4b 1902 PANTALONE JOKES
1902. Turkish bath. Steam fills the air. Alcohol vapours
waft across the room. Alex Zemlinsky is depressed. His friends
try to cheer him up with booze, jokes and a dirty song about
a girl who betrayed her boyfriend with an old man whose sexual
potency is as poor as his pocket is deep. The atmosphere is
frivolous. Every miserable joke provokes waves of hysterical,
unbridled laughter. Alma enters.
Teresa!!! Where are you?! - Ahhhh! My friends! This is where
you're hiding! - I need a drink! Give me a drink! Come on,
give me a shot of schnapps! (Alex serves her.) Thank you,
Alex. Cheers! Bottoms up! (She empties her schnapps in one
gulp.) Ahhh! That was a good starter. Now! Pour me a pint
of beer. And another shot of schnapps. I want to drown my
brain in alcohol!!! (Alex offers her a pint of beer. He pours
schnapps into her beer.) Thank you, Alex. Pour some more.
I wanna lose my head. Ahhhh!! What am I doing with my life?
Eh? What am I doing?!! Can anyone tell me ? I am throwing
away my youth, my «joie de vivre», as if it were
a worthless old rag. Why am I doing it?
you are a silly cow!
ALMA Am I?
me be your bull!
bother us with your madness? If you want to find out about
it, go ask your Gustav.
ALMA He keeps
telling me he loves me. But what does that mean- »Love«?
Hmm? We kissed. He played his pieces for me. My senses remained
his music. What's he like in bed? How's his foreplay there?
could say it's lovely and pleasant, but... so heavy, so grim
and dreary, so deadly morbid. (She addresses Zemlinsky:) Oh,
Alex! Poor Alex! Forget me. You must. I'm not worthy of you!
I don't deserve your love. You know everything. You know all
that has happened. You can read even my most secret thoughts.
For me, the last weeks have been torture. You know how very
much I loved you. You fulfilled me completely. The just as
suddenly as love came, it van¬ished cast aside. And appeared
to me with renewed power! On my knees I beg your forgiveness
for the evil hours I caused you. Some things are beyond our
powers. Maybe you have an explanation for it. You-you know
me better than I know myself. No! Don't forget me! Please!
Remember me for ever! How we were together - innocent - passionate
- young lovers!
Alex, how enviable ...
better leave me alone!
make that face! You're breaking my heart.
foreplay is pleasant - but - You said: »But?«...
ALMA So much
about him irritates me: his smell - his constant humming (She
imitates Mahler's humming the Chassidic variation of »Frère
Jacques«:) »Ya-ba ba ba bam, Ya-ba ba ba bam«
- the way he walks, bent forward, with his hands clasped together
on his back; The way he jumps from leg to leg; the way he
talks - he doesn't talk to me: He talks through me - he's
always preaching! Preaching and teaching! Alma's mood changes.
All of a sudden she is the spoilt little girl in need of a
father: And then he is like a father to me... A very loving,
caring father - very warm, passionate -
a song:) ...
I never miss him like I miss you, Alex! I miss you every minute,
every second... I shall never forget the joyous hours you
gave me-and don't you forget them either! Please don't desert
me! If you are the man I think you are, you will stay with
me, and give me your hand-and your first kiss of friendship.
Be a dear fellow, Alex. Our friendship could mean a lot. .
We could always stick together , like old comrades. One more
time : forgive me-I don't know myself anymore. And when I
think of him... - he's a stranger - our tastes are so different
- - Just imagine: he doesn't like my music. He thinks it's
worthless! He wants me to stop composing -
up my music?! Give it away?!! Everything I've lived for until
now...?! I can't do that!!! - He said to me: Alma, make
your choice, make up your mind! But for God's sake: be true!
To be true - his music is so foreign to me! He doesn't think
much of my art, but he thinks a lot of his. And I don't think
much of his art, but I believe very much in mine. That's how
it is. And I don't like his hands. What should I do?! Tie
up my life with that man? Why?... Oh, my God! Oh, my God!
I feel like a cold hand is tearing my heart from my chest.
It's so cruel! - Alex, cheer me up! Make me laugh!
the matter with you, Alex? Tickle her!
me alone! I'm telling you!
make you laugh. May I try?
please do! You always make me feel so frivolous! You and your
dirty jokes! Come on, Burckhard! Be as nasty and tasteless
as you can!
lost a wench. And what a wench! Alma Schindler. Alma Maria
Schindler. Do you know her? She's the most notorious »femme
fatale« in Vienna.
yes, at the age of sixteen she intoxicated the most experienced
womanizer in the entire Austro-Hungarian empire: Gustav Klimt!
He ran after her to Venice like Hannibal over the Alps, and
like Hannibal he - he ended up outside: she never let him
in. Only a kiss, that's all she gave him, Alma, the best cheese
cake in all Vienna! Or did she let him deflower her?
Alex? You're the only one who knows that, aren't you? You're
the only one who can tell us the truth: did old Klimtoris
deflower her or not? He's not talking,, our good friend. He's
depressed. You must have licked a little cream at least, didn't
you? Na, come on! Tell us something! Tell us about her!
oh, oh, oh! He lost her. He lost her. And to whom? To a young
prince? To a handsome man? No! To an irresistible satyr? To
a famous Casanova? No, my dear friends! No: He lost her -
you won't believe it - just hold your breath - he lost her
to a puny little old wrinkled sweaty Jewish gnome: he lost
her to Gustav Mahler! Can you believe that?!
on, Alex, cheer up! They say poor Gustav doesn't know what
to do with her. He'd be just as happy with a doll. Come on,
Alex, let's cheer her up with some good old funny stories.
Listen to this one: Old Gustav was sitting with another aging
Methuselah on a park bench, when Alma passed by. Look
at her, says the friend, you remember how we used
to run after those sweet young things? - Yes,
says Gustav, I still remember running, but I don't remember
(Burckhard bursts in a crazy laughter. All laugh hysterically.)
their wedding night, young Alma and old Gustav are lying in
their bed. Old Gustav is humming one of his favorite Jewish
tunes, as usual: »Ya ba-ba-ba-bim ya ba-ba-ba--bam«
etc., and young Alma is lying with her eyes wide open, waiting
for him to start performing. Finally she loses her patience.
»You know, Gustav, she says, Alex used to bite
my nipples... That was wonderful!« - «All-right,
all-right!« - Says old Gustav, »I can do that
too! Just get me my teeth out of that glass of water. »
call that a joke ? It's pathetic! Pathetic!! I said I wanted
to laugh. I want to laugh until my brain explodes and splatters
all over the wall! Why can't you make me laugh?! What are
men good for, if they can't make you laugh. Alex, it's your
turn. Make me laugh! Come on, now ! Make me laugh. Make me
cry. Make me feel something! I don't want to be dead before
Alma is having sex with Gustav Mahler. In the middle of his
performance he gasps: Oh, God! I'm dying! I'm dying!
- I thought you died a long time ago, says Alma.
After a while she feels something moving above her in the
dark. - Darling
Darling, she says, What
are you doing up there? - I'm making love!
- Oh, really? To who? - To you! -
No kidding! Are you in? - I was. -
When? - A minute ago! - Oh,
I'm so sorry, I didn't notice. - The next day they both
get sick: he caught a cold, and she got a stomach ache from
I feel so dirty! So ugly! So... - What I have to tell you
today is terribly sad. I went to see Gustav-this afternoon
we were alone in his room. He entrusted me with his body -
I let him touch me with his hand. - His manhood stood Stiff
and upright . He carried me to the sofa, laid me gently down
and swung himself over me. Then-just as I felt him penetrate,
he lost all strength. He laid his head on my breast, shattered-and
almost wept for shame. Dis¬traught as I was, I com¬forted
him. We drove home, dismayed and dejected. He grew a little
more cheerful. Then I broke down, weeping, weeping on his
breast. What if he were to lose-that! My poor, poor husband!
I can scarcely express how aggravating it all was. First his
intimate ca¬resses, so close-and then no satisfaction.
Words cannot express what I today have undeservedly suffered.
And then to observe his torment-his unbelievable torment!
(Alma leaves the place with Reserl as nurse to go to spa
Tobelbad to meet Gropius.)