At table, from “Grasses of a Thousand Colors,” by Wallace Shawn

“People so often begin their memoirs by talking about their earliest experiences, and I don’t, because—because if I force myself to think about my quote unquote ‘childhood,’ if I can even mention such a horrible, boring, unbearable time of life—if I force myself to think about it, the only thing that actually comes back to me, really, is the sort of—the sort of funereal blackness—of the dinner hour—and all the awful creatures sort of filing in to take their places around he quote unquote ‘dining-room table.’ All the ghastly dining-room murmurings, like sounds from hell: ‘Mmm—delicious,’ ‘Yes, isn’t it?’ And the sobbing always stifled inside us—inside every one of us. How it took all our strength to smother the sobbing, like smothering an animal, the unburyable corpse not quite rotting inside us as we ate our dessert, our cake, our ice cream, occasionally prepared with strawberry sauce…”

From Grasses of a Thousand Colors, a play by Wallace Shawn

Shawn reflects on sex in the Guardian, on the occasion of André Gregory’s London production of Grasses of a Thousand Colors as part of a retrospective of Shawn’s plays:
Perhaps it is the power of sex that has taught us to love the meaningless and thereby turn it into the meaningful.
By all means read more here

And a review by John Lahr here


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