May appears torn physically and emotionally with her feelings for Eddie. May physicalizes her mixed emotions of longing and repulsion for Eddie. She grabs Eddie and will not let go. When Eddie asks her to let go, she does so and repeatedly hits him in the chest. It is as if her need for him, represented in her clinging to his limbs is then transformed into hatred for him, represented in her attacking him. This mix of feelings is the basic premise of the play. The play's thesis seems to be about strong emotions and the struggle to fight succumbing to emotions that lead to events one knows one should avoid. In other words, the characters in Fool For Love do things and feel things they know they should avoid but do not.
Eddie denies his affair with a rich woman, "the Countess." May does not believe his side of the story that changes as May interrogates him. Eddie first admits to taking the Countess out to dinner once, then twice. May does not believe in the sincerity of Eddie's return to her or in the denial about his affair with the Countess. She keeps her guard up and promises to get him when he least expects it. She proves true to her word when May knees Eddie in the groin after they share a kiss. This surprising move shows Eddie that May is not easily seduced. She has been through Eddie's cycle of abandonment and return many times and has decided to be resolute about staying apart from him and their relationship together. Her kiss is perhaps part desire, part entrapment, but the end result of her attack on Eddie shows how strong she is now independent from Eddie. Eddie's presentation to May of a life together in the country, living in their trailer, disgusts May. The dream of living there with chickens and horses is not a new story. May has heard it before and she does not hear anything romantic in the idea. Eddie presents a picture of a stable, self-sustaining existence that May knows all to well is too good to be true because Eddie is incapable of staying in one place for long. He shares traits with the stereotypical rambling man, always moving from town to town, woman to woman. Baffled by the kneed groin and the rejection of his "country dreamlife," Eddie is left alone with the Old Man while May retreats to the bathroom. The Old Man speaks for the first time, questioning Eddie's role in life as a fantasist. He seems to be asking Eddie and Sam Shepard simultaneously about their roles as storytellers. The Old Man's explanation to Eddie of his imaginary picture of Barbara Mandrell further confuses the boundaries of reality and illusion in the play. He calls the imaginary image realism because he sees it in his mind. As playgoers, we the audience to Fool For Love continue to travel into the depths of Eddie and May's minds and the bending rules of reality in their contradictory story of mixed emotions and confused desires.