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SIMON, Neil



The Dinner Party

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GABRIELLE. Neither do I. My waist can't keep pretending to fit the dresses you so ardently and rapaciously unzipped for me.... So what is it you do want?

ANDRE. I want a wife, a wifely wife.... Someone who'll let me sleep through the night. Someone who'll think staying home means a good time to read or having a conversation that doesn't require heavy breathing,.. And someone who'll give me what I suddenly and sur-prisingly yearn for.... Children.

GABRIELLE. (Hun by this) I was never against having children.

ANDRE. With us as parents? They'd wake up Christmas morning playing with tarantulas.

GABRIELLE. I've satisfied your every whim for twelve years and suddenly you've grown tired of whimsy.... I was tired of it years ago, but I never complained for fear of losing you.... I never minded being your favorite horse in the stable, Andre, but I'll be damned if I'll let you go to pasture without me.

ANDRE. I'm getting married next month.

GABRIELLE. I can stand a minor interruption.

ANDRE. I'm serious about this woman.

GABRIELLE. She'll get over it.... I've half seduced you already. A month ago you wouldn't have taken my phone call, yet now, you're standing in front of me, glued to the floor.

ANDRE. Just to tell you that for the first time, I know what real love is.

GABRIELLE. Love is easy, Andre. Eternal desire, however, is a bitch to break.

ANDRE. (Starts to walk out, then turns, deciding to confront her.) ... Our desire, as you call it, turned ugly somewhere along the line, and we both suffered for it.... I stopped making love with you, but rather at you.... I used your body as an outlet for all my repressed anger. Your womb became a receptacle of all my self-loathing for not being able to break the hold you had on me.... I plunged everything into you like an animal, not to possess you, but to use force against you so that you'd have no other choice but to let me loose.... And in trying to assuage my guilt, I made you my partner in crime.... Let go of me, Gabrielle, and you'll win your self-respect back.... Let go of me, and you'll be able to return to that fork in the road, where we once, many years ago, went wrong.

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