Tennessee On Marilyn And Time

Marilyn Monroe working out. By Philippe Halsman, 1952.

Tennessee Williams
Interview with James Grissom
New Orleans
From Artistic Suicide

It was obvious that she [Marilyn Monroe] did not see time as an ally or a friendly guest. This we shared. However, our dread was based on different foundations of fear: Marilyn had spent her life operating on a clock that always ran out; odds were never in her favor, until puberty, cosmetics, and changes to the moral index of the country suddenly thrust her into the limelight and into favor. She never trusted her good fortune: Someone was always going to pull the cloth from her well-stocked table; the other shoe would not only drop but beat her about the head; age and decay would be home presently.

I feared talent and energy running out, but Marilyn feared time--the very essential ingredient known as time--was running out.

I would say that she should have understood that time can be a friend, an asset, a virtue, but I myself don't believe this: I fear time always.

We do what we can with time. And pray. And wait.

©2013 James Grissom


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