A View From the Bridge - Arthur Miller - Catherine's diary

A View From the Bridge - Arthur Miller - Catherine's diary

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A view from the bridge- Arthur miller Catherine's diary

September 18th 1937

Y' know I was sitting down today and Eddie comes in from work, looked
really tired. I had just dressed in my new dress that I bought for my
new job and I had done my hair in a different style, it looked really
good. I asked him what he thought of it, and do you know what he said?
He said the skirt was too short and the heels were too attention
drawing. He even told me I'm walking wavy and that he doesn't like the
way I have been attracting looks from the people in the shops, I told
him they look at every girl that way but this only seemed to infuriate
him more. What's up with him these days, he doesn't let me do
anything. When's he going to realize that I'm not a little kid
anymore? I just want him to approve of me and it makes me so upset
when he doesn't, why cant he be like my friends' fathers and let me
have more freedom? I'm not saying I don't appreciate him and how hard
he's worked and that he took me in and all but sometimes he's just
makes me so annoyed. Anyway, he told me that Beatrice's cousins should
be arriving today, I'm so excited, and I can't wait. I wonder what
they're going to be like. Marco and Rodolfo are their names but that's
all I know about them apart from that Marco has kids.

You'll never guess what Eddie and Beatrice were arguing about today
just after Eddie told Beatrice about her cousins. They argued about
where the Beatrice's cousins were going to sleep. I mean can't B just
stop moaning at Eddie, he's a good man and she just doesn't appreciate
him but they settled it and they made up.

I told Eddie about the job, he was so not pleased. He wants me to
finish the stenography class. I want to work, I'll be getting paid $50
per week, think of what I could do with that money. It's such a
privilege to be chosen out of the whole class, they said I was the
best that they saw there so I could still get my certificate at the
end of the year, plus there's nothing better than putting what I've
learnt into practice. I want Eddie to be happy for me, can't he see
that it's impossible to turn the job down, I just can't, for goodness
sakes . It's not like I'm going to be working in a bad company, it's

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in Nostrand avenue. I'm glad I have Beatrice to support me, sometimes
Eddie can be a little bit too stifling, like he wants me to stay a
baby forever.

Well anyway, although I could tell he wasn't happy about it he said I
could take the job. He still warned me not to be too trusting like
Beatrice, honestly, he worries too much.

The smell of coffee today was absolutely divine, I love how whenever
they unload the coffee ships the whole neighbourhood smells of coffee.
Eddie says he's going to bust a bag for us tomorrow and bring some
coffee home with him. He hasn't done that for absolutely ages!

I just cant wait till they come. I keep thinking about it. I wonder
what they will look like. Eddie was sure to tell us not to say
anything about them, in fact he told us were not even allowed to
mention them to anyone, it sort of scared me a bit. I mean he got so
intense about it that we are under oath not to say anything. As if to
say I would.

He told me about this boy called Vinny Bolzano who snitched his own
uncle to the immigration. How disgusting is that? His own family. When
they found out dragged him down the stairs and spat on him in the
street. How shameful, he deserves it. I can't believe that someone
would grass their own family to the immigration. What was the kid
thinking?

Oh my gosh, they're here. Marco and Rodolfo. Marco is kind of silent,
big, muscled and has a pleasant manner, he has children and a wife
back in Italy, and he's going to send money back to them when he earns
it. Isn't that so devoted?

Rodolfo well he's different. Different good, not different bad. He has
blond hair, I mean have you ever heard of a Sicilian with blonde hair?
His face is so smooth and at that stage between young and chiseled. He
is beautiful. Handsome, absolutely gorgeous. My heart skipped a beat
when I saw him come through the door. I don't know why but Eddie
doesn't seem to like him as much as he does Marco. But boy is he nice.

The difference in their appearances is unbelievable. If I walked past
them in the street, I would never guess that they were even related
never mind brothers. When I asked them about it they didn't really
give me a solid reason, just said that a thousand years ago the Danes
invaded Sicily, so I figure that it must be a throwback.

Apparently the place that they used to live in was really small, it
didn't even have a pier! America must be really strange to them. I
couldn't imagine me living in a place that small. To get some money,
they used to do odd jobs; working in the fields, masonry work, they
even pushed a taxi up the hill to the hotel because their horses are
very weak. It's so completely different from Brooklyn. Its just not
fair that people have to live in such poverty, I mean I know we aren't
exactly living in the Plaza but we have food on our table and a warm
roof over our heads.

Rodolfo wants to stay in America for good. I sure hope he does; I
really like him. He has such wonderful dreams and when he describes
them he paints a picture so vivid you cant help but seeing it. Did you
know that he sings? Don't suppose you did heh! What a voice, smooth,
sensual although it's quite a high tenor. He sang 'Paper Dolls' just
for me, it was like at that moment, we were the only people in the
world. Eddie stopped him halfway, said he didn't want people getting
suspicious; y'know one minute there's no singing in the apartment next
there is. I personally think that it was a pretty flimsy excuse but I
suppose Eddies just trying to help them. But he's acting really funny,
he deliberately embarrassed me today in front of them. I was wearing
my shoes with the heels on, for the occasion and all. He just goes 'Do
me favour will you. Go ahead' I didn't know where to look, who does he
think he is, talking to me like I was 9 or 10 years old and even then
I would have been offended. That just made me so incredibly angry. But
every cloud has a silver lining. When I came back from changing the
shoes, Rodolfo called me beautiful. Oh diary I'm sure that I'm falling
in love with him, its like a warm feeling at the pit of my stomach,
actually, its indescribable, there are no words which could even come
close to it. And I'm certain that he likes me as well. This is so
perfect.

November 26th 1937

Sorry that I haven't written in you for a while but I've just been
having such a great time, it's fantastic. It's the Love affair of the
century. Well maybe that's a bit melodramatic but that's how I feel.
No one else can be as happy as I am at the moment, I'm sure of it.
Rodolfo and I have been going everywhere together. We love going to
the pictures. I've been seeing films that I've never been able to see
before. We walk home in the evenings hand in hand watching the night
steal over the city. Everything is beautiful, life is beautiful. He
consumes me, taking up my every waking thought. I haven't even had the
time to practice the stenography but that doesn't matter I'll do just
fine in the exam. Because both me and Rodolfo work we have money to do
what we want, but we always make time to be together. So it worked out
for the best that I got the job because Eddie and Beatrice don't have
enough money for me to spend on such frivolities.

While I'm on the subject of Eddie he has been acting so weirdly
lately. Its like he's jealous or something, I hope he isn't. When we
got back from Paramount today he was outside with two of his friends.
I can never remember their names. They were just leaving and Eddie
looked like he was just about to go inside. I tried to make
conversation with him. Make him feel included and all that but it
didn't quite work and suddenly he turned into the Spanish inquisition.
Asking me whether I went to Brooklyn paramount or New York when he
full well knew that I had told him I wasn't going to New York. Then he
had the cheek to turn to Rodolfo and say ' I just don't want her
hanging around Times Square see?' As if I wasn't there or something.
He was so rude to Rodolfo. He cut him off midsentence and sent him
inside. I just don't understand, Rodolfo really tries to like Eddie
but Eddie wont talk to him always answering in stilted sentences. He
seems to think I'm abandoning him. He said so just now. I felt so
awkward . Why is he acting like this. He knows that Rodolfo is special
to me and I told him so. He just has something against him for no
reason at all. Tried coming to me with some petty little excuse. What
was it again, oh yes 'He don't respect you' pshah! What a load of
utter rubbish, Rodolfo is the most courteous gentleman that I have
ever met. When he saw that on didn't wash with me he started going on
about how Rodolfo only wants to marry me so that he can become an
American citizen. You have absolutely no idea how much that one hurt;
it stung, worse than a bee sting, and coming from the man who I
considered to be like a father to me. I know Rodolfo loves me, I know
it. He doesn't care about any stupid papers. I couldn't take listening
to it one second longer and ran inside. B must have guessed what was
going on and came to comfort me. She opened my eyes a bit, made me
realize that he can't control me anymore. I'm old enough to do what I
feel is right; Eddie cant live my life for me. I think that she's
right, its time to say goodbye.

November 31st 1937

Today, we almost managed a normal conversation between the five of us
in the living room, but don't get too hopeful, I said almost. Yep, you
guessed it , Eddie stuck his oar in and messed up the conversation. At
the moment, that guy is really getting on my last nerve, know what I'm
saying? First he tried to say that they paint oranges orange! Have you
ever heard such twaddle? No, nor have I. I reckon he was just trying
to wind Marco up. He couldn't take it when he was told that he was
wrong.

Marco has been sending the money back to his wife. He says that she is
lonely. I think that it's so beautiful that the men come over here to
work for the family and the wives wait for them. It shows utter
devotion. Eddie cracked some joke about the men going back to Italy
and finding a couple more children than when they left. All Rodolfo
said was 'Its more strict in our town. Its not so free' which was a
pretty dumb thing to say to Eddie. Of course Eddie rose to the
(unintentional) bait. Started going on about how it aint so free over
here either, you got to have respect for girls, yada yada yada, blah,
blah, blah. He said that he's my only uncle not my father, well then
maybe its time that he remembered it. Then he starts going on about
how Rodolfo is here to work and that's what he should do. He is so
unbelievably rude.

Marco is getting quite annoyed at this constant sniping at his
brother. I would too if it was me. Eddie even started implying that
Rodolfo is gay, please! He really got Marco angry when he and Rodolfo
were 'play' wrestling and he boxed Rodolfo, almost felled him. So
Marco played him at his own game. Set up a little friendly competition
about lifting the chair by one leg. Eddie couldn't do it but Marco
could as he got it above Eddies head. I seriously thought that he was
going to smash it over his head. I was so incredibly frightened. It
was just a warning but it sure wiped the smile off Eddies face. Marco
looked like he was about to blow. Thinking back on it, it was actually
quite funny. I bet Eddie wont be so quick to pick on Rodolfo again!

December 23rd 1937

You simply could not guess what has happened today. I can hardly
believe it. I'm getting ahead of myself aren't I? I had better start
from the beginning. I'm so excited. Anyway, deep breath, calm down,
right. Here we go.

Rodolfo and I were left in the house alone together for the first
time. I was a bit preoccupied my thoughts were a million miles away
while I fixed up the table. Then out of the blue he told me that he
had nearly three hundred dollars . It made me a bit uncomfortable, I
don't know why, so I didn't say anything. As we were alone, I thought
it was time that I asked him a question which has been on my mind for
quite a while now. I asked him if he would take me to Italy to live
when we got married. He got really angry. I knew that he probably
wouldn't like the idea but I didn't think that he'd be so angry about
it but I had to know. I thought I might as well ask him the other
question which had been on my mind as I had already rocked the boat. I
asked him if he would still marry me if it turned out that we would
have to go and live in Italy after all. In response to my question he
asked another, he goes 'Is this your question or his question?'. There
was no point in denying it, we both know. I was just surprised that he
saw through me so easily. And when he finally did answer he said no.
He was absolutely furious, hopping mad. He asked me if I trusted him.
Then it all started pouring out, I just couldn't stop. I could feel it
welling up inside me all that time. He sat and comforted me. That's
when I done it. I took the plunge and told him that I loved him. I saw
that he understood what I was feeling and that he cared. He showed me
what he was thinking. It was like we just clicked, our minds were in
sync. And that was when we took it further, he led me to the bedroom.
Oh diary, I feel like a woman. Complete, know what I'm saying?

Afterwards when we had finished and were in bed I heard Eddie come in,
I came from the bedroom. He reeked of drink. The sight of him made me
feel so awkward, even disgusted with him. Of course he had to make a
joke about Rodolfo but I just brushed it away. When he saw Rodolfo
come out of the bedroom, his mouth dropped open so wide, it was almost
funny. Then he has the gall to tell Rodolfo 'Get your stuff and get
out of here'. I saw just what everyone had been trying to show me all
along and it struck me that I had to get out, move. Anywhere where he
can't get to me anymore. I was pleading with him to let me go and he
pulled me to him and kissed me on the mouth. I felt so appalled, so
cheap and dirty. I glad that Rodolfo stopped him but then Eddie kissed
him. What is wrong with that man? I know what he's trying to do but
doesn't he see that it's not going to work? I told him straight that
I'm moving out with Rodolfo. I'm not changing my mind either.

December 27th 1937

Today has easily been the worst day of my life. I am sitting here and
I don't want to do anything but cry and cry. I just feel so empty,
maybe if I write it down then I will feel better. Doubt it but its
worth a try.

I was upstairs with Rodolfo, Marco and the two new flat mates Lipari
and his wife, I can never remember her name. We had arranged all the
stuff for the wedding on Saturday. Anyway I wanted to ask Beatrice for
some pillowcases so I went downstairs to speak to her. I got
downstairs and saw Eddie talking to Beatrice. I invited him to the
wedding, I just felt it was my duty. He managed to sound pretty decent
about it until he started chatting some gibberish about me meeting
another fella because I haven't had any other experience. He was going
on like Rodolfo was the first man that I had ever clapped my eyes on
and I couldn't control myself. Like some kind of animal on heat. But I
put a stop to that.

I asked for the pillowcases for Lipari and his wife. As soon as Eddie
heard that there were boarders upstairs with us he started acting
really strangely, acting all skitzo. Telling me to get them out of
there now and find another flat for them tonight . I was just trying
to puzzle out what he was talking about when the door knocked. Eddie
turned to me and told me to get them out by the fire escape but I
still didn't get what he was saying until the person outside the door
shouted 'Immigration. Open up in there'. Oh diary, my heart broke a
million times over in that one second. I couldn't believe that Eddie
had done that. He knows how much Rodolfo means to me and he turned
them in. How could he? He is a monster. Well the officers got them
all. Marco, Rodolfo, Lipari and his wife. I can't stand the pain. The
whole neighbourhood was there to watch. I tried to plead with them but
those immigration officers have no hearts, just like Eddie. But now
everybody knows what he is and it serves his right; he will never feel
as much pain as I do.

December 30th 1937

Today was the saddest day of my life. (I have quite a few of those now
don't I?) We got Marco and Rodolfo out on bail. Marco was hell bent on
getting revenge on Eddie but we made him to promise not to do
anything. I went home to get Beatrice but Eddie wouldn't let her go.
She was the only family who was going to be at my wedding and he
stopped her from coming. I lost my temper and was just leaving when
Rodolfo came and warned Eddie that Marco was on his way from the
church coming for him. But Eddie wouldn't move. Rodolfo tried to
apologize but he slapped his hand away. There was so much drama,
Beatrice told Eddie to let me go, he can't have me. We were both so
surprised at her saying this but it's true. He had to let me go. I'm
not his.

Marco came calling for Eddie and the fool went to Marco and told him
to apologize to him. They fought. It was so horrible, over in a few
seconds, the longest seconds of my life. Its like it was in slow
motion. I don't know how to write this, its still sinking in. Eddie's
dead. He died in Beatrice's arms. I still don't think he had let me
go. I suppose that's it. The end of the beginning. Know what I'm
saying diary? Why did it all have to end like this? Why?
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