A CALL FOR WRITERS supports The Velvet Chamber

Friday, September 10, 2010

Am I Blanche DuBois?


The frothy Southern Belle doesn't get laid either. Not with Stanley. That brute. And while she's not suicidal, like Anna K, she does engage in a pas de deux with a couple of white coats. Never a good thing in mythical antebellum New Orleans. She doesn't live happily ever after. If I may be so bold, I would start by giving this character a brain. Because when Stanley starts pawing through her suitcase, looking for the paperwork for Belle Reve, the family estate--- if she had a brain, she would say instead;

Asshole. I'm going to put my cards on the table. You're hot as hell. You're like a slab of meat in a butcher's shop on a hot July afternoon. I'd like to cut you and dissect you and serve you on a platter.

Speaker Two

I'm sorry who are you?


But I can't and I won't because you're married to my sister. So put on a t-shirt for christsakes, but make it tight. I'm older now, men don't fall at my feet except when they're drunk. I don't keep as many mirrors in the house. I know this, Stanley, I'm not stupid. I may be fatuous, but it's required by the canon. Anyway. You needn't worry your pretty little head about my family estate, because I got it covered. I will never lose Belle Reve because I traveled 60 years into the future and invested in software. Don't ask me the details about time traveling because I'm sick of telling it, but it basically involves a “man” who visits from the future. We had our quiet moments together, our intimacies. I'm not the girl you marry, everyone knows that. Not even an alien. That makes me a bitch or a witch, take your pick, also covered in the canon. I would argue that both words belong there, except their iterations are fundamentally incorrect, anyway---

---let's get back to Stanley, that brute, that monster, that beast. He's sitting on the yellow linoleum chair in the kitchen listening to everything I have to say. The sun is going down, and he's covered in a thin film of sweat. My sister is pregnant with his baby, and I'm not jealous exactly, but I never have that experience. It's a bittersweet moment when I find out. But him? Stanley? He's not going to get a penny of that money. If I had a brain, if you, esteemed members of the academy, would allow me a brain, and perhaps some imagination, I could save Belle Reve.

Speaker Two

You're not on our list of scheduled speakers.


If you let me subvert the canon, just a tiny bit, by the time I run up against Stanley in New Orleans, I'll have a stock portfolio worth millions. I'll be like,

Stanley, if I don't get some respect from you, you won't see a dime of this money. And don't even think of throwing me down on the kitchen table, or pressing up against me when the moon is full. Or any other of your sexual shenanigans. I freely acknowledge our attraction, but put it back in your pants honey, and treat me like a lady. Because if you do, you might enjoy a prosperous retirement.

And now he gets up from the kitchen chair, clearly seeing a new woman. Maybe a little afraid of her. He goes to the fridge because its hot, because he needs a beer. I pick up a paper fan and flirt with him. He sits down again but farther away. I laugh inside because now I know I got the little boy on the run. I say, Stanley, do we have an understanding. And he looks up at me with those dark brooding eyes, weak with desire, for me, Blanche, former Queen of the South, now reduced to such ruin, and he looks up at me, and asks, Can I kiss you?

Speaker Two:

But we still don't know who you are.

Jessica Tandy as Blanche DuBois in Streetcar Named Desire



  1. Totally enjoyed this ... in an endless longing sort of way ...

  2. thank you Douglas, especially for the endless longing--