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3d Dead Friends Kitchen Gossip
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Alma kommt von ihrer Mutter mit der Erlaubnis, Mahler zu heiraten, und wird von Gustav Klimt gratulierend in Empfang genommen. Er führt sie zu Reserl in die Küche.

KLIMT    Dear friends, dear enemies! After a very consistent life as a bachelor, our good friend Gustav Mahler is finally going to marry a woman to whom he is not related, and this is a good reason for us to celebrate! So let's all raise our glasses and say Lehayim! (raising the glass) But since we are among friends, let me tell you this: frankly speaking, we, his friends, his kindred spirits, are somewhat worried. As a matter of fact, we wouldn't be real Jews if we weren't. You shouldn't take it too seriously, Alma, on the contrary, relax: a Jew always worries. - We, Gustav's friends, we are worrying not because he is 41 and you are 22: this is an insignificant difference , because when he is 120, you'll be 101, which won't be a big difference at all ! But what really makes us worry is the difference in your temperaments, the difference in your characters: you, Alma, are such a stormy young creature, full of life and bursting with vitality, and you're hungry for the joys of social life - whereas Gustav, our good old Gustav, is quite an ascetic character... and that's putting it mildly ! He's so unworldly, and if he loves anything in concurrence with his music, it's his loneliness.

ALMA   Then tell him that he should take his hands off Alma Schindler, because I need to be free, you hear me? I need to be free, and not fettered to him - or to any other man. Tell him that , I dare you!

KLIMT    If you were to decide to marry, you have to remember just one thing: your life will be a very difficult étude, maybe a nocturne, maybe a mazurka - but no matter what, you will have to play it as a piece for four hands...
Alma and Klimt have arrived in the kitchen.

KLIMT    Reserl, what are you doing there?

RESERL    I'm working. Can't you see?

KLIMT    You're washing your blood-soaked linen here, in the kitchen? Are you crazy?

RESERL    It's not my linen I'm washing. It's my master's linen. Now leave me in peace!

ALMA   (in the door) The moment I’m left alone, that’s when I’m split apart, and my other Self emerges a vain, evil, nasty, wicked creature, that insists on expressing itself – and I must give way. — my eyes sparkle with frivolity and my mouth keeps telling lies. Lies incessantly. – And he feels it, he knows it... In the end he begs me to say something, but I cannot find any warm words in response…  Not one. This is the end…

KLIMT    (tastes) Wahhhh...!! What the hell is that?!! Reserl, what’s going on here?

RESERL    Don't ask me. It’s a scandal.

KLIMT    It tastes like   Matzeball with  laxatives. Wähhh! What is it?

RESERL    It’s a stew of whole-wheat bread and pommes-reinettes.

KLIMT    Whole-wheat bread and apples? Good gracious! Who could eat a thing like that?! – Oh! I see!  Alma, are you pregnant?!

ALMA   It’s the only dish Gustav will eat.

KLIMT    your husband? What’s the matter with him? Is he sick?

ALMA   Would you put it in your mouth if you were healthy?

RESERL    It’s so frustrating! It’s not allowed to cook anything that smells of life, of blood! No rare meat , no beef  and kidney pies, no steak tartar! Anything that risks making your mouth water is strictly forbidden!

KLIMT    Forbidden? Why is that?

ALMA   He calls it his «subterranean pains».

KLIMT    His what?

ALMA   His «subterranean pains».

KLIMT    His «subterranean pains»? Alma, what are you talking about?

ALMA   Reserl, say it.

RESERL    You’ll despise me…

KLIMT    For Christ’s sake!? Reserl! What is it?!

RESERL    He’s got... He’s got ... — No, I can’t!

ALMA   Say it, Reserl, say it! Come on!

RESERL    I can’t!

KLIMT    Reserl! Your destiny has put you in a position where you can enlighten the rest of mankind in regards to the darkest secrets preoccupying the mind and spirit of one of the greatest geniuses of the 20th century! Tell us, Reserl, what are those “subterranean pains” that make our Court opera director eat only tasteless, steamed apples?

RESERL    It’s his .... God forgive me!.... (whispers) haemorrhoids.

KLIMT     Haemorrhoids?!!! – Alma?!

ALMA   Well, don’t make a fuzz! It's common knowledge all over Vienna!

KLIMT    Common knowledge?

ALMA   I’m so afraid that he may catch a disease, and become sick. Every time I close my eyes, I see him lying in his own blood...

KLIMT    Ah, that was the reason back in February...?

ALMA   Yes, of course. The night of the 24th. Gustav is directing his 6th Symphony at the concert hall in the morning, and that same evening “The Magic Flute” at the opera... pale cheeks, burning eyes, Lucifer’s face! No one can endure such a blaze very long! It's not possible to create two miracles in one day, with such intensity, without being destroyed in the process.«

KLIMT    That night Alma’s attention is drawn for the first time to the “spiritually” tortured face of Gustav Mahler? You believed the fire was in his mind, you had no idea it was in his ass…!! You fell in love – with his haemorrhoids!

RESERL    You have to stop drinking, Mrs. Alma. It will not make you happier. Give up  the bottle. Return to yourself! To what you were before your marriage…

ALMA   What was I ? I can’t remember anymore…

KLIMT    You were a young person with the whole world at your feet. And you had the most wonderful gift a person can have : you had talent —

Klimt plays one of Alma’s Lieder.

ALMA   I wrote that...! – Gustav doesn’t think much of my art, but he thinks a lot of his own. And I don’t think much of his art, but I believe very much in mine. That’s how it is.

KLIMT    Does he know?

ALMA   I don’t dare tell him. But he feels it, he knows it. He keeps talking to me, and I keep silent. He begs me to say something, but I cannot find any warm words for him. . Not one.

RESERL    If something happens to him, you must make sure his music is preserved.  Promise that!

ALMA   I can’t promise! I can’t! I could have done it for him. Because I like your art, you’re a real genius. But Gustav is such a poor creature, such an awfully poor creature… if only he knew how poor he was, he would bury his face in his hands for shame.

ZEMLINSKY    Could you fall in love with me... –  Reserl?


ZEMLINSKY    Look at me, Reserl! I am Gustav Mahler. I mean, I am as madly in love with you as he was that night with Alma. Suppose you were Alma.

RESERL    Me ... Alma?

ZEMLINSKY    What would you say if I proposed to you?

RESERL    Mr. Mahler – marry me?! He would never do that!

ZEMLINSKY    Suppose he did!

RESERL    I can’t.

ZEMLINSKY    Of course you can. Any girl in the world can be Alma. All she has to do is meet her Gustav.

RESERL    “Meet her Gustav”?

ZEMLINSKY    Read, read!!! – (gives her a sheet of paper:) I wrote this for you. Through all the nights when I lay alone in my room and ...

RESERL    (reads:)
„It happened to me overnight
I could never guess it might
That counterpoint and harmony
Could weigh so heavily on me

So in one single magic night
It took its sway with all its might
And all the voices as one sound
Follow one track on the ground”

How charming! How wonderful!!

ALMA   Where did you get that?!

ZEMLINSKY    Go on, go on!

RESERL    »It happened to me overnight
I haven't slept a moment right
When steps rang in the corridor
My eyes were fixed upon the door.

"I swear to you!" These very words
that come like choirs of mocking-birds
Obsess and haunt me evermore
I wait with eyes nailed to the door.”

How beautiful! It’s a dream…!

ZEMLINSKY    It is a dream! It is a dream!

ALMA   Where did you get that?!

ZEMLINSKY    He gave it to you, didn’t he? – The day after you first met him.

RESERL    How touching! How wonderful! It was love at first sight! Beautiful!

ZEMLINSKY    (whispers:) Alma! Ask me whatever you want ! I will engage you as conductor of the opera orchestra!

RESERL    Oh...! How moving! How beautiful!!!

KLIMT    You shouldn’t spoil your life by marrying that arthritic degenerate Jew. Terminally ill, debt-ridden and impotent. Eats nothing but wholegrain bread and fruit, and that’s exactly how he composes, too!

RESERL    That's not true! His Lieder are very beautiful!
ALMA His Lieder! What do you know about them ?!
Reserl I… listened when he played them for you…

ZEMLINSKY    You eavesdrop on your master and his mistress?!

KLIMT    His diet music?! With the irresistible charm of apple pie?! It never fails to work – as a laxative!

ALMA   I need a drink! Give me a drink! Come on, Gustl, give me a shot of schnapps! I need Schnaps!!