Study Guide

Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika Act 1, Scene 6

By Tony Kushner

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Act 1, Scene 6

  • Louis and Joe stand in Louis' messy new apartment in "Alphabetland" (Alphabet City, east of Manhattan's East Village). Louis notes that this is where many Jews lived when they first arrived in New York, and now it's where many of their messed-up grandchildren live too. "This is progress?" he says with a Yiddish accent (1.1.6).
  • Joe says the place is dirty.
  • It's just messy, Louis tells him.
  • Louis reaches for Joe, but Joe says he's uncomfortable, alluding to the fact that Louis' ex-boyfriend (Prior) has AIDS.
  • The eager Louis assures Joe that they'll use condoms and everything; it'll be fine.
  • Joe starts to leave but stops at the door.
  • Louis hugs him, commenting how sexy Joe's cologne is. Louis talks about how when you smell someone you actually absorb some of his or her molecules through your nose. He inhales Joe's scent.
  • Louis croons that taste works the same way and licks Joe's cheek, saying it tastes like salt.
  • They kiss.
  • Louis puts his hand down Joe's pants, pulls it back out, then smells and tastes it. "Mmm. Chlorine. Copper. Earth," Louis observes (1.1.34).
  • They kiss again.
  • Louis asks him what the kiss tasted like. "Well... Nighttime" says Joe (1.1.39).
  • Louis begins unbuttoning Joe's shirt and encourages him to talk dirty.

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