Williams, that is. Specifically, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
I’m not terribly surprised, really. It’s been quite a while since I’ve read or seen the Paul Newman/Elizabeth Taylor film, which I love. We’re studying drama in my lit class, and I didn’t want to cover The Glass Menagerie. Nothing against that play, but I much prefer Cat.
My students read the first 30 pages of the play, and we watched the first half of the film today in class. I knew what was coming; I near Brick would have a glass of bourbon nearly the entire time; I knew he would pour and pour and drink and drink. I also knew that Maggie the Cat would saunter her way into a scene and command my attention. I was OK with that part.
As the play went on, I analyzed Brick’s character from a recovering alcoholic’s perspective. I watched closely the he interacts with Maggie, his brother, and Big Daddy. Williams was an alcoholic, too, and I wonder how much of his relationship with the bottle went into the dialogue. When Brick says he drinks until he hears the click in his head, signaling momentary peace, I get it. I think only an alcoholic could have written that line.
I watched the level in Brick’s glass and found myself counting how many refills he has; I instantly noticed how many bottles are in the liquor cabinet when he opens it.
Above all, I thought about how nice it would be to grab a glass of my own and have a drink or twenty. The feeling passed, but by the time I stopped the DVD, I was a little shaky.
I’m back home now, about to make supper. I just wanted to share what happened and to remind myself that I’m strong than a trigger…and you are, too.