And that’s how people burn to death in hotel rooms

After you’ve been to bed together for the first time,
Without the advantage or disadvantage of any prior acquaintance,
The other party very often says to you,
Tell me about yourself, I want to know
What’s your story? And you think maybe they really and truly do
Sincerely want to know your life story, and so you light up
A cigarette and begin to tell it to them, the two of you
Lying together in completely relaxed positions
Like a pair of rag dolls a bored child dropped on a bed.
You tell them your story, or as much of your story
As time or a fair degree of patience allows, and they say, Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh,
Each time a little more faintly, until the oh
Is just an audible breath, and then of course
There’s some interruption. Slow room service comes up
With a bowl of melting ice cubes, or one of you rises to pee
And gaze at himself with mild astonishment in the bathroom mirror
And then, the first thing you know, before you’ve had time
To pick up where you left off with your enthralling life story,
They’re telling you their life story, exactly as they intended all along
And you’re saying, Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Each time a little more faintly, the vowel at last becoming
No more than an audible sigh,
As the elevator, halfway down the corridor and a turn to the left,
Draws one last, long, deep breath of exhaustion
And stops breathing forever. Then?
Well, one of you falls asleep
And the other does likewise with a lighted cigarette in his mouth
And that’s how people burn to death in hotel rooms.

in Tennessee Williams, The Winter of Cities, 1956

Imagem: Nan Goldin, Jen's hand on Clemen’s back, Paris, 2001

Sem comentários: