Mary Tyrone – Long days Journey Into Night

Mary explains her use of the morphine to Cathleen, the servant.

MARY. I have to take it because there is no other that can stop the pain – all of the pain – I mean, in my hands. Poor hands! You’d never believe it, but they were once one of my god points, along with my hair and eyes, and I had a fine figure too. They were a musician’s hands. I used to love the piano. I worked so hard at my music in the Convent – if you can call it work when you do something you love. Mother Elizabeth and my music teacher both said I had more talent than any student they remembered. My father paid for special lessons. He spoiled me. He would do anything I asked. He would have sent me to Europe to study after I graduated from the Convent.I might have gone – if I hadn’t fallen in love with Mr. Tyrone. or I might have become a nun. I had two dreams. To be a nun, that was the more beautiful one. To become a concert pianist, that was the other. I haven’t touched a piano in so many years. I couldn’t play with such crippled fingers, even if I wanted to. For a time after my marriage I tried to keep up my music. But it was hopeless. One-night stands, cheap hotels, dirty trains, leaving children, never having a home – See, Cathleen, how ugly they are! So maimed and crippled! You would think they’d been trough some horrible accident! So they have, come to think of it. I won’t look at them. They’re worse than the foghorn for reminding me – But even they can’t touch me now. They’re far away. I see them, but the pain has gone.

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