“There is pain enough already. Let us not be bloody now.”
Yesterday mourning, my niece Shannon and I spent four hours messaging on facebook. This is our first conversation as adults. She was three when she ran up to me, grabbed my legs, and cried;
She would not let go. Once again I was banished into the good night, the Family Scapegoat and Holy Shit Release Valve made to blow-off the pressure built by our collective mental illness no one wants to own individually. Michael Dundon swore I came at him and his Life Love Object with a big butcher knife, and this is why he and my sister Christine ran down Rose’s stairs onto the snowy streets of Rhode Island. Sounds like a Greek Tragedy to me!
A half hour into our conversation I realized WE owned The Eugene O’Neil Typewriter. This is why Vicki and Mark kept us apart after the death of Shannon’s mother. We would suck all the sane oxygen out of the room, leaving the Normal One gasping for some relief. It was as if Christine had risen from the dead, she curious as all fuck about Facebook. After all, her famous faces of beautiful women are found all over the world.
In two sentences, Shannon went from extreme Cold, to Excessive Hot. There was very little middle ground. I tread lightly on the landscape she put down. One minute there are chirping birds and crickets in the spring grass, then, here come a dark menacing cloud shooting vicious and angry bolts of lightning in every direction. There was no escape, no umbrella of protection. You took your punishment like a man.
My niece had inherited her grandmother’ vocation, her expertise. She let me know how she had thoroughly punished all the males we are kin to. There had been infractions and real crimes. I was presented with a summons, an indictment of my trespasses that allegedly began when I was eight.
“Put it away. You got nothing one me!” I typed. And the ghost of O’Neil licked his chops.
Now came some real love and warmth, even some brilliance. We talked about the team of lawyers that ganged up on her at the Beloved Family Probate of The Roses. She accused me of never being there for her, never once taking her side. I told her to go look in the Superior Court Files, and read the angry and insane protests I filed – for Art’s sake!
“I didn’t get your message from Mexico to meet in Judge Silver’s courtroom. What did it say”
“Please come to Monterey for the springtime
I’m stayin’ here with some friends and they’ve got lotsa room
You can sell your paintings on the sidewalk
By a café here I hope to be workin’ soon.”
“You didn’t write that! You’re a plagiarist!”
“No I’m not!”
“Yes you are!”
Then came the renewed Death Threat from beyond the grave. It was a continuance, a refreshed message from long ago. The Grimm Reaper was unleashed. Shannon knew some tough guys down in Mexico. Vic carried a copy of the Mexican police report titled;
“Strange going ons during the night of the full moon!”
Some guy crossed Shannon. A beer bottle is smashed. A cheek is slashed. There is blood everywhere. My father got a good chuckle whenever he whipped out this evidence. There were Crazy-Makers that came from his seed. Captain Vic was proud. Shannon came at me with her stiletto.
“You’re Vic Jr. Your just like him!”
“No I’m not! I’m more like Hemingway!”
I will not divulge what led up to the Death Threat. However, I must keep my promise to say on this blog, it was made. It go with the threat from the infamous Alley Valkyire. Also, I want to live long enough to author my movie script, because we own the Eugene O’Neil Typewriter, and we can write no wrong. Everything that come from us, is pure gold. We are the greatest Soap Opera ever told. We are forever a modernized Greek Tragedy. We don’t even have to read O’Neil, or go to college.
Mayhem and Pathos come to us naturally. It is in our contested blood, our paternity suits. We are reckless without a cause. Our adventures into the Art World were emboldened by Rosemary’s betrayals, and Vic’s drunken drives in his unregistered Mercury. We shunned a cup of Java in a Bohemian Cafe. Hemingway would have hung with us, and stolen Captain Vic’s fishing stories.
Shannon had taken up the challenge I threw down in my blog ‘The Suede Jacket Lie’ which is ‘The Morning Becomes Electra’. The gathering in Christine’s house after the funeral, is ‘ Long Days Journey Into Night’.
I gave Marilyn a call and told her Shannon threatened me, and I’m going to quit my autobiography.
“My family is driving me crazy!”
“What else is new?”
“You don’t get it. They are not redeemable. I can’t save them – or anyone! I have spent ten years trying to fix Christine’s threat to me, her last words before she died. I have summoned all the gods, but, it is no use. We are thoroughly trashed with these words.”
“I demand you tell me where you live, I’m going to have you killed!”
“She said that to you?”
“Yes! I hate her. I hate Shannon. I hate my whole family. This is not – ART!”
There was a moment of thoughtful silence.
“Well. It beats that thing I read yesterday, that attempt at romance. The romantic approach does not work with your family. What do you call that?”
“Mr. Peterman’s Catalogue! It was plagarised from an L.L. Bean catalogue!”
” At just over five-foot-five, she is a perennial fashion plate model and man-pleaser. Even for this casual outing, she is wearing tailored tan slacks and a
white tunic-style blouse topped by a short jacket in soft, muted- brown leather – distinctively sytyled with two snaps at the waist. The sleeves were turned up, revealing the satin lining and a hint of a forearm.”
Tonight I am packing my bags. tomorrow I will take a flight to Greece where I will be boated out to an island. Shannon is a trooper, like her mom and me. We are overly dramatic, especially after getting into recovery. I will not be allowed to write my movie script – in peace! Her Men in Black will eventually find me. I will flee to the mainland clutching my manuscript to my bosom. I know exactly who I am going to send Our Story to. Our Movie will appear on the Silverscreen.
When it comes time to write our T.V. series, the producers will shut us in a sterile room facing each other at a stainless steel table, we wearing a steel collar chained to the floor, so, we can’t destroy each other in a physical manner. There will be a device over our mouths so we won’t bite one of the court stenographers hired by HBO to get it all down. When the our Eugene O’Neil Typewriter falls silent, we exit from separate doors. A Janitor comes in, unravels a fire hose, and washes the room down. We have resorted to throwing our fecal matter at one another. They thought about hiring Doctor Phil to referee our composing sessions.
“Are you nuts? I’m not going in there!”
One of Rosemarie’s favorite stories is about the time she flew at Shannon’s father, and while straddling his chest, she started to strangle him with his necktie.
Back to the Courtroom Drama!
“Did you read my blog? They got no Death Scene. The whole thing’s a charade. You should talk to your attorney about a Wrongful Death Suit, a Wrongful Something – Thing. I want you to prove to yourself I speak the truth. Go to Goodwill and buy a suede jacket. Borrow a friends swimming pool, and jump in – at the deep end. Get it on video. Your struggle to get that jacket off. It will go viral. The world will be enthralled as the daughter of a world famous artist proves her mother entered the water – without a jacket on!
Why! Goddamn it! Why?”
The best Greek Tragedies – got real good death scenes! We got L. Peterman! No wonder we aren’t all rolling in dough – like the Kardashians! Their good fortune started with O.J’s Bloody Glove!
Act II A month later, Orin is working intently at a manuscript in the Mannon study. Lavinia enters, and with forced casualness, she asks him what he is doing. Orin insists that they must atone for Mother’s death. As the last male Mannon, he has written a history of the family crimes, from Abe’s onward. He then observes snidely that Lavinia is the most interesting criminal of all. She only became pretty like their Mother on Brant’s Islands, with the natives staring at her with desire. When Orin angrily accuses her of sleeping with one of them, Lavinia assumes Christine’s taunting voice. Reacting like Ezra, Orin grasps his sister’s throat, threatening her murder. It becomes apparent that Orin has taken Father’s place and Lavinia has taken Mother’s.
The film concerns a fateful, heart-rending day in August 1912 at the seasideConnecticut home of the Tyrone family.
One theme of the play is addiction and the resulting dysfunction of the family: All three males are alcoholics and Mary is addicted to morphine. They all constantly conceal, blame, resent, regret, accuse and deny in an escalating cycle of conflict with occasional desperate and half-sincere attempts at affection, encouragement and consolation.
The Oresteia (Ancient Greek: Ὀρέστεια) is a trilogy of Greek tragedies written by Aeschylus concerning the end of the curse on the House of Atreus. The name derives from the character Orestes, who sets out to avenge his father’s murder.
The only extant example of an ancient Greek theater trilogy, the Oresteia won first prize at the Dionysia festival in 458 BC. When originally performed, it was accompanied by Proteus, a satyr play that would have followed the trilogy. Proteus has not survived, however. In all likelihood the term “Oresteia” originally referred to all four plays; today it generally designates only the surviving trilogy.
Many consider the Oresteia to be Aeschylus’ finest work. Principal themes of the trilogy include the contrast between revenge and justice, as well as the transition from personal vendetta to organized litigation.
The play opens to a watchman on top of the house, reporting that he has been lying restless there “like a dog” (kunos diken) for a year, “for so rules the expectant manly-willed heart of a woman” (that woman being Clytemnestra awaiting the return of her husband, who has arranged that mountaintop beacons give the signal when Troy has fallen). He laments the fortunes of the house, but promises to keep silent: “A huge ox has stepped onto my tongue.” However, when Agamemnon returns, he brings with him Cassandra, the enslaved daughter of the Trojan king, Priam, and a priestess of Apollo, as hisconcubine, further angering Clytemnestra.
A platform is then rolled out by the palace servants displaying the butchered and dismembered corpses of Agamemnon and Cassandra, along with Clytemnestra brandishing the bloodied axe of the Cyclops, and defiantly explaining her action. Agamemnon was murdered in much the same way an animal is killed for sacrifice: with three blows, the last strike accompanied by a prayer to a god. Cassandra was killed with only two blows, omitting the prayer. Clytemnestra is soon joined by Aegisthus, Agamemnon’s dispossessed cousin and her lover, now the king, strutting out and delivering an arrogant speech to the chorus, who nearly enter into a brawl with him and his guard. However, Clytemnestra halts the dispute by swinging the axe wildly, saying that “There is pain enough already. Let us not be bloody now.” The play closes with the chorus reminding the usurpers that Orestes, the son of Agamemnon, will surely return to exact vengeance.