7a 1911 POST COITUS, POST MORTEM
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ALMA 1 & 2 Walter! Walter!!! Oh, Walter, I'm burning for your naked body to lie at my side, with nothing to separate us but sleep! Come, my love! I I live only for the time when I'll be completely yours! Your wife. My Walter - I want your child - to cherish and nurture - until the day comes when we can be united and drown in each others' arms without remorse. Your spirit and my body - such dual perfection could only engender a demigod. I want to have you over me again, physically, inside me! I want to see you like your god created you - for only a god could produce such a creature. I want your whole beauty to melt inside me! I am aching for your embraces! I'll never forget the touch of your hand on my most intimate parts. You sent fire and joy flowing through me. Yes, one can be entirely happy, there is such a thing as perfect joy. In your arms I have known it. One little nuance more, and I would have become a god. Everything about you is holy to me. I want to kneel down & kiss your loins-kiss everything, everything. Amen!
ALMA Oh, Walter, I missed you so much!!! If you knew how much I missed you all these months, you would have left everything and come to be with me! Finally an end to all those secret games! Woowww!! We don't have to hide anymore, We don't have to wait until he leaves for rehearsals, We don't need to make secret last-minute appointments anymore in all those hotels, and sneak in and out like thieves in the night
GROPIUS I couldn't, while Gustav was still alive. It would have been too cruel.
ALMA Oh yes, it was cruel. Very cruel .
GROPIUS How did he die exactly? Did it happen all of a sudden?
ALMA What difference does it make, , my love? We're finally together. That's what counts. Only that. I need you so much
I need you! I want to forget all about him.
GROPIUS I need you too, my love. I'm shattered too by the death of my father. There are so many questions I want to ask you. You never said anything. Did it happen out of the blue? Was he sick
? I mean
was he still able to function or
had he been neutralized and bed-ridden all these months? Was he an invalid?
ALMA Why all these questions, Walter?! I'm free! We're free! Finally free! It's so humiliating to have to lie when you'd rather be shouting your love to the world. Instead you have to live with delusion, treachery and deceit, like thieves in the night
But now we are finally free to fulfill our desires
GROPIUS Did he know he was going to die?
ALMA No, he didn't. The doctor lied to him.
GROPIUS I see! So he was... fit?
ALMA Embrace me.
GROPIUS Was he fit?
ALMA Oh Darling!
GROPIUS Why don't you answer my questions, Alma?
ALMA What do you want to know? We haven't seen one another for months and you're still thinking about Gustav's death... Why talk about him all the time?
GROPIUS You're avoiding me.
ALMA Come on! Why torture yourself with useless questions with no answers?! You should be happy that there's nothing to separate us anymore !
GROPIUS That's exactly why the time has come to ask ourselves some serious questions. About our feelings for one another... about us living together, about the future...
ALMA Have you got any doubts about your feelings towards me?
GROPIUS No. Of course not. I have no doubts about my feelings at all. I love you, Alma. I love you, and I want to marry you.
ALMA Oh, Darling!!!
GROPIUS I want you to be my wife. Will you marry me?
ALMA I am your wife. I am already. I was your wife when Gustav was still alive. You know that.
GROPIUS Yes. Yes. That's true. - It was his heart that failed, wasn't it?
ALMA Yes, it was his heart. It stopped beating.
GROPIUS He must have been very feeble all these months, very frail, very
weak. There's no other explanation
ALMA He was.
GROPIUS But you said his heart was never very healthy.
ALMA That's right. His heart was never very healthy
GROPIUS Strange. And still he used to swim a lot, take long walks, exercise, sports... You told me that, didn't you?
ALMA 2 He didn't know his heart was weak. Until our daughter Putzi died, four years ago. That was when Doctor Blumenthal gave him a routine check-up, and brought it out into the daylight. And just like that he had to give up all physical exertion.
GROPIUS But he didn't change his way of life, did he? I mean, he went on working and exerting himself exactly as before, didn't he? He went on directing, giving concerts
it must have been incredibly tiring!
ALMA 2 Yes, he used to work until he collapsed. In total exhaustion. There was no talking to him. Only his body could have stopped him. Nothing else had any influence over him. Not even his common sense. He didn't know how to cope with his fragile health.
GROPIUS He simply destroyed himself.
ALMA 2 You could say that .
ALMA I don't know!!!
GROPIUS But you should. You should. He was trying to move you. That's obvious. You felt how he struggled for you. That was evident. He was fighting for you like a lion. Why did he have to fail ?
ALMA Why all these questions, Walter?! It's over now, it's gone! He's dead.
GROPIUS No, he isn't. He isn't. He's still there, between the two of us. He is here, I can feel him. He is lying here, between the two of us, between you and me.
ALMA Walter, will you stop that nonsense! Gustav is dead and buried! He's six feet under
GROPIUS I doubt that. I doubt that. I think he's trying to get close to you. He must be here somewhere. What have you done with him, Alma, what have you given to him, that he can't detach himself from you?
ALMA Nothing! Nothing at all! I took care of him. That's all. I nursed him, to make dying easier. .
GROPIUS You gave him all he needed
ALMA Yes, I did.
GROPIUS You gave him all he asked for?
GROPIUS And when he asked for sympathy
ALMA Then I gave him sympathy.
GROPIUS And love --- ?
ALMA Yes. Love, too. Lots of love.
GROPIUS What kind of love?
ALMA Love. Love.
GROPIUS I mean... When you say love, what
do you mean exactly?
ALMA 2 What precisely do you want to know?
GROPIUS Did you ever
make love to him?
ALMA 2 Come on, Walter! I had two daughters with him!
GROPIUS No, no, I mean
during those last few months... as he lay dying... You knew it was coming to an end, didn't you? Did you ever
Did he ever... Did you
fulfil that wish for him too?
ALMA Yes, I did.
GROPIUS How often?
ALMA As often as he asked for it.
GROPIUS That is?
ALMA As often as he desired me.
GROPIUS Once? More than once?
ALMA Dying people revolt desperately against their fate, you know...
GROPIUS You really gave him
ALMA I gave him all the warmth and tenderness that he needed.
GROPIUS How could you be so cold-blooded! That's unbelievable!
ALMA Who said I was cold-blooded?
GROPIUS What do you mean?
ALMA I told you already: I made love to him. I'm not the good Samaritan. And I'm not from the Red Cross either.
GROPIUS But ... but
after he found out about us, he
became... I mean
he wasn't able to... anymore
? I mean
powerless! You told me that!
ALMA 2 He recovered.
GROPIUS He recovered?!!! - When?
ALMA After he returned from his meeting with Doctor Freud. I told you that.
ALMA 2 Really, an extraordinarily astounding man, this Sigmund Freud. Gustav was only with him for four hours. And do you know what happened? Afterwards, he was as active as ever before. Active and strong and passionate. Curiously enough, he even became very sexually effective. It was exciting. Very exciting...!
ALMA I remember
GROPIUS Oh my God! And I thought you were mine all those months...!
ALMA 2 It puzzles me that after Gustav's death, he sent me a bill. I mean, a man in
ALMA Maybe he wanted to get to know you
ALMA 2 Who knows what Gustav told him about me...?
GROPIUS Why did you do that?
ALMA 2 Oh Walter, sometimes you're such a bore...! I wanted him to die making love to me. I wanted him to die inside me. I'm so sorry it didn't happen.
GROPIUS You loved him?
ALMA 2 Yes. I loved him. I loved that lonely man. That profound and wounded man. His love gushed out from his wounds in boiling, powerful torrents. You can't imagine how much he needed my love.
GROPIUS Of course I can't. And I don't want to either. - What am I for you after Gustav Mahler? nothing but a thorough-bred. An animal. A pedigree! But I'll never reach the depth of feelings you had with Gustav, and I'll never awaken your emotions the way he did.
ALMA No, you won't. You're probably right about that . I shouldn't hide that from you. No. What he made me give him on that last night you'll get from me in a lifetime.
ALMA 2 But that's not your fault, Walter. I gave myself away too early. But there's no need to worry. There's enough left for you, Walter. I have taken you deep into my heart. That's your place, that's where you belong. I want you, Walter. Come on! I like you
GROPIUS Adieu!.... (He exits.)
ALMA 2 Poor Walter!... My poor Walter! (She answers in his absence his former question:) Yes, I'll marry you.
ALMA Now you lost him.
ALMA 2 To hell with him.
ALMA You don't mean it.
ALMA 2 I'm sick and tired of his jealousy. I'm fed up with his pestering me with his endless questions: Did you make love to him? How many times did you do it? How good was it? Did you enjoy it? He is sick in his mind and it sickens me to have to answer all these stupid questions.
ALMA You could have lied to him.
ALMA 2 I wanted him to know the truth.
ALMA 2 I wanted him to know once and for all he is not the perfect male he thinks he is. I wanted him to know that he is not doing me an act of Godly grace by making love to me. I couldn't stand any longer his stupid masculine vanity about his great sex performances.
ALMA But this is the stuff men are made of.
ALMA 2 Gustav was different.
ALMA He had his reasons. He knew his limits.
ALMA 2 They all have their limits.
ALMA We too we have ours.
ALMA 2 No, we don't.
ALMA We women we don't have our limits?
ALMA 2 Not when it comes to love.
ALMA Can we make love without limits?
ALMA 2 I'm not talking of making love. I'm talking of loving. It is always after making love that I am filled with that exquisite feeling of overwhelming love for my partner. You know what I'm talking about.
ALMA Yes, It is that feeling of gratefulness for the pleasure given and received. It is the moment of magic when your partner seems to you more beautiful than ever---
ALMA 2 And you want to extend that moment of happiness,
ALMA That magic moment of relaxed happiness
ALMA 2 You want to embrace him and to be embraced---
ALMA Endlessly, forever and ever---
ALMA 2 And exactly at that precious moment you feel him withdrawing and letting go of you.
ALMA Losing contact with you---
ALMA 2 Letting you down.
ALMA You are left to yourself, and you have to overcome it all alone.
ALMA 2 Our capacity of giving love is much too much for what men can take.
ALMA This is not fair.
ALMA 2 That's how it is.
ALMA It's tragic.
ALMA 2 No, it isn't.
ALMA How do you mean?
ALMA 2 If you can give more love than one man can take, then you must take more than one man.
ALMA But men are not ready to accept it.
ALMA 2 Then they have a problem.
ALMA Of all the men I had, no one was ready to share me with another man.
ALMA 2 It only shows you how possessive and primitive they are.
ALMA Would you be ready to share Walter with another woman?
ALMA 2 Why should he need another woman if I can give more than he can take?
ALMA Yet it seems he is going to look for another woman.
ALMA 2 That's impossible!
ALMA What makes you think so?
ALMA 2 No man who has been with me had ever left me for another woman!
ALMA There's always the first time, and I'm afraid you should prepare yourself for I see it coming with Walter Gropius.
ALMA 2 Don't worry, I'll only make a sign with my little finger, and he will come running back to me like a good little puppy with his tail between his legs.
(The bell rings for Gustav Mahler's funeral.)
ALMA 2 What's that?
ALMA It's the funeral.
ALMA 2 Don't tell me poor Walter committed suicide!
ALMA Shame on you, Alma! Don't tell me you forgot whose funeral it is!
ALMA 2 Whose funeral is it?
ALMA Alma! It is your husband's funeral!
ALMA 2 I hate funerals.
ALMA Don't worry, you won't have to go to yours.
ALMA 2 Ha, ha!
ALMA Come now! You have been waiting for some time for this one. Let's not miss it.