Tennessee Williams tells a story about Truman Capote

From Dotson Rader's great, great Tennessee: Cry of the Heart, 1985

Rader writes: Tennessee went on to talk about the one time Truman came to Key West. 

"It was two years ago. he had flown to Key West from Mexico, where he was to stay with Mrs. [Lee] Radiwill but left in a hurry because the mosquitoes were terrible. So he came to Key West from the Yucatan. He had never been on the island before, and I suspect that he never will be there again. He was robbed the first night, losing all his credit cards, his address book, and about two thousand dollars. He said that he wasn't in his hotel room when the robbery occured, but the police found no evidence of forced entry. I think he was cleaned out by some street boy he invited home for a private session!"

Tennesseeandtruman"Truman came to Key West because he sold excerpts of his book [Answered Prayers] to Esquire, he made one of the conditions of the contract that the editor of the magazine [Don Erickson] had to fly to Key West to pick up the manuscript. He did that because Hemingway used to make Arnold [Gingrich, the editor/found of Esquire] came to Key West to edit his stories before they were published. Truman was not about to get one thing less thatn Hemingway." 

"One night Truman, Jimmy Kirkwood, and a friend of Truman's, I, and some other men went to dinner. His friend was very drunk. The restaurant was full of tourists in double-knit suits, and since it was quite late, most of them were as tipsy as Truman's boyfriend. Some distance away, at a round table, sat three couples. Truman noticed them staring at us, and he said, "Watch out! They'll be coming over for autographs!" And a few minutes later, one of the women at the table got up and came over, carrying a menu. She asked Truman to autograph the menu. He did. She left, and a few minutes later her husband came to our table and glared at Truman.

"Are you Truman Capote?" And Truman said, "I was this morning!" And the man unzipped his pants, and pulled out his cock. He said, holding it in the palm of his hand, "Can you put your signature on this? And Truman looked down at the cock, and up again, and he said. "I don't know about my signature. But I can initial it!" 

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

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