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Fool For Love

Sam Shepard

Plot Overview

Context

Character List

May, Eddie, and the Old Man are on stage when the lights come up—the Old Man separated physically from May and Eddie either on a different platform or another dividing convention of the set. In a low-budget motel room on the outskirts of the Mojave Desert where May has been living, Eddie and May sit without speaking to each other—she with her head between her knees over the side of the bed, and he in a chair. The only sound is that of Eddie fidgeting with his glove and bucking strap. The Old Man sits in rocking chair next to a bottle of whiskey. Though he talks to the actors, the Old Man only exists in May and Eddie's minds.

Eddie tries to get May to speak to him. He reassures May that he is staying with her and will not leave her again. May hold on to Eddie's legs desperately but will not speak. May is torn between wanting Eddie to leave and to stay. She accuses him of having an affair with a rich woman. Eddie denies it and asks for sympathy from May by telling her how far he drove to see her and that he missed her desperately. May is slightly moved by his feelings but then remembers his affair with the woman she calls "the Countess." May accuses Eddie of sleeping with the Countess regularly. Eddie presents to May a dream that they will move back into the trailer together to Wyoming. Just as they are about to kiss, May knees Eddie in the groin.

May exits triumphantly to the bathroom as Eddie suffers and talks to the Old Man who has watched the play until this point. He asks Eddie if he is basically a "fantasist" or someone who makes things up. May returns with a change of clothing. Eddie offers to leave again and this time May who has transformed from her dowdy clothes into a sexy red dress and black heels tells Eddie that he better leave because she has a date. Eddie gets angry at May and goes outside. While Eddie is gone, May runs and grabs her suitcase from under the bed. Eddie reenters with a bottle of tequila and a shotgun in his hands. He offers May some tequila but she declines saying she's "on the wagon." Eddie and May discuss May's upcoming date.

The Old Man speaks to May and tells her a story about a time when he, May's mother, and baby May were driving in southern Utah and May would not stop crying. May hears Eddie coming back, leaps up, dropping her grief and takes a drink. Eddie returns and proposes that May introduce Eddie to her date as her cousin. May reports that she sees a Mercedes with a woman in it, and they hear the Mercedes drive away. Eddie sees that the Countess has blown out the windshield of his truck. As May and Eddie face off with one another, the Old Man talks to the audience about how neither May nor Eddie resembles him.

Another car arrives, this time with May's date, Martin. He thinks May is being attacked by Eddie and after a short scuffle, throws Eddie to the ground. May breaks up the fight and introduces Eddie as her cousin. Eddie and Martin talk, and Eddie reveals that he is May's half-sister and that they "fooled around" in high school before they knew of their blood relationship. Eddie tells Martin about the day he found about his father's secret life with May's mother. The Old Man occasionally contributes his point of view.

May is angry because Eddie told his side of the story to Martin. May tells the story from her point of view and the way it affected her mother and her youth with her mother who was always desperately waiting for the Old Man to come back. May ends her story by saying that when her mother tried to stop Eddie and May from having a sexual relationship, Eddie's mother shot herself in the head.

The Old Man is surprised and disturbed by this revelation, claiming no one ever told him that part of the story. Eddie adds that his mother killed herself with the Old Man's shotgun. There is an explosion and Martin looks out the window and tells them that Eddie's horse trailer is ablaze and the horses have been let loose.

Eddie says he is going out to see the damage that the Countess has done and promises to be right back. May packs her suitcase and tells Martin that Eddie is gone. May leaves with her packed suitcase and Martin stares out the window as the fire continues to blaze outside.

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