Study Guide

Fool for Love Quotes

  • Abandonment

    "You want me to go?" (2)

    These are some of Eddie's first words to May. Apparently she's not super happy to see him. There's a lot of push/pull between the two of them on the subject of whether he should leave or stay—May can't seem to decide which she would prefer.

    "Don't go!!!" (23)

    See, didn't we tell you? Even though she was not jazzed to see him, she's devastated every time he tries to leave. Every. Single. Time.

    MAY: …How many times have you done this to me?

    EDDIE: What.

    MAY: Suckered me into some dumb little fantasy and then dropped me like a hot rock. How many times has that happened?

    EDDIE: It's no fantasy.

    MAY: It's all a fantasy.

    EDDIE: And I never dropped you either.

    MAY: No, you just disappeared!

    EDDIE: I'm here now aren't I? (83-90)

    It seems May has good reason not to want to get too attached to Eddie and his presence—according to her, he's run out on her in the past. Eddie doesn't seem to think she should hold that against him, since he's there right at this very second.

    "Why couldn't you just stay put. You knew I was comin' back to get you." (6)

    In Eddie's view, May should basically just sit around and wait for him when he runs out on her for long stretches, even though it made her feel abandoned and alone.

    "Eddie! Where are you going? Eddie!" (142)

    Here's yet another moment in which, after doing everything she can to tell Eddie he's not welcome, May flips out when he actually does leave. Can you say "vicious cycle"?

    MAY: It'll be the same thing over and over again. We'll be together for a little while and then you'll be gone.

    EDDIE: I'll be gone.

    MAY: You will. You know it. You just want me now because I'm seeing somebody else. As soon as that's over, you'll be gone again.

    EDDIE: I didn't come here because you were seein' somebody else! I don't give a damn who you're seeing! You'll never replace me and you know it! (206-209)

    May herself seems to realize it's a never-ending cycle of bad behavior with Eddie—even if they're together right now, the time will roll around when he's not. And she's trying to break out of that cycle of abandonment… oof.

    "Amazing thing is, neither one a' you look a bit familiar to me. Can't figure that one out. I don't recognize myself in either one a' you. Never did. 'Course your mothers both put their stamp on ya'. That's plan to see. But my whole side a' the issue is absent, in my opinion. Totally unrecognizable. You could be anybody's. Probably are. I can't even remember the original circumstances. Been so long. Probably a lot a' things I forgot. Good thing I got out when I did though. Best thing I ever did." (321)

    This is the moment we get the play's big bombshell: the Old Man is Eddie and May's father. Also, we get the message loud and clear that the Old Man was kind of a jerk—not only did he abandon May and Eddie's respective mothers, but he thinks that getting out early was the "best thing" ever. How did this charmer get one wife, much less two?

    MARTIN: Well, how come you didn't know each other until high school then?

    EDDIE: He had two separate lives. That's how come. Two completely separate lives. He'd live with me and my mother for a while and then he'd disappear and go live with her and her mother for a while.

    THE OLD MAN: Now don't be too hard on me, boy. It can happen to the best of us. (495-497)

    Here Eddie is explaining his father's bigamy-loving ways to Martin, including how his pops managed to keep up two families by simply disappearing from time to time. No wonder our two protagonists have so many issues, including abandonment (particularly on May's part).

    "The funny thing was, that almost as soon as we'd found him—he disappeared. She was only with him about two weeks before he just vanished. Nobody saw him after that. Ever. And my mother—just turned herself inside out. I never could understand that. I kept watching her grieve, as though somebody'd died. She'd pull herself up into a ball and just stare at the floor. And I couldn't understand that because I was feeling the exact opposite feeling. I was in love, see. I'd come home after school, after being with Eddie, and I was filled with this joy and there she'd be—standing in the middle of the kitchen staring at the sink. Her eyes looked like a funeral. And I didn't know what to say. I didn't even feel sorry for her. All I could think of was him." (553)

    These are May's memories of how her mom reacted when the Old Man finally disappeared for good—after mama had found out about the whole other family thing. Doesn't sound like life was too great for May's mother right about then, but May had found comfort in her forbidden passion for her half brother.

    THE OLD MAN: Now tell her. Tell her the way it happened. We've got a pact. Don't forget that.

    EDDIE: (calmly to THE OLD MAN) It was your shotgun. Same one we used to duck-hunt with. Browning. She never fired a gun before in her life. That was her first time.

    THE OLD MAN: Nobody told me any a' that. I was left completely in the dark.

    EDDIE: You were gone. (557-560)

    It seems that Eddie's mother didn't fare any better after the Old Man skipped town—sadly, she actually killed herself. The Old Man tries to shrug off any responsibility for her depression by saying he didn't know about it, and of course Eddie has to remind his dear old dad that the reason he didn't know about it was that he was gone.

  • Love/Sex

    EDDIE: You know we're connected, May. We'll always be connected. That was decided a long time ago.

    MAY: Nothing was decided! You made all that up. (191-192)

    Eddie and May seem to disagree about the depth (and length) of their connection. In Eddie's view, they're always going to be thisclose, but May suggests here that Eddie is somehow delusional or lying about the nature of their connection. Perhaps she's just in intense denial, which seems to spread throughout the characters in this play like the common cold.

    MAY: He's just a date, you know. Just an ordinary date.

    EDDIE: Yeah? Well, I'm gonna turn him into a fig. (262-263)

    In Eddie's absence, May apparently moved on with her life and started dating. Eddie isn't super thrilled about that development, since he thinks that May should have just been waiting around for him (even though he's been fooling around with someone else), so he's threatening violence against the new dude (and, even worse, throwing around bad puns).

    "I came here to get you! Whatsa' matter with you! I came all this way to get you! Do you think I'd do that if I didn't love you! Huh? That bitch doesn't mean anything to me! Nuthin'. I got no reason to be here but you." (319)

    Eddie is trying to convince May that his relationship with the Countess (whatever that was) didn't mean anything to him, and that May is his actual main squeeze. To prove his point, he uses less than nice language to describe his alterna-flame. May is not convinced.

    "Okay. Look. I don't understand what you've got in your head anymore. I really don't. I don't get it. Now you desperately need me. Now you can't live without me. NOW you'll do anything for me. Why should I believe it this time?" (325)

    May isn't buying into any of Eddie's song and dance about loving her and sticking around, since apparently she's heard it all before. She tries to get him to give one reason she should think this time is different from the others… but she doesn't seem to get one.

    "It was supposed to have been true every time before. Every other time. Now it's true again. You've been jerking me off like this for fifteen years. Fifteen years I've been a yo-yo for you. I've never been split. I've never been two ways about you. I've either loved you or not loved you. And now I just plain don't love you. Understand? Do you understand that? I don't love you. I don't need you. I don't want you. Do you get that? Now if you can still stay, then you're either crazy or pathetic." (327)

    Even though May is telling Eddie that she's not ambivalent about him, that's not really true—if she really doesn't love or need him, then why does she keep losing her mind every time he leaves the room? Seems a bit suspicious to us. However, perhaps her real point is that she wasn't unfaithful or split in her affections like he appeared to be—he was the one running around with the Countess and kind of dividing his heart, like their dad did with their mothers some years before. What a family tradition to maintain, right?

    EDDIE: You miss the whole point, Martin. The reason you're taking her out to the movies isn't to see something she hasn't seen before.

    MARTIN: Oh.

    EDDIE: The reason you're taking her out to the movies is because you just want to be with her. Right? You just wanna' be close to her. I mean you could take her just about anywhere. (413-415)

    In one of the only moments in the play that is almost (but not quite) sweet, Eddie coaches Martin about his date with May. Instead of fretting about their actual activity, Eddie suggests Martin should be focused on just enjoying May's company. It's one of the very few moments in the play that doesn't make you want to take a mental bath.

    MARTIN: Oh. So—you knew each other even before high school then, huh?

    EDDIE: No, see, I never even knew I had a sister until it was too late.

    MARTIN: How do you mean?

    EDDIE: Well, by the time I found out we'd already—you know—fooled around. (471-474)

    This is when we start getting into the nitty gritty of Eddie and May's forbidden love/lust. Apparently, they had already developed quite the hot and heavy relationship by the time their common (half) parentage came out. Ooops.

    MARTIN: And you fooled around in high school together?

    EDDIE: Yeah. Sure. Everybody fooled around in high school. Didn't you?

    MARTIN: No. I never did.

    EDDIE: Maybe you should have, Martin.

    MARTIN: Well, not with my sister.

    EDDIE: No, I wouldn't recommend that. (486-491)

    Even though Eddie clearly is no model for how to conduct a teen romance in a safe and healthy way, he is still playing Mr. Macho for Martin, trying to look down his nose at the other man for not having fooled around in high school. Although he's generally got all the archness of overcooked pasta, even Martin knows to call shenanigans on that nonsense, suggesting that perhaps fooling around isn't all it's cracked up to be if one's siblings are involved.

    "She just appears. She's standing there, staring at me and I'm staring back at her and we can't take our eyes off each other. It was like we knew each other from somewhere but we couldn't place here. But the second we saw each other, that very second, we knew we'd never stop being in love." (511)

    Remember when we mentioned wanting to take a bath during most moments in the play? Well, this is definitely one of those moments. Here, Eddie is talking about that magical moment when he met his sister and realized he'd always be in love with her. It would be so tender and sweet… if they weren't related.

    "She drew me to her. She went out of her way to draw me in. She was a force. I told her I'd never come across for her. I told her that right from the very start. But she opened up to me. She wouldn't listen. She kept opening up her heart to me. How could I turn her down when she loved me like that? How could I turn away from her? We were completely whole." (564)

    This is the Old Man trying to justify the fact that he married (and thereby bamboozled) two women. Here, he's talking specifically about May's mother, who apparently (in his view) knew what she was getting herself into. In fact, he claims he had no choice but to be with her, since she loved him so much—it was the only humane thing to do. Yes, because nothing says reciprocal love like bigamy.

  • Power/Control

    "Little practice. Gotta stay in practice these days. There's kids out there ropin' calves in six seconds dead. Can you believe that? Six and no change. Flyin' off the saddle on the right hand side like a bunch a' Spider Monkeys. I'm tellin' ya', they got it down to a science." (218)

    It doesn't seem like an accident that Eddie—who's a big control freak—is into roping things. Just as he tries to keep a tight grip on reality, so he also likes to tie things up with his lassos. There seems to be a metaphor there…

    "I'm not leavin'. I don't care what you think anymore. I don't care what you feel. None a' that matters. I'm not leavin'. I'm stayin' right here. I don't care if a hundred "dates" walk through that door—I'll take every one of 'em on. I don't care if you hate my guts. I don't care if you can't stand the sight of me or the sound of me or the smell of me. I'm never leavin'. You'll never get rid of me. You'll never escape me either. I'll track you down no matter where you go. I know exactly how your mind works. I've been right every time. Every single time." (322)

    May and Eddie have competing versions of reality, and they're also vying for control over this whole situation. At the moment, since May wants him to leave, he's refusing to do so. You might think that's sweet, since it seems to mean that he won't abandon her again, but knowing Eddie, it's more about his desire just to have control over everything. That means being "right every time," too—having control over reality is also very big for him.

    MARTIN: (as he goes with EDDIE) Uh—do you think she's okay in there?

    EDDIE: Sure she's okay. She's always okay. She just likes to take her time. Just to torture you. (454-455)

    Eddie seems to think that May plays her own power games—for example, in this case, he thinks she's hiding out in the bathroom to "torture" the men while waiting for her. We're not sure if he's right or if that's just sheer projection on his part.

    "Sit down!" (528).

    This is Eddie refusing to let anyone leave in the middle of his story about his father's bigamy/his incestuous relationship with his sister. Did we mention he's kind of a control freak? Well, he is, and he's going to subject this poor stranger Martin to his weird tell, come hell or high water.

    "Nobody's going to the movies. There's not a movie in this town that can match the story I'm gonna' tell. I'm gonna' finish this story." (532).

    Eddie's control freak tendencies come out most clearly in his attempts to get May on board with his version of reality—or, put differently, with his story about their relationship and the world in general. So, it's no surprise that he is really insistent that he get to finish his tale about the way things are.

    "Boy, is she ever off the wall with this one. You gotta' do somethin' about this." (552)

    Eddie gets his control freaky nature honestly. His father, too, showed that he's a bit of a control junkie himself when he asserted the right to make up his own reality—one in which he's married to Barbara Mandrell. The Old Man thinks that others should be willing to accept his alternate version of reality, so he gets pretty angry when May starts talking about things that contradict that fantasyland. At first, he just implies that she's wrong.

    "She's getting' way outa' line, here." (554)

    Now, May's not only wrong in the Old Man's view, but she's also breaking some kind of unknown rules—his rules—in talking about the dirty details about what happened to his families after he skipped town. He most certainly doesn't want to hear it, since it breaks up that perfect little fantasy life he had built for himself.

    "Now, wait a second! Wait a second. Just a goddamn second here. This story doesn't hold water. (To EDDIE, who stays seated) You're not gonna' let her off the hook with that one are ya'? That's the dumbest version I ever heard in my whole life. She never blew her brains out. Nobody ever told me that. Where the hell did that come from? (to EDDIE, who remains seated) Stand up! Get on yer feet now goddammit! I wanna' hear the male side a' this thing. You gotta' represent me now. Speak on my behalf. There's no one to speak for me now! Stand up!" (556)

    The Old Man gets progressively more upset about May's version of events. Apparently, he had hoped that he would just be able to live in ignorant bliss, focusing on his little fantasies, and never have to hear about what actually happened. But now that it's out, he thinks he can kind of get things back on track (in a sense) by getting Eddie—his fellow fantasist/control freak—to back up an alternative version.

    "Now tell her. Tell her the way it happened. We've got a pact. Don't forget that." (557)

    In the Old Man's view, he and Eddie had a pact as men/fantasy-oriented people—he mentioned that earlier when he got Eddie to validate his kooky belief that he is married to Barbara Mandrell. Apparently, to him, that was Eddie buying into his right to just define his own reality as he pleases.

    THE OLD MAN: What're you doing'? Speak to her. Bring her around to our side. You gotta' make her see this thing in a clear light.

    (Very slowly EDDIE and MAY move toward each other.)

    THE OLD MAN: (to EDDIE) Stay away from her! What the hell are you doin'? Keep away from her! You two can't come together! You gotta' hold up my end a' this deal. I got nobody now! Nobody! You can't betray me! You gotta' represent me now! You're my son! (565-566)

    The Old Man is pretty much unable to deal with everything that his bigamy brought about, including his kids being in love with each other. He desperately just wants to retreat into his own version of things without the unpleasant truth getting in the way, but right now (as his kids are making lovey eyes at each other) that's getting pretty difficult.

  • Men and Masculinity

    MAY: What am I supposed to call him?

    EDDIE: A "guy" or something. If you called him a "guy," I'd be worried about it but since you call him a "man" you give yourself away. You're in a dumb situation with this guy by calling him a "man." You put yourself below him. (168)

    Eddie is sizing up May's date through her word choices in describing him. Clearly, he's trying to figure out whether to feel threatened—and for now, he's decided Martin is no threat because May calls him a "man" instead of a "guy." We're not sure what the difference really is, but it seems to be some kind of macho logic about how cool Martin is likely to be.

    "Anybody who doesn't half kill themselves falling off horses or jumping on steers is a twerp in your book." (171)

    May picks up on the fact that Eddie is trying to paint Martin as somehow less macho or manly than him in his own mind with this "guy" vs. "man" distinction. Apparently, Eddie is quite the manly man cowboy, and anyone who isn't at that same level isn't likely to get his respect.

    "It was about whether or not you're actually a man or not. Ya' know? Whether you're a "man" or just a "guy.'' (391)

    Later, when Martin has actually arrived, it seems that Eddie might be trying to throw him off balance by telling him about his argument with May about what kind of dude he was.

    "See, she says you're a man. That's what she calls you. A "man." Did you know that? That's what she calls you." (392)

    Eddie continues trying to unsettle Martin, it seems, by telling Martin what May calls him. He never outright says anything bad, of course, but we get the sense he's trying to get under Martin's skin by saying that May was ::gasp:: calling Martin a man. What a… burn? There's an insult in there somewhere—we just can't quite figure out what it is.

    MARTIN: Yeah, but I'm not sure what she likes.

    EDDIE: What's that got to do with it? You're takin' her out to the movies, right?

    MARTIN: Yeah.

    EDDIE: So you pick the movie, right? The guy picks the movie. The guy's always supposed to pick the movie. (406-409)

    Eddie continues with his little macho performance for Martin, trying to school the visitor on what the "guy" does on a date with a woman. Apparently, Martin is being terribly un-guylike in thinking about what May might, you know, like to see—how crazy.

    "What line a' work do you follow, Martin?" (429)

    Eddie never says anything bad about Martin's profession, but from May's comments earlier about how Eddie only thinks someone is manly if he's in the rodeo, we can gather that he's trying to figure out how threatened he should be by Martin and his profession. He's probably relieved to hear that Martin does yard work.

    MARTIN: Well, how come you didn't know each other until high school then?

    EDDIE: He had two separate lives. That's how come. Two completely separate lives. He'd live with me and my mother for a while and then he'd disappear and go live with her and her mother for a while.

    THE OLD MAN: Now don't be too hard on me, boy. It can happen to the best of us. (495-497)

    It's possible the Old Man has a kind of "boys will be boys" attitude about his cheating and bigamy. At the very least, he seems to think that it's just something that someone could accidentally fall into pretty easily.

    "Now, wait a second! Wait a second. Just a goddamn second here. This story doesn't hold water. (To EDDIE, who stays seated) You're not gonna' let her off the hook with that one are ya'? That's the dumbest version I ever heard in my whole life. She never blew her brains out. Nobody ever told me that. Where the hell did that come from? (to EDDIE, who remains seated) Stand up! Get on yer feet now goddammit! I wanna' hear the male side a' this thing. You gotta' represent me now. Speak on my behalf. There's no one to speak for me now! Stand up!" (556)

    The Old Man thinks he needs another man to help defend his behavior toward Eddie and May's mothers—since apparently only another man/male perspective could help to "represent" the particular choices that he made?

    "Stay away from her! What the hell are you doin'? Keep away from her! You two can't come together! You gotta' hold up my end a' this deal. I got nobody now! Nobody! You can't betray me! You gotta' represent me now! You're my son!" (566)

    Again, the Old Man always appeals to Eddie as a potential ally (instead of May) because they are both men—which apparently, in his view, would make Eddie more understanding of his choices and sympathetic to his views. In short, he thinks they share the same ideas about what kind of behavior is within the range of normal manly stuff.

    "Ya' see that picture over there? Ya' see that? Ya' know who that is? That's the woman of my dreams. That's who that is. And she's mine. She's all mine. Forever." (584)

    These are the final words of the play, and they come from the Old Man. Now that his kids are gone, he can kind of slip back into his little fantasy world, in which his fantasy woman is "all his." For him, it seems that being a man is all about controlling your own reality, which includes possessing the women that you let into it.

  • Violence

    MAY: You're gonna' erase me.

    EDDIE: What're you talking about?

    MAY: You're either gonna' erase me or have me erased.

    EDDIE: Why would I want that? Are you kidding?

    MAY: Because I'm in the way. (27-31)

    This is one of the first moments that really give us a sense of how much violence seethes beneath the surface of May and Eddie's relationship. It's really unsettling that May would just suddenly come out with the suggestion that Eddie would "erase" May. Even though there's no real physical violence in the play, moments like this definitely give us the idea that there's more (violence) than meets the eye in their "love."

    MAY: (quietly, staying in corner) I'm gonna' kill her ya' know.

    EDDIE: Who?

    MAY: Who.

    EDDIE: Don't talk like that. (37-40)

    And now we get to see May's scary, violent aside. Apparently she's so jealous of Eddie's girlfriend (the Countess) that she threatens to kill her. And not in a fit of anger, but "quietly." Chilling, no?

    "I am. I'm gonna' kill her and then I'm gonna' kill you. Systematically. With sharp knives. Two separate knives. One for her and one for you. […] I'm gonna' torture her first though. Not you. I'm just gonna' let you have it. Probably in the midst of a kiss. Right when you think everything's been healed up. Right in the moment when you're sure you've got me buffaloed. That's when you'll die." (41)

    May is on a roll, offering still more threats against the Countess—and now Eddie, too. Again, what makes it most alarming is that she's not saying this stuff in a fit of anger; she's just calmly telling Eddie that she wants to kill him and his girlfriend—and how she'd do it.

    "I don't understand my feelings. I really don't. I don't understand how I could hate you so much after so much time. How, no matter how much I'd like to not hate you, I hate you even more. It grows. I can't even see you now. All I see is a picture of you. You and her. I don't even know if the picture's real anymore. I don't even care. It's a made-up picture. It invades my head. The two of you. And this picture stings even more than if I'd actually seen you with her. It cuts me. It cuts me so deep I'll never get over it. And I can't get rid of this picture either. It just comes. Uninvited. Kinda' like a little torture. And I blame you more for this little torture than I do for what you did." (127)

    Now May is talking about the psychological violence that Eddie and their relationship have committed against her. She's got some serious mind wounds, it seems, and they aren't healing any time soon.

    EDDIE: (makes a move toward her upstage) You been seeing somebody?

    MAY: (she moves quickly down left, crosses right) When was the last time we were together, Eddie? Huh? Can you remember that far back?

    EDDIE: Who've you been seeing? (He moves violently toward her.)

    MAY: Don't you touch me! Don't you even think about it.

    EDDIE: How long have you been seeing him! (136-140)

    Here, May seems physically afraid of Eddie, giving us the sense that physical violence might actually be part of their standard dynamic—yet another example of how toxic they are.

    "I'm gonna' nail his ass to the floor. Directly." (243)

    Eddie is threatening to physically assault May's date when he finally arrives. Apparently, he's a wee bit jealous.

    MAY: Somebody's sitting out there in that car looking straight at me.

    EDDIE: (stands fast) What're they doing?

    MAY: It's not a "they." It's a "she." (280-282)

    And as if this wasn't enough of a circus: Now the Countess has shown up. May and Eddie aren't he only one suffering from fits of jealousy—apparently the Countess is as well, and she's hanging out in the parking lot, stalking Eddie and May. This won't end well…

    "I'm not going in the bathroom! I'm not gonna' hide in my own house! I'm gonna' go out there. I'm gonna' go out there and tear her damn head off! I'm gonna' wipe her out!" (329).

    After the Countess shoots out Eddie's windows and drives away, another set of headlights appears. Thinking that the Countess is back, May is not super pleased, and her violent tendencies are back in full effect. She doesn't actually end up getting her hands on the Countess, however.

    MARTIN: Oh. I heard you screaming when I drove up and then all the lights went off. I thought somebody was trying to—

    MAY: It's okay. This is my uh—cousin. Eddie.

    MARTIN: (stares at EDDIE) Oh. I'm sorry. (333-335)

    Eddie and May ended up in a tussle when they thought the Countess had returned, and Martin finds them struggling when he (and not the Countess) gets inside. Because he thinks that Eddie is attacking May, Martin attacks Eddie. Now, he's apologizing, since he now knows that Eddie is May's guest.

    MARTIN: (as he goes with EDDIE) Uh—do you think she's okay in there?

    EDDIE: Sure she's okay. She's always okay. She just likes to take her time. Just to torture you. (454-455)

    In Eddie's view, May likes psychological warfare and mind games, which is what she's doing here by not coming out of the bathroom right away. Of course, they both seem to play a lot of games with each other.

  • Lying/Betrayal

    MAY: Was this before or after your little fling with the Countess?

    EDDIE: (he bangs his head into wall. Wall booms) There wasn't any fling with any Countess!

    MAY: You're a liar.

    EDDIE: I took her out to dinner once, okay?

    MAY: Ha! (She moves upstage-right wall.)

    EDDIE: Twice.

    MAY: You were bumping her on a regular basis! Don't gimme that shit.

    EDDIE: You can believe whatever you want.

    MAY: (she stops by bathroom door, opposite Eddie) I'll believe the truth! It's less confusing. (57-65)

    According to May, Eddie cheated on her repeatedly with someone named the Countess. Not only did Eddie betray her in that sense but now he doesn't even have the decency to cop to it. He's only very grudgingly admitting any kind of relationship, and the fact that he keeps revising the confession seems mighty fishy to us.

    THE OLD MAN: Take a look at that picture on the wall over there. (he points at wall stage right. There is no picture but EDDIE stares at the wall.) Ya' see that? Take a good look at that. Ya' see it?

    EDDIE: (staring at wall) Yeah.

    THE OLD MAN: Ya' know who that is?

    EDDIE: I'm not sure.

    THE OLD MAN: Barbara Mandrell. That's who that is. Barbara Mandrell. You heard a' her?

    EDDIE: Sure.

    THE OLD MAN: Well, would you believe me if I told ya' I was married to her?

    EDDIE: (pause) No.

    THE OLD MAN: Well, see, now that's the difference right there. That's realism. I am actually married to Barbara Mandrell in my mind. Can you understand that?

    EDDIE: Sure.

    THE OLD MAN: Good. I'm glad we have an understanding. (116-126)

    The Old Man is big into his own lies and fantasies, especially this idea that he's married to Barbara Mandrell. He expects other people to buy into these fantasies, too, which is pretty creepy.

    EDDIE: We've got a pact.

    MAY: Oh, God.

    EDDIE: We made a pact.

    MAY: There's nothing between us now! (183-186)

    Eddie seems to imply here that he and May made promises to each other that she's somehow breaking (or betraying) by not wanting to be with him. The moment echoes the Old Man's statements about having an "understanding" with Eddie, which he later calls a pact—and that pact is to live in some kind of delusional fairy land where saying/imagining you're married to Barbara Mandrell means you are married to Barbara Mandrell.

    "You're a traitor." (213)

    When May refuses to give in and welcome Eddie back with open arms, Eddie gets pretty annoyed. In fact, as you can see here, he thinks of it as a kind of betrayal of whatever they had going on before.

    MARTIN: Oh. I heard you screaming when I drove up and then all the lights went off. I thought somebody was trying to—

    MAY: It's okay. This is my uh—cousin. Eddie.

    MARTIN: (stares at EDDIE) Oh. I'm sorry.

    EDDIE: (grins at MARTIN) She's lying. (333-336)

    Eddie amuses himself once Martin gets there by presenting May as a big fat liar (despite the fact that he agreed to be on good behavior and lie about who he was—in fact, he suggested the cousin story). And of course, he's not wrong… she was lying, and she's definitely not interested in having the truth of their situation come out.

    MARTIN: What would we do here?

    EDDIE: Well, you could uh—tell each other stories.

    MARTIN: Stories?

    EDDIE: Yeah.

    MARTIN: I don't know any stories.

    EDDIE: Make 'em up.

    MARTIN: That'd be lying wouldn't it?

    EDDIE: No, no. Lying's when you believe it's true. If you already know it's a lie, then it's not lying. (418-425)

    Hmm, interesting logic there, Eddie. Apparently, in his view, you can only be called out for lying if you don't know you're lying. If you know that something is false, then apparently you're not lying. Does that mean that he thought May actually believed the story she was telling Martin, when Eddie called her a liar? That is, does Eddie think May has made up her own reality to protect herself?

    EDDIE: Askin' me if I'm her cousin. That's because you're tense you're askin' me that. You already know I'm not her cousin.

    MARTIN: Well, how would I know that?

    EDDIE: Do I look like her cousin.

    MARTIN: Well, she said that you were.

    EDDIE: (grins) She's lying. (445-449)

    Once again, Eddie emphasizes May's dishonesty to Martin—and once again, we should remember that Eddie was the one who came up with the cousin story.

    "Boy, you really are incredible! You're unbelievable! Martin comes over here. He doesn't know you from Adam and you start telling him a story like that. Are you crazy? None of it's true, Martin. He's had this weird, sick idea for years now and it's totally made up. He's nuts. I don't know where he got it from. He's completely nuts." (512)

    Of course, May actually isn't the most honest person—and judging from her father (a.k.a. the Old Man), it appears she gets the dishonesty… well, honestly. This is her last ditch attempt to paint Eddie as crazy to discredit the incest story.

    "I heard every word. I followed it very carefully. He's told me that story a thousand times and it always changes." (515)

    May is still trying to cast doubt on Eddie's story about their parents, suggesting that because it's not the truth, the details change from telling to telling. Of course, even if he is telling the truth, it's possible that he jazzes up the details a little bit for his own amusement/pleasure.

    EDDIE: (quietly to MARTIN, leaning toward him) Did you think that was a story, Martin? Did you think I made that whole thing up?

    MARTIN: No, I mean, at the time you were telling it, it seemed real.

    EDDIE: But now you're doubting it because she says it's a lie?

    MARTIN: Well—

    EDDIE: She suggests it's a lie to you and all of a sudden you change your mind? Is that it? You go from true to false like that, in a second? (520-524)

    Eddie calls out Martin for being so willing to just go along with whatever anyone is telling him his true in the moment. Hey, fair enough—if he's going to make sense out of these conflicting tales, Martin really has to use his own judgment and not just passively accept whatever he's being told that moment.

  • Jealousy

    MAY: You smell.

    EDDIE: I smell.

    MAY: You do.

    EDDIE: I been drivin' for days.

    MAY: Your fingers smell.

    EDDIE: Horses.

    MAY: Pussy. (5-11)

    May is immediately sure that Eddie has been fooling around with other women right up to the time he came looking for her and begging her to come back with him. Apparently, he hasn't been the most faithful bunny.

    MAY: (quietly, staying in corner) I'm gonna' kill her ya' know.

    EDDIE: Who?

    MAY: Who.

    EDDIE: Don't talk like that. (37-40)

    May's jealousy about the Countess is so intense that she threatens to harm her multiple times throughout the play.

    MAY: Was this before or after your little fling with the Countess?

    EDDIE: (he bangs his head into wall. Wall booms) There wasn't any fling with any Countess!

    MAY: You're a liar.

    EDDIE: I took her out to dinner once, okay?

    MAY: Ha! (She moves upstage-right wall.)

    EDDIE: Twice.

    MAY: You were bumping her on a regular basis! Don't gimme that shit.

    EDDIE: You can believe whatever you want.

    MAY: (she stops by bathroom door, opposite Eddie) I'll believe the truth! It's less confusing. (57-65)

    May and Eddie both accuse each other of being unfaithful throughout the play. Of course, the difference is that Eddie was actually cheating on May (a lot, apparently), whereas it seems May had only started seeing Martin after Eddie ran out on her this last time and she flew the coop, deciding not to wait on his return.

    "I don't understand my feelings. I really don't. I don't understand how I could hate you so much after so much time. How, no matter how much I'd like to not hate you, I hate you even more. It grows. I can't even see you now. All I see is a picture of you. You and her. I don't even know if the picture's real anymore. I don't even care. It's a made-up picture. It invades my head. The two of you. And this picture stings even more than if I'd actually seen you with her. It cuts me. It cuts me so deep I'll never get over it. And I can't get rid of this picture either. It just comes. Uninvited. Kinda' like a little torture. And I blame you more for this little torture than I do for what you did." (127)

    Apparently May is pretty torn up by jealousy regarding the Countess, unable to get the image of Eddie and this other woman out of her mind. It's so bad, in fact, that she likens it to torture—that's pretty intense.

    EDDIE: (makes a move toward her upstage) You been seeing somebody?

    MAY: (she moves quickly down left, crosses right) When was the last time we were together, Eddie? Huh? Can you remember that far back?

    EDDIE: Who've you been seeing? (He moves violently toward her.)

    MAY: Don't you touch me! Don't you even think about it.

    EDDIE: How long have you been seeing him! (136-140)

    Now that the tables are turned, and Eddie has to deal with the thought of May being with another man, he does not like it. Even though he was stepping out on May left and right (and didn't have the decency to admit it outright), the idea that May moved on after Eddie abandoned her brings him close to violence here.

    MAY: It'll be the same thing over and over again. We'll be together for a little while and then you'll be gone.

    EDDIE: I'll be gone.

    MAY: You will. You know it. You just want me now because I'm seeing somebody else. As soon as that's over, you'll be gone again.

    EDDIE: I didn't come here because you were seein' somebody else! I don't give a damn who you're seeing! You'll never replace me and you know it! (206-209)

    May thinks that the intensity of Eddie's current interest in her is all about jealousy—without the jealousy, in her view, he'd be hitting the road. We're not sure she's right about that, but he definitely is jealous.

    "You're just like a little kid, you know that? A jealous little snot-nosed kid." (240)

    May says this to Eddie after he's asked May if she'd "balled" Martin yet (238). For someone who claims he's not jealous, he sure asks a lot of personal questions.

    "It's probably not ever gonna' be "him." What're you tryin' to make me jealous for? I know you've been livin' alone.' (273)

    At this point, Eddie has decided that May was lying about her gentleman caller and mocks her. He pretends that she was only trying to make him jealous—but we can tell she had definitely been succeeding.

    "Who is that? Did you bring her with you! You sonofabitch!" (292).

    May is super annoyed when the Countess shows up in her black Mercedes and thinks that Eddie brought her along. However, it seems that the Countess showed up in the midst of her own jealous rage, and she shoots out Eddie's car windshield after spotting May in the doorway of the motel room.

    "I'm not going in the bathroom! I'm not gonna' hide in my own house! I'm gonna' go out there. I'm gonna' go out there and tear her damn head off! I'm gonna' wipe her out!" (329)

    May's jealousy about the Countess once again comes out as violent threats here. Luckily for the Countess, it's actually Martin who's outside this time. Now would be a good time to note that no Countesses were harmed in the making of this play (as far as we know, anyway).

  • Drugs and Alcohol

    EDDIE: You want some a' this?

    MAY: I'm on the wagon.

    EDDIE: Good. 'Bout time. (149-151)

    May starts out the play on the wagon—from alcohol, and from Eddie. Of course, she falls off the wagon in both respects.

    "Decided to jump off the wagon, huh?" (216)

    It doesn't take May too very long to get back to a couple of bad habits: drinking and engaging in a nasty, codependent, incestuous relationship with Eddie.

    MAY: We've been drinking a little bit, Martin.

    EDDIE: She hasn't touched a drop. (354-355)

    Apparently as part of his ongoing attempt to paint May as a liar, Eddie actually denies that she's been drinking, even though she's more than willing to cop to having fallen off the wagon.

    "Could you hand me that bottle, please?" (384)

    Eddie is clearly a big fan of "the bottle" in this play, and here he and his bestie for the night (i.e., tequila) are about to connect again.

    "No, no. Don't go, Martin. Don't go. You'll just get all blue and lonely out there in the black night. I know. I've wandered around likely like that myself. Awful. Just eats away at ya'. (he puts his arm around MARTIN's shoulder and leads him to table down left) Now just come on over here and sit down and we'll have us a little drink. Okay?" (453)

    When he's not trying to show Martin how masculine he is or paint May as a pathological liar, he tries to get Martin to pal around and even drink with him. Weird . . .

  • Family

    "Amazing thing is, neither one a' you look a bit familiar to me. Can't figure that one out. I don't recognize myself in either one a' you. Never did. 'Course your mothers both put their stamp on ya'. That's plan to see. But my whole side a' the issue is absent, in my opinion. Totally unrecognizable. You could be anybody's. Probably are. I can't even remember the original circumstances. Been so long. Probably a lot a' things I forgot. Good thing I got out when I did though. Best thing I ever did." (321)

    This is basically the first moment in which we realize that the Old Man is both May and Eddie's father … which means they're siblings as well as lovers.

    MARTIN: Oh. I heard you screaming when I drove up and then all the lights went off. I thought somebody was trying to—

    MAY: It's okay. This is my uh—cousin. Eddie.

    MARTIN: (stares at EDDIE) Oh. I'm sorry.

    EDDIE: (grins at MARTIN) She's lying. (333-336)

    Given that there's already a ton of family weirdness and confusion, it's kind of funny that May and Eddie add yet another potential family role into the mix when they lie and say Eddie was May's cousin. Really, how would saying "half brother" have been any worse? Perhaps because they know any visible sexual tension between the two of them would seem a shade more permissible between cousins than between siblings, if Martin were to pick up on that kind of thing.

    EDDIE: You should thank the entire Mexican nation in fact. We owe everything to Mexico down here. Do you realize that? You probably don't realize that, do ya'. We're sittin' on Mexican ground right now. It's only by chance that you and me aren't Mexican ourselves. What kinda' people do you hail from anyway, Martin?

    MARTIN: Me? Uh—I don't know. I was adopted.

    EDDIE: Oh. You must have a lotta' problems then, huh?

    MARTIN: Well—not really, no.

    EDDIE: No? You orphans are supposed to steal a lot aren't ya'? Shoplifting and stuff. You're also supposed to be the main group responsible for bumping off our Presidents. (363-367)

    This moment is dripping—nay, soaked—with irony. Yes, you read that right: Eddie is suggesting that Martin must have a screwed up family life and "a lotta' problems" because he's adopted.

    "You're uh—May's cousin, huh?" (442).

    Martin clearly doesn't believe the story about May and Eddie being cousins. Gee, we wonder why?

    EDDIE: Askin' me if I'm her cousin. That's because you're tense you're askin' me that. You already know I'm not her cousin.

    MARTIN: Well, how would I know that?

    EDDIE: Do I look like her cousin.

    MARTIN: Well, she said that you were.

    EDDIE: (grins) She's lying. (445-449)

    Again, Eddie and Martin get hung up on the truth of Eddie and May's family relationship, instead of focusing on the fact that their relationship is clearly just creepy and unhealthy, regardless of which branch in the family tree they're dangling off of.

    MARTIN: And you're not really cousins?

    EDDIE: No. Not really. No.

    MARTIN: You're—her husband?

    EDDIE: No. She's my sister. (he and THE OLD MAN look at each other, then he turns back to MARTIN) My half-sister. (465-468)

    In this super creepy moment, Martin goes straight from thinking Eddie is May's cousin to thinking he's her husband. See, we told you he could see something a little bit deeper underneath this supposed "cousin" relationship.

    MARTIN: Oh. So—you knew each other even before high school then, huh?

    EDDIE: No, see, I never even knew I had a sister until it was too late.

    MARTIN: How do you mean?

    EDDIE: Well, by the time I found out we'd already—you know—fooled around. (471-474)

    Now we're getting the backstory on how these two half-siblings ended up in a sexytimes (read: incestuous) relationship with each other. It seems that they had already developed an affection for each other before the Old Man's bigamy-loving ways were discovered.

    MARTIN: And you fooled around in high school together?

    EDDIE: Yeah. Sure. Everybody fooled around in high school. Didn't you?

    MARTIN: No. I never did.

    EDDIE: Maybe you should have, Martin.

    MARTIN: Well, not with my sister.

    EDDIE: No, I wouldn't recommend that. (486-491)

    Even though he's hardly the poster child for a healthy sex life, Eddie is basically looking down on Martin for not "fooling around" in high school. Martin, for his part, doesn't really mind having missed out on the fooling around, since it meant he avoided sleeping with his sister.

    MARTIN: Well, how come you didn't know each other until high school then?

    EDDIE: He had two separate lives. That's how come. Two completely separate lives. He'd live with me and my mother for a while and then he'd disappear and go live with her and her mother for a while.

    THE OLD MAN: Now don't be too hard on me, boy. It can happen to the best of us. (495-497)

    Now Eddie is getting into the dirty (ish) details about how Eddie and May managed to meet and get interested in each other before realizing they were siblings—that is, how their father was able to deceive everyone long enough for that to happen.

    "It was your shotgun. Same one we used to duck-hunt with. Browning. She never fired a gun before in her life. That was her first time." (558)

    This is Eddie explaining what happened to his mother after the Old Man abandoned both of his families for good and disappeared. It wasn't pretty—apparently his mother killed herself.