martha dobie

In Which Martha Dobie Sorts Out Her Feelings
  • Karen: But this isn't a noose, and they say we're done. Other people haven't been destroyed by it.
  • Martha: They're the people who believe in it. Who want it. Who've chosen it for themselves. We aren't like that. That must be very different. We don't love each other. We've been close to each other. Of course, I've loved you like a friend, the way thousands of women feel about other women. You were a dear friend who was loved. That's all. Certainly there can be nothing wrong with that. That's perfectly natural! I should be fond of you. Why we've known each other since we were seventeen, and I always thought--
  • Karen: Why are you saying all of this?
  • Martha: ...Because I do love you.
  • Karen: Of course, I love you too.
  • Martha: But maybe I love you the way they said I love you. I don’t know… LISTEN TO ME! I have loved you the way they said! There’s always been something wrong. Always, just as long as I can remember. But I never knew what it was until all this happened.
  • Karen: Stop it, Martha! Stop this crazy talk!
  • Martha: You're afraid of hearing it. But I'm more afraid than you.
  • Karen: I won't listen to you!
  • Martha: No! You've got to know! I have to tell you! I can't keep it to myself any longer. I'm guilty!
  • Karen: You're guilty of nothing!
  • Martha: I’ve been telling myself that since the night I heard the child say it. I lie in bed night after night praying that it isn’t true. But I know about it now. It’s there. I don’t know how. I don’t know why. But I did love you. I do love you! I resented your plans to marry. Maybe because I wanted you. Maybe I wanted you all these years. I couldn’t call it by name before, but maybe it’s been there since I first knew you.
  • Karen: But it's not the truth! Not a word of it is true! We've never thought of each other that way.
  • Martha: No. Of course you didn't. Well who's to say I didn't? I never felt that way about anybody but you. I've never loved a man. I never knew why before now. Maybe it's that.
  • Karen: Martha, you're tired and worn out.
  • Martha: It’s funny. It’s all mixed up! There’s something in you, and you don’t know anything about it because you don’t know it’s there. And then suddenly, one night a little girl gets bored and tells a lie. And there for the first time, you see it. And you say to yourself, ‘Did she see it? Did she sense it?
  • Karen: But you know it could have been any lie she was looking for! Anything!
  • Martha: But why this lie? She found the lie with the ouce of truth. Don’t you see? I can’t stand to have you touch me! I can’t stand to have you look at me! Oh, it’s all my fault! I’ve ruined your life, and I’ve ruined my own! I swear I didn’t know it! I didn’t mean it! Oh, I feel so damn sick and dirty I can’t stand it anymore!

There’s something in you and you never knew what it was because you never knew it was there. And then one day a little girl gets bored and tells a lie. And for the first time it hits you. You hear it. Then you think to yourself did she see it? Did she sense it?-Martha Dobie. The Children’s Hour.