At this point in the play, Jim is extremely drunk. He and Josie are
Whore? Who said you were a whore? But I warned you, didn’t I, if you kept on-- why did you have to act like one, asking me to come to bed? That wasn’t what I came here for. And you promised tonight would be different. Why the hell did you promise that, if all you wanted was what all the others want, if that’s all love means to you?
Oh Christ, I don’t mean that, Josie. I know how you feel, and if I could give you happiness--but it wouldn’t work. You don’t know me. I’d poison it for myself and for you. I’ve poisoned it already, haven’t I, but it would be a million times worse after--no matter how hard I tried to not to, I’d make it like all the other nights--for you, too. You’d lie awake and watch the dawn come with disgust, with nausea retching your memory, and the wine of passion poets blab about, a sour aftertaste in your mouth of Dago red ink! You’d hate me and yourself--not for a day or two but for the rest of your life. Believe me, kid, when I poison them, they stay poisoned!
O’Neill, Eugene. A Moon for the Misbegotten, Yale University Press, 1945, pp. 118-119.
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