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Joe is at a payphone, calling his mother, Hannah, in Salt Lake City.
Hannah is freaked out because Joe is calling at 4 in the morning. She wants to know if something happened with Harper.
He tells her Harper is fine, but that he has something to tell her.
Hannah asks if he's drunk.
Yup, drunk as a skunk, says Joe.
His mother can't believe he's drunk – it's so unlike him.
He tells her he's in Central Park. He goes there at night to watch.... (Watch what, you ask? Remember the scene with Louis and the man in the park?)
Joe asks his mom if his dad loved him.
Hannah doesn't want to engage in this overly emotional conversation.
Joe tells his mom that he's gay.
A big long silence.
He asks her to say something.
So what does Hannah say after her son has just made this painful confession? "You're old enough to understand that your father didn't love you without being ridiculous about it" (2.9.31). (Wow, just... wow.)
Joe can't believe what he's hearing
His mother tells him that he's being ridiculous and ought to go home to his wife.
She says they'll just forget this conversation ever happened.
Before hanging up on him, she reminds him that drinking is a sin.