Philomene Long and Stuart Z Perkoff

Stuart Perkoff / Philomene Long - Death Bed Conversation

Broctman's Memorial Hospital
June 24, 1974 - Stuart Z. Perkoff & Philomene Long

Philomene: (strokes Stuart's forehead, brushing his eyebrows)

Stuart: They're worth more after the death.

Philomene: What is the pain teaching you?

Stuart: To obey. What do you think happens at the dying?

Philomene: It looks like light. It feels like love.

Stuart: What do you think happens after they dying?

Philomene: It is all right, no matter what the condition.

Stuart asks Philomene to bring a tape recorder
to the hospital saying he "had a poem in him."

The following is a transcript of his final hour,
just before he would succumb to cancer - June 25, 1974

Stuart: (raising clenched fist)

Don't let the Lady own you.
I don't like it.
I don't like it.

Philomene: What's that, honey?

Stuart: The Lady.

Philomene: You don't like her?

Stuart: Her owning me.

Philomene: Oh. You don't like her owning you.

Stuart: Yeah. I hate it.

Philomene: But she.. she wrote poems through you, Stuart.

Stuart: Uh huh.

Philomene: And that was very beautiful.

Stuart: Yeah, oh yeah.

Philomene: That is what you lived for.

Stuart: Uh yeah. Oh yeah.

Philomene: Do you think she owns me too?

Stuart: Yeah.

Philomene: Same Lady?

Stuart: (laughs) Yeah. ....yeah....oh....I feel.
I feel horrible
again.. .oh.. .oh.. .water.

(Nurse gives treatment with suctioning machine.)
Stuart cries "Oh, oh..don't hurt me..Ow..ow..ow.."
Nurse leaves.

Philomene: What honey? Ice chips?

Stuart: Yeah.

Philomene:, sweetheart..

Stuart: Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh..

Philomene: I love you baby...I know..I know..

Stuart: Uh, uh, uh..

Philomene: It's going to be all right.

Stuart: Uh huh.

Philomene: It's going to be all right.

Stuart: (sound of breathing)

Philomene: It's going to be all right.
Want something..OK, here it is.
(Nurse brings in shot for pain.)>

Stuart: Jesus Christ is at that other place? ...see it? ....the name? ...

Philomene: Yes.

Stuart: ...more ice..they..God..I eat my..oh.. (groans) am I the lose this horrible world..
(Nurse enters.)

The sound of suctioning machine.

Stuart: I am very Jewish.

Philomene: Aye! You are. (to nurse) He said, I am very Jewish!

Stuart: ......hurry up....
(Nurse has injection.)

Philomene: They are going to give you an injection.
You already had one at 12:30. Do you want it?

Stuart: Uh huh. Uh...... (Nurse leaves).

Philomene: What did you say, Stuart?

Stuart: I could have..
Could you give me more ice chips? ...I could have
...Agony ..You and now ..The whole... (laughing) The Lady.
I saw The Lady say ..Tell, tell ..Tell

Philomene:'s OK.

Stuart: Uh huh. Yeah. (indecipherable)
Oh.. it's all right, no matter what the condition.

(The sound of breathing.)

> Philomene: Stuart?

Stuart: ...... (face changes) .... (breathing changes)

Philomene: Do you see me Stuart? ...Do you see me?

Stuart: Uh. Yes. I see you. I.. I love you..
See me ....easier...Here I am.. yeah... Yeah

(Breathing slows. The sound -)
(Philomene strokes his forehead.
Breathing slower, changes.)

Philomene: Stuart?

Stuart: (Breathing slower)

Philomene: Stuart?

Stuart: (Breathing becomes very slow...much slower.
Changes .. slower .. Stops 30 seconds silence..)

Stuart: A loud cry. (Raises his right arm, slams down fist,
opens hand, and closes his own eyes. Dies.)

Philomene: (The sound: Philomene kisses his forehead.)

© Philomene Long Thomas
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