Summer and Smoke

It’s only been three or four times that

John Buchanan, Jr.

Summer and Smoke

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Age Range
Act 2, Scene 11
Time & Place
John's home office
Time Period
Show Type

Monologue Context

John and Alma have grown up living next door to one another. John has always been

Monologue Text

It’s only been three or four times that we’ve—come face to face. And each of those times—we seemed to be trying to find something in each other without knowing what it was that we wanted to find. It wasn’t a body hunger although—I acted as if I thought it might be the night I wasn’t a gentleman—at the Casino—it wasn’t the physical you that I really wanted! You didn’t have that to give to me. You had something else to give. You couldn’t name it and I couldn’t recognize it. I thought it was just a Puritanical ice that glittered like a flame. But now I believe it was flame, mistaken for ice. I still don’t understand it, but I know it was there, just as I know that your eyes and your voice are the two most beautiful things I’ve ever known—and also the warmest, although they don’t seem to be set in your body at all…

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