Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches Act 2, Scene 4 Summary
We're in another split scene.
On one side of the stage, Louis and an anonymous man are eyeing each other in the Rambles, a cruising area in Central Park.
On the other side, Roy and Joe are hanging out in a fancy bar. Roy is drinking a lot and randomly eats food off of Joe's plate (ooh, that Roy). Joe, drinks nothing.
Joe is telling Roy about Harper. He says she started taking pills after she had a miscarriage, or maybe before.
Apparently she had a bad home life growing up – lots of drinking and probably physical abuse. He says she never talks about it directly, though. Instead she talks about the sky falling down and dudes with knives.
Joe says people don't imagine Mormons having homes like that, but they do. Defensively, he says it's not hypocrisy; it's just hard to live up to God's high standards.
Joe apologizes for going on about all this with Roy.
Roy says he's cool with heart to hearts.
Joe starts talking about how he's afraid that he's attracted to Harper's darker side – maybe, because he has a darker side too.
He says she'll totally freak out if they go to Washington, DC.
Roy advises him to leave her in New York.
Joe's sure she'll fall apart.
Roy points out that he's the best divorce lawyer around.
Joe asks Roy if Washington can wait.
Roy advises him to do something for himself – at least somebody should get what he wants in life.
Back on the other side of the stage, the anonymous man asks Louis what he wants.
Louis launches into a lot of hardcore sex talk – S&M "punish me" stuff.
The man asks Louis if he wants to be punished.
Louis thinks that's a swell idea.
The man demands that Louis take him home.
Louis refuses, probably because he feels guilty about taking this random dude back to his and Prior's apartment.
The man asks if Louis' lover knows where he is.
Louis tells him to change the subject. He asks the man if they can go to his house.
"I live with my parents," the man admits (2.9.54).
Joe admits that he had a difficult relationship with his father.
Roy tells him should find another father figure: "Woman are for birth, beginning, but the father is continuance. The son offers the father his life as a vessel for carrying forth his father's dream" (2.4.58).
Joe talks about how his dad, a military man, was hard and cold.
Roy talks about how a father's love has to be hardcore sometimes. A father has to be tough to prepare his son for the cold, cruel world.
Back to the Louis and his new friend in the park. The man says they'll just have to have sex in the park.
Louis asks if the man has a condom.
The man says he doesn't use them.
Louis tells him he should and pulls a condom out of his coat. Stubbornly, the man refuses to put it on, but when Louis refuses to have sex otherwise, he agrees.
Louis says it too cold to have sex outside.
The man begs Louis, saying he'll warm him up.
They start having sex.
The condom breaks, and the man asks Louis if he wants him to keep going.
"Keep going. Infect me. I don't care. I don't care," says Louis (2.4.81).
The man says he needs to go.
Louis tells him to say hello to his parents.
The man slaps him across the face.
"It was a joke," says Louis (2.4.85).
The man walks off.
Now back to Joe and Roy talking some more.
Roy tells Joe that he wants him to think of him like family.
Joe says he owes nearly everything to Roy.
The older man tells Joe that he has cancer. (Yeah, right, "cancer.") Roy says he isn't afraid of death. Life has been terrible, so how bad could death possibly be?
He insists that Joe take the job in Washington. Roy advises the younger man like a father, telling him, "Life is full of horror; nobody escapes [...] don't be afraid to live in the raw wind, naked, alone... " (2.4.94).
He tells Joe to let nothing stand in the way of his potential.