I played A Young Collector in A Streetcar Named Desire forty-five years ago. When I did, I stepped into a complete world. In this short scene, I have come to collect for the newspaper, and Blanche Dubois, alone in the house, has not wanted me to leave. She's used several slim excuses for me to stay, but now, finally, I am about to leave. I think.
Well, I'd better be going--
Blanche [stopping him]:
[He turns. She takes a large gossamer scarf from the trunk and drapes it about
[The young man clears his throat and looks yearningly at the door.]
Young man! Young man! Young, young,
young man! Has anyone ever told you that you look like a young Prince out of the
[The Young Man laughs uncomfortably and stands like a bashful kid. Blanche speaks
softly to him.]
Well, you do, honey lamb! Come here. I want to kiss you, just once, softly and
sweetly on your mouth!
[Without waiting for him to accept, she crosses to
him and presses her lips to his.]
Now run along, now, quickly! It would be nice to keep you,
but I’ve got to be good--and keep my hands off children.
[He stares as her for a moment. She opens the door for him and blows a kiss at him as
he goes down the steps with a dazed look.]
kissed me. This older woman who was everything that was forbidden to
me. Those lips! Now, in a few minutes, everything in my life was
changed. I didn't want to leave. I wanted to stay and I wanted her to
kiss me again. I wanted to touch her dress and her face and I wanted
her to teach me everything she knew and to talk to me while she did
about how I looked like a young Prince. I was a Prince. I was not a
Collector. Her kiss remained on my lips. I walked slowly away and then
off the stage. But that mean nothing, the exit. Tennessee Williams'
world stayed with me. I walked within it for for hours and hours. (And still do, in a way.) Blanche
DuBois had commandeered my heart. I had to see her again. And, as luck
would have it, I would, the next night, at eight o'clock.