Act Out: Fool For Love

Sam Shepard’s emotionally explosive play

In Fool For Love, playwright Sam Shepard tells the story of on-again, off-again lovers, Eddie and May, reunited after years of being apart. Robert Altman directed the 1985 film starring Shepard and Kim Basinger as the quarreling couple. They are in a dumpy hotel room in New Mexico arguing violently, as usual, about past indiscretions. They may love and hate each other, but their passion is nowhere near diminished.

Eddie
You want an aspirin or somethin, huh?
You got a headache?
You want some water?
May. May, come on.
Honey? You want me to make you
some hot tea or somethin?
You want some tea?
I’ll make you some tea like I used to, OK?
With lemon?
You want some Ovaltine? May… (she grabs his legs, hard)
May, you gotta let go of me now, OK?
Honey.
You want me to go, huh?

May
No.

Eddie
What do you want, then?

May
You smell.
Your fingers smell.

Eddie
Horses.

May
Pussy.

Eddie
Oh, come on, May!

May
They do. They smell like metal.

Eddie
I am not gonna start this shit.

May
Rich pussy.
Very clean pussy.

Eddie
I came to see if you were all right.

May
I don’t need you.

Eddie
Oh? OK. Good. Great. (He leaves)

May
Eddie, don’t go!
Get outta here!

Eddie (suddenly comes back in the room)
God damn… What kinda dump is this?
You live here?

May
What am I gonna do?
What am I supposed to do now?

Eddie
What? Oh, shit.

May
You’re gonna erase me.

Eddie
What are you talkin about?

May
You’re gonna erase me.
You’re gonna erase me or have me erased.

Eddie
Why would I want… Are you crazy?

May
Cos I’m in the way.

Eddie
Whoa, May.
Don’t talk like that.

May
I am.

Eddie
May, I am tryin to take care of you, all right?

May
Sure you are

Eddie
Get back. Come on, back.

May
You’re just guilty.
You’re gutless and you’re guilty.

Eddie
That’s real cute. Great. Gutless.

May
What are you doing with these horses?

Eddie
I’m unloading them. Haven’t been out of this rig in miles.
Even my horses have to suffer because of you.

May
I’m gonna kill her.

Eddie
Who? Who?
Don’t talk like that, will ya?

May
I am. I’m gonna kill her and then I’m gonna kill you.

Eddie
You’re scaring me to death.
Back up. Get back.

May
Two very sharp knives.
Two separate knives.
One for you and one for her.
So the blood don’t mix.
Do you know what I’m gonna do
to her first? I’m gonna torture her.
Do you hear me?

Eddie
Uh-huh.

May
I’m gonna torture her first.

Eddie
Oh, great.

May
Not you. I’m gonna let you have it.

Eddie
Thanks.

May
That’s right.
Probably in the midst of a kiss, after
you think everything’s been healed up.
Right when you think you’ve buffaloed me again.
That’s right when you die.

Eddie
You know how many miles I went
out of my way to come and see you?

May
Nobody asked you to come here!

Eddie
2048.

May
Where you been, Katmandu?

Eddie
2048 miles!

May
So what?

Eddie
I missed you, you know. I did.
More than anything I ever missed in my whole life.
Kept thinkin about you the whole time I was driving.
I kept seeing you. Sometimes just a part of you.

May
Yeah? Like which part?

Eddie
Your neck.

May
My neck?

Eddie
Yeah.

May
You missed my neck?

Eddie
Yeah. Well, I missed all of you, but… your
neck kept comin up for some reason.
I kept cryin about your neck.

May
You were cryin?

Eddie
Weeping.