Tennessee Williams: The Best From Women

Tennessee Williams, captured by Michael Childers, 1970s.

So here we are--here I am--perpetually seeking the amatory affections and affirmations of men, while my heart, the very core of my soul, responds to, needs, reaches out for female company, friendship, communion.

You know, I have never been betrayed by a woman. I can see now that my mother lied to protect both of us. Sins of creativity and escape, I suppose. Her anger was something she believed might construct a cocoon that could protect both of us. But betrayal? Never.

Now the men in my life--the men in the lives of all inverted men--will betray you and look away if your jacket is the wrong shade in the wrong material. They'll cast you aside if a single curd of fat graces your body, a wrinkle creases the fabric from which they hope to make a shawl of prayer and possession.

Perhaps because I want the best from women--soul and love and warmth and friendship and loyalty--it is what I receive. The life and desirability of the physical attributes are placed on our bodies with clocks ticking and gravity pulling with a mighty vengeance. But the heart and the soul--if surrounded by women--grow, swell, reach out perpetually for surcease and sharing.

A desirable man is the one who subsumes what he has been given by women, witnessed of women.

And here I am--here we are--looking at the legs and the smiles of those who don't care what we think or write or can do with a bundle of words and a couple of women. And when they reject and hurts us, we run back to the circle of women who surround us, prop us up, lead us back to the pale judgment, the blank page, the surface to which we apply our souls.

This is called irony, honey. Look into it.

© 2013 James Grissom


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