Tuesday, December 16th, 2008...2:44 am

philomene long | stuart perkoff’s last words

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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.

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…here, 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 one…my feet…as…I lose this horrible world…

Nurse enters. The sound of suctioning machine. Breathing.

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 …love.
Philomene: Love…Love…it’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 close his own eyes. Dies.)
Philomene: (The sound: Philomene kisses his forehead.)

1 Comment

  • I just found out that Stuart was my father and my mother was Janna Perkoff.I am 53 years old and my mind is blown apart about this.

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