Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

Red Scare

BY MATT WISE

 
 
Me: Do you speak Spanish?

Tennessee Williams: Si.

Me: Okay.

Tennessee Williams: Que Es Esto?

Me: I don’t speak Spanish…But I’m taking lessons.

Tennessee Williams: Well, That’s good for you.

Me: Yeah. So, what do you think of Elia Kazan?

Tennessee Williams: I don’t know him.

Me: Oh.

Tennessee Williams: I’ve heard he’s a traitor.

Me: How so?

Tennessee Williams: You know the Red Scare and all that.

Me: Oh Yeah.
 
 
Senorita DuBois I’ve watched you fall again and again, under that weight of your delusions. Or not.
 
(An arm is something isn’t it?)
 
 
I’ve seen some moisture on your left cheek before,

and once I tried to draw it.

But I failed miserably, and then decided to draw something else instead.

(It turned out okay).
 
 
Tennessee Williams: So do you draw often?

Me: Not really, but I’m taking lessons.

Tennessee Williams: I used to draw.

Me: Like people? Or what?

Tennessee Williams: Chess sets.

Me: Really?

Tennessee Williams: Yeah.

Me: Like exclusively?

Tennessee Williams: Pretty much. Sometimes I drew owls. I like owls.

Me: Me too.
 
 
[EXT: Playhouse. It’s raining and the title of the show ‘Un Tranvía Lllamado Deseo’ is glowing, spelled out in yellow bulbs. It’s raining. This is important]
 
[INT: Playhouse. A boy and his mother walk in to the theatre, holding hands. He is wearing a black shirt. She is wearing a red coat. This is important]
 
 
I think there is an accordion in the background, Ms. Dubois.

I wouldn’t say it’s ominous, but it surely isn’t warm.

I’ll wait for you a moment to fall again.

…And you do and it’s quick and I’m worried slightly for your arm (an arm is something isn’t it) but you wrangle it out just before the crash and your eyes lock with that man and your lips are red and I think you might be crying but I’m not sure just yet and the woman in white with a red red cross is at your feet and you keep struggling but not too much and I think you could break loose if you tried a bit harder…
 
 
[INT: red.]
 
 
There is a baby in another room and it isn’t screaming yet but it will be.
 
 
(How well can you set the trap?)
 
 
Me: Okay. So I’ll say a type of animal and then you have to draw it in three seconds.

Tennessee Williams: Are you going to publish the picture with the interview?

Me: Probably not. Unless it’s really good. Turtle.

Tennessee Williams: Wait… I wasn’t ready.

Me: Okay.

Tennessee Williams: Ready.

Me: Elephant. one, two, three.

Tennessee Williams: Shit.

Me: (laughing) Where are the tusks?
 
 
[INT: red. hands. touch.]
 
 
I’ve seen you before Ms. Dubois, haven’t I?

That time carrying your corsage and it wasn’t grey yet but the sky looked ready and maybe you were smiling undetected and there might have been a car and some pavement separating us but I walked with you and prayed silently for your protection and I held a St. Christopher in my hands hard enough that my knuckles blanched a bit.
 
 
You didn’t see me but I was there.
 
 
[INT: red.]



Matt Wise is a graduate student in The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. He is currently the prose editor for Bombay Gin literary magazine and he hopes to visit Detroit soon.