3e WHAT MADE ME LOVE HER?
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Walter Gropius and the Almaniac.
GROPIUS You seem to know a thing or two about that woman.
ALMANIAC You mean Alma? What do you want to know about her?
GROPIUS Have you also been one of her victims?
ALMANIAC Of her victims - yes, but not the way you imagine.
GROPIUS Can you be less enigmatic?
ALMANIAC I haven't been one of her husband nor - alas - one of her innumerable lovers.
GROPIUS In what way then have you been her victim?
ALMANIAC She once visited an orphanage where I had passed my unhappy childhood. I was chosen to offer her flowers, and she hugged me. Her magic touch bewitched me. It marked me for life.
GROPIUS Come on, this can't be true!
ALMANIAC It is, my dear friend. Ever since that supernatural exquisite contact I cannot love any other woman.
GROPIUS You must hate her guts.
ALMANIAC I hate her, I love her, I miss her, I dream of her, I make love to her in my fantasy, I am longing for her, I detest her, I wish I never met her, I am haunted by her, I collect every piece of memorabilia that has to do with her, I have in my possession a serviette - impregnated with her perfume and carrying the marks of her lipstick - that she dropped in a restaurant after wiping her lips
GROPIUS She has really cast her spell on you.
ALMANIAC And how! I even went so far as to sneak into a toilet cabin when she left the closet to join her secret lover in the private compartment of a wagon lit going from Vienna to Munich to attend the world premiere of Mahler's 8th symphony.
GROPIUS My God! You spied on her when she was betraying Mahler with me!
ALMANIAC I spied on her when she betrayed Mahler with you, and when she betrayed you with Kamerer, and when she betrayed you with Kokoschka, and when she cheated you with Lili leiser, and when she was disloyal to you again with Werfel - I'm sorry if it hurts you---
GROPIUS Not any more. All I feel for her is pity.
ALMANIAC I can't believe you.
GROPIUS I met her incidentally not long ago on some official occasion, at the inauguration of a contemporary art gallery, I watched her and I must admit I couldn't understand what I found so compelling about her in the past.
ALMANIAC You must have been defending yourself by denying your emotions and feelings.
GROPIUS I wish felt anything. But believe it or not: all I felt was a strong aesthetic aversion. She was huge, fat, heavy, elephantine, very unpleasant to look at, I dare say even there was something vile about the expression of her face.
ALMANIAC You are unjust. There is a lot of anger in your voice. She must have caused you a lot of pain. You can't help seeing her only with the eyes of someone she has let down.
GROPIUS You are wrong, my friend. The moment she started her romance with her plump muffin of a poet---
ALMANIAC You mean Werfel---
GROPIUS I lost all interest in her.
ALMANIAC But when you first met her in Tobelbad you fell madly in love with her. You wrote her blazing love letters, you ran after her and you hung around her following her from the distance like a horny tomcat.
GROPIUS That's true, though I don't understand what it was about her that intoxicated me so strongly. I knew young women who were much more beautiful than Alma
ALMANIAC But there wasn't anyone as pretty as she was.
GROPIUS I met women who were much smarter than her -
ALMANIAC But no one was as smart as she was.
GROPIUS And I knew girls who were much more attractive than her ---
ALMANIAC But no girl was as attractive as Alma
GROPIUS I even knew women who were much more exciting lovers than she was
ALMANIAC But no woman was as exciting a lover as Alma
GROPIUS Thinking of it now, I simply cannot say what it was that made me fall in love with her.
ALMANIAC My friend, if you want to understand what made you fall in love with her, you must go back to the first time you met her in Tobelbad, if you are ready to make that journey in time.
GROPIUS Yes, I am ready to make the journey.
ALMANIAC Then let's go to Tobelbad.
GROPIUS Let's go to Tobelbad!