Parting Glances (1986) - full transcript

As Michael and Robert, a gay couple in New York, prepare for Robert's departure for a two-year work assignment in Africa, Michael must face Robert's true motives for leaving while dealing with their circle of eccentric friends, including Nick, who is living with AIDS.

Where ya going?

I'm thirsty

What are you doing?

I told you, you'd never eat these.

Hey, some of these are returnable.



This long black line here

-Is the equator
-Very good.

Why are you taking all those sweaters?

The rainy season, it's supposed to get chilly

Want me to leave you one?

No, better get a
mackinaw and on some antifreeze, though.

I'll call my Dad in Wisconsin
and have him send you his snowblower.

The office is the only paying for a 100 kilos...

So when the shipper comes to pick this up

you may have to pay extra.

I'll leave you the money.

Don't worry about it.

When I get to one of yours, yell.

These are all mine?

What about this one? Christmas?

-Three years ago.
-To me or from me?

How soon they forget.

My deadline

looms. Wish me luck.

Break a pencil.

Mine or yours?

Who knows, take it.

It's not gonna get that cold, Lana.


What's the matter?

Douglas' stupid 'Lust in Space' thing

What do you think?
He warned me it was 'S & M / SciFi / Porno'

-but this is ridiculous.
-You're charging him double though, Right?

It's not worth it.
now he's got 'Stud Starfighter'

or whoever submerged in
liquid helium or some bullshit.

Doing things with Freon Ben Wa balls.

and like radio active dildos

-Cover it up

Cover it up. Put it away

I can't edit that shit.

Weight it down. It might come to life

and attack us in our sleep.

[speaking foreign language]


Hi Daddy.

I wish you'd stop that Chris.


Because I'm not your Daddy.

That's okay.

When is Robert leaving?



Tommy put that back.

There ya go.

-Thank you very much.
-Thank you.

Bye bye.

-Stop taking things.
-Aw, he can have 'em.

Oh he can? Thank you very much.


I haven't seen you for a while.

I was just in here a couple days ago.

I know, you bough a

'The Magic Flute', Lear/Wunderlich.

Good memory.

So what are you up to tonight?

-You heard me.

Tonight? Ah...

Tonight I'm going to a dinner party

-then to a 'party' party.
-Sounds fun.

It's a going away party.

Mostly old friends.

I understand.

Your name is 'Joan'?

Ah, no. That's who's giving the party.

-I'm Michael.
-I'm Peter.


Long last we meet.

How old are you?

-I thought you were about 24.

-You don't look it.


Well, see ya later.

Michael...Don't forget this.

Sorry. Thanks, bye.

-How are you doing today?

MICHAEL: Giddy-up, because I want to see Nick by 7.

ROBERT: You go ahead, I gotta finish packing.

MICHAEL: Your packing's finished.

You're not gonna see Nick before you go?

ROBERT: That's right. [under his breath]

Do I look too fuffy?

You look cute.

They got a lot of nerve dragging us

-over for dinner on your last night.
-I know.

You see him at work everyday.

Here are the watering instructions.

When are you gonna call me?

-When I get there.
-Like what time so I'll know when to be home.

You're always home.

Why did you get a bunch
of dates lined up already?

Would you be upset, if I just donated those

to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden?

You'll hear from me

as soon as I get through

The phones over there
probably don't work so well.

What are you doing?
It's not gonna rain.

Forget it Bobby,

I'll be the one getting stuck
lugging it around all night.


Oooh, you look so fuffy.

I knew you'd say that.

Where's Bob the bore?

ah...still packing.

So, whatcha doing?

MTV with Mozart.


Why the headphones?

Stupid ass neighbors

should hear their racket.

You alright man?

Fucking animal noises...

prehistoric, the kind they
don't even make anymore.

Mmm hmm.

Is it a good one?


-How much do I owe you?


You're a fucking saint.

Fuck you.

Come on already

I've been glued for 5 hours.
I still haven't seen my video.

Call 'em up. Find out
what time it's gonna be on.

-That's no fun.

-What do I get tonight?
-I don't know.

Boiled nettles, hogweed, assorted thistles.


How about a nice big steak
and some greasy fries?

This is new.

What is it?

It scares the roaches away.

It's ultra high frequency
and drives them in sane.

-Hmmm, does it work?
-Yeah, it works.

Wanna come over to Joan's tonight?

Oh, I'm sure Robert will be
simply crushed if I didn't show up.

You should get out. Get some exercise.

I exercised.

-You did?
-Yeah, 3 times.

You'll go blind.

Don't worry about it.
There's an eyeball virus I can catch.

Knocks out your peripheral vision.

What are you doing?

Have you used that knife lately?

-Never mind.

I'm winging out my sunglasses.

Stop it.

Look you got everything here.

Brit Rock...

New York Rock...

L.A. Rock.

Finish your song?

Yeah. Would you like to hear it?

Oh, please.

[clears throat]

Fuck, suck, piss, kiss, rim, shrooms.

scream, cream, hum cum.
Now carry on.

-Oh, it's lovely
-Mmm hm.


-I think the lyrics could use a little work
-A little.


You know this macro psychotic diet is bullshit

you know it, and I know it.

Humor me.

Yeah. Straight from the cat.

I mean, Look at Greg Wildemire, Mike.

-He only lasted 6 months.
-That's 'cause he didn't take proper care.

-Tell me something?

would you stop being so sincere.
You drive me nuts with this shit.

What do you want to know?

Robert hasn't come by to visit me

including toinight because he
thinks he might catch it. Right?

No. It's just he can't deal with illness.

You know that. It upsets him.

If not that he works for this
International health organization,

you'd think he'd be to
scared to be around sick people.

He sits behind a desk.
The sick people are on computer printouts.

Bullshit job anyway.
I mean, those donated medical files

arrive over there, they get
ripped off before they even reach customs

get fenced , then the next day,
they're on the black market.

-It's bullshit.
-Where are you getting all this?

'Village Voice'

See, AIDS is Africa's last laugh on us right?

Puts us back in the 14th Century with them.

This part I've heard before.

And, somebody's gonna drop the
fucking bomb anyway. Right?

Who gives a shit really.

-I'm glad I won't be around for that.
-Don't be so sure.

You're really tiffed that h's leaving, ain't ya?

Yeah, and I don't want to talk about it.

Thank God.

Now, someone should post
up signs around New York

that say 'Know thyself, but please don't talk about it.'

See, guys like you, from Kentucky,

You're not going through this
therapeutically yabber jabber.

Jesus, I've know you how long?
Where my friend?

-From Kentucky.

Wisconsin? Close enough.

Remind me to get more brown rice.

You gotta be kidding me.

Hey I'm feeling fit, try me.

I gotta put the kettle to boil.

Just stop flapping around like a

fucking Florence Nightingale and get over here.



Come on, Mike. You let me win.

-You won. Fair and square.
-Horse shit. Let's go again.



-Oh you brute.


-What? I didn't say nothin'
-What did you say?

-I didn't say anything.
-Yes you did.

-Let's play cards.

I gotta go have dinner
with Robert's asshole boss.

Just one hand.

One, then two and I'll be

at 3 hours and Robert will be pissed.

I'll get the deck.

Your veggies will be done in 5 minutes.

No, Mike!

I've decided to move to Korea.

and open a vegetable store.

-Oh? [chuckles]

Yes, when things crumble sufficently

here, we'll all be fleeing away

to sweep the streets

and tend to back East kiosks

and so forth.

I plan on staying put.

Amidst the ruins?

tending sheep in Central Park

and insisting on a yearly stipend

of 15 peppercorns.

But, I adore sheep.

CECIL: My vegetable shop will
be a very neat little store.

With rows and rows of

lovely hydroponic sprouts and cress.

I'll give you special discounts.

Oh no. MIchael's remaining here with me.

Nonsense. I wouldn't hear of it.

Besides you can always find work in Tokyo.

translating into Japanese

the great classics of American Literature.

There must be 2 or 3 worth preserving.

What would you choose?

Surely you're not going to
let him get away with that.

No comment.

I'd choose "Moby Dick" and 'Huckleberry Finn'.


How goes the proofreading?

Uh...Editing. It goes alright.

I didn't think there was anything

left to edit any longer.

it was all done with microchips.
Or it was all television.

-Not yet.
CECIL: -Hmmm.

CECIL: Have you been writing?

MICHAEL: Ahhh...Not too much.

CECIL: Well, you must get something on paper before we

immigrate to the Orient.

MICHAEL: I'm trying.

You're being a very good

doobie tonight I must say.

Thank you, Cecil. So are you.

The reason you're being so good, is that

it's Robert's farewell dinner.

When he's gone, you must come over

for an entire evening of good stiff sparing.

Oh boy.

He really is being horribly terse.

You'll still visit us, even with Robert

gone, won't you?

Heavens. They're not a couple divorcing.

Robert was good enough to

introduce us to his flatmate back when

and now we know Michael quite independently.

You'll need to find a share.

Shall I put up a notice up at the office?

[clears his throat]

thanks, I'm gonna go it alone for a while.

CECIL: Yes, well now lets see if we can rouse some

spark of life in Robert.

Don't pick on Robert. Look at him.

so adorable.

You've been together...what, 5 years?

More like 6.

We met right after I got out of school.

You're going to be lonely.

Believe it or not, I've got worse
things on my mind than Robert leaving.

-Do tell.
-Just other things

You know, it's shocking but,

Cecil's never even hinted to me

that he knew what was
going on with you two.

And, of course I always played naive

because I didn't want to jeopardize Robert's

position at work.

Seems impossible he
wouldn't have figured it out.

Darling, you'd be amazed at what people can

can blind themselves to.

That still doesn't answer my question.

What happens if the
political situation deteriorates?

We're an apolitical organization.

You're immune.

If, however the whole situation
does get a little bit dicey...

and which I don't think it will...

the airport is only 10 minutes away.

You could even walk it in a pinch.

The trick is to get out

before the road blocks go up

and they close the airstrip.

It's part of the fun.

Michael is supposed
to visit me for a month

in the spring.

I advise discretion...strongly.

It's not North Africa,
where you might get away with that.

Yeah, I know.

You won't find much local diversion

If...however, you

should happen to make it into Nairobi.

Which I feel quite sure you will..

Rumor has it that this watering hole.

can be...


You know what Proust said?

Uhhhh...'Rich folks have more fun'?

He said, in a relationship,

-Proust did never say 'relationship'.
-I'm translating.

...In a relationship there's always

one who kisses, and one who is kissed.

Yeah, I thought it switched back and forth?

No, it's always one way, or the other.

-Come on?
-You see I kiss Cecil...

and he is kissed.

which mean I should be unhappy

because the kissee always enjoys

more control than the kisser.

-But, I like it.

I only kiss on occasion, when it suits him,

which is rarely.

and that suits me.

Is this one of the 'tails'
from the Arabian Knights?

Oh Robert, you know I can't stand puns.

-He's cute.
-Mmm Hmm

Couldn't be more than 20.

Can't imagine what he saw in me.

Picked me up outside the
restaurant in his viridian Bentley.

-A rich one.
-Mmm Hmm

Survive in the middle of
the desert late at night.

The moon was shimmering on the sand.

It was like being out at sea.

We did it right there in the back of the Bentley.

Wild dogs yapping and snarling all that.


I thought you advised discretion?

Oh, we were immaculately discrete.

Did I ever tell you about


Sneaking past the checkpoint

after curfew to meet this fellow

-on the beach.
-You told me that one.

tracer shells firing overhead

It was almost as dangerous as that

park in Manila.

Cecil, one of these days you're gonna

-Get in big trouble.

You ever had an affair?


Have you?

Not yet.

Gay men in this town have become

-very proper.
-Yes, terribly Victorian.

At university...before I'd met Cecil

I knew two very hansom

gentlemen that shared a rooms

at Merton College

-They know...
-Mm Hm

Well, then they invite me over to drinks

and we discussed Dryden or whatever

and one night, we got very

drunk...I'm not going tell you,

-but you can guess

Oh, I'll tell you anyway.

it wasn't like they took turns, it was

all at once. Every which way.

rather like a marvelous pretzel


I thought at the time that it was

a scientifically isolated incident

but...years later

when we lived in Trinidad

I met 2 young fellows who ran the

school for the deaf...

I appreciate you trying to stop the transfer...

but I realized after a while
that it was probably for the best.

You know, I'd go with you in a second

You opened up the medic with such balls

Cecil, I'm gonna miss you.

What should I do without you?

Now I have no one to talk to at the office.

-I'll be seeing you soon.
-Not for awhile, I'm afraid.

A big kiss!

and a hug. Thanks, you've been wonderful.

You...I'm having over for dinner next week.

Yes, of course.

Thanks for dinner, it was great.

Michael, you know I can't stand it

when you lie.

File to the right here.

-Goodbye, Robert.
-Have a nice trip.
-I will.

-Buh bye...Goodnight.


I've just had a dreadful realization.


All this time, they've thought of us as

-surrogate parents.
-Oh, I doubt it.

One set's more than enough for most people.

And all these years, I've entertained the

illusion that we were all the same age.

Well, maybe in some ways we are.

MICHAEL: Why does she put up with it?

She's the one with the money, not him.
She should just toss the turd out.

ROBERT: -You've got a very distorted impression,

ROBERT: -He acts worse when you're around.
MICHAEL: -Come on?

ROBERT: He does!

You make him nervous,
'cause he's got the hots for you.


Why do you think he's always badgering you?

Trying to make you mad...

He's flirting up a storm.

and the more riled you get, the more he loves it.

Betty thinks you're pretty cute too.

How can she not know about him?

She knows about us, but
she doesn't want him to know

she knows, because she thinks
he doesn't know. But he does

and he pretends he doesn't
know so she won't suspect

-he is.
-He likes Betty.

He likes boys. What's wrong with that?

-You're too critical.
-Listen to this, defending him.

I swear all men are the same. They really are.

Hey, what can I say,
everybody can't be as politically

correct as you and Nick.

Cecil apologized tonight.

He tried to work it out so I wouldn't have to go.

What are you talking about?

He engineered it. He wants to break us up.

-Uh ah...
He's pissed because we've gotten beyond

ridiculous 50's cover marriages and

diddling hustlers in Thailand,
or wherever he goes to get it.

Cecil didn't engineer my transfer,

I did.

Oh...Well, thanks for pointing that out

so clearly.
Shall I murder you now or later

Will you listen a minute?

Do you know how dreary it's gonna be over there?

The bullshit that goes on...

Donated medical supplies arrive

-they're ripped off before they ever reach customs
-Can I say something please?

What are you talking about? You engineered it?

I thought they told you, you had to go?

They did. But, ultimately

-it was my decision.
-And what?

Why are you telling me now at the 11th hour?

It's like instead of being hurt by this,

You've been cooly planning the whole thing.

Haven't I seemed hurt by this?

Sometimes you really
are the ultimate blank wall.

I used to think that
meant inscrutability profound

things were going on inside, but lately

I've started to wonder if you're just plain stupid.

-Must be I'm stupid.
-I mean you add a little charm around the edges

to help things along.

You know? every time you go over to visit come back mean as shit.

I wanna leave because it's gotten too settled.


Stop this cab! I don't
have to listen to this! I'll walk!


Just drive and mind your own business.


You're so rude.

Me?! The Jerk called us faggots!

You get all this rude stuff from Nick.

Would you stop bringing up Nick,

He's got nothing to do with any of this.

He's always in there somewhere.

[Sex noises from nextdoor]

[phone ringing]

Come on, come on.


Ah, Mikey...You're missin' it.

[pounding on the wall]

[Indistinct yelling]

Joan, did you just call?

JOAN: Where are you guys?

Well, we're running a little late.

So what else is new?

Look, I don't know if we're gonna make it.

Hey...none of that

Get your butts over here pronto.

[♫ Bronski Beat: Smalltown Boy ♫]

Sorry I didn't tell you this before hand Dad.

But, you would have freaked.

When the shit started, I stopped cold

but just my luck, it's got
the longest fucking gestation

period that you've ever heard of.

But even before,
I wasn't some kind of Gonzo

Kamikaze dick. So, Don't go sayin'

it was my own fault,
alright? Cause it wasn't

And if you do...I'm gonna come back

and haunt you. Alright?

For this money thing...


Dad, you get 10 thousand, okay. That otta

buy you a nice weekend in Atlantic City.

Michael gets 50 and

Joan and Terry get 20 each,
and the rest goes

to GMHC for care for

poor people with AIDS
and not to medical research.

Because, if the feds can
spend a Trillion bucks on bombs...

then they can spend a little on research.

Right? Right.

Bet you didn't hink this kid from Bensonhurst had

so much stashed away did ya? Ha ha ha.

Oh, Robert...

This is for you...

Hope you like it.


I'll never understand
how you fell for that geek.

I mean, the guy looks
like a fuckin' 'Ken Doll'

I shouldn't say that.

I'm sorry.

Aw, Shit...This thing

ain't even on.

If it's getting predictable,
why didn't you say so?

I've been trying for months.


You keep dodging it.

Every time you see trouble coming

-you start running your mouth...
-I know...

I know.

I didn't plan this.

I let them plan it...

and I stood by and watched

like you witness the scene of an accident.

Sort of detached

I just realized recently

that I let them do it.

I wanna leave.

Look. I'm not gonna
last two years over there,

I'll probably be back in 6 months.

I just need a break, ya know?


-You can't go sleep.

Sure I can, just watch.

We have to go over to Joan's.

No way.

She wants to see you before you leave

she'll be real upset.

Oooh, Michael.

MICHAEL: How come it's bigger at home? pissed all over the place...

Pissed all over Manhattan...

You pissed all over Europe.
You pissed all over Italy

ROBERT: -Where was that?
MICHAEL: -Rome, right in the God damned

MICHAEL: -'Trevi Fountain'
ROBERT: -I did not.

MICHAEL: I stood right there and watched you.

ROBERT: Well, I had to go.

MICHAEL: Oooh...garbage.

ROBERT: Watch out for the rats.

Got ourselves a veritable antique here.

How about this?

-You are a discredit to the Homo race.
-Hey, I like it.

Cut me a break.

You like me?

Do I like you?

Eh...I love you.

I love you.

Only 10 minutes, okay?

-Wehen I give you the signal, it's time to go.

She's gonna think you want cocaine.

Hi...Oh, it's for me? How lovely.

I have enough chairs, thanks.

No, no...this is mine.
I'm gonna leave it here and pick it up later.


-Did we wake you?
-Oh, no, no. Come on in.

Let me just put on a light.


You Guys, this is great.

It's got an automatic tracking device.

If you're not home after 2 years,

it'll automatically explode.


-Hi Robert.
-Hey, how ya doing?

Hi Terry.

-How did you know?
-Your hands are always so warm.

Oooh...I've been looking around

-for Nick.
-He's not coming.

-How's he doing?
-He's alright. You should give him a call.

I will. I've been buried in my law books.

-Mm Hmm.
-Isn't this supposed to be just family?

I don't recognize half these people here.

MICHAEL: recent finds from archaeological digs

-in Tribeca.
TERRY: -Who's the blond?

MICHAEL: I think he's a Terminologist.

Lot's of U.N. buddies.

And there's Sammy, looking for a wife.

TERRY: Curse of the mummy.

MICHAEL: Real downtown.

TERRY: He's pretty well preserved.

All these young guys look so perfect

I can't stand it.

Remember how ugly
everyone used to look in New York?

It's the post Kennedy assassination generation.

Back in the 60's their
mothers' must have been taking

some kind of wonder drug.

Such an attitude though.

TERRY: -You can never actually read one.
MICHAEL: -Sure you can.

Hm, I can't be bothered. I just watch

from a far, like tigers in the zoo.

Come on.

-Fancy seeing you here.

-I'd like you to meet my friend Terry.

-How ya doing?

-Get back here.
-So how do you know Michael?

Funny...I was just gonna ask

you the same thing.

Yum, Bobby...
How can you live without Zabar's, huh?

Michael has to send me care packages.

-Good old Mike in flight.
-Mm mm mmm

-Just one Honey?

Aren't there any
available women at this party?

It's picture time.

-Oh, Boy!
-Are we the willing subjects?
-Uh, not me.

How are you this evening?

Sorry, she doesn't understand English.

She said you look like 'John the Baptist'

-You're the translator, right?

as well as the husband.


JOAN: Smile.


No, just the picture.

JOAN: -Get back there
ROBERT: -No, come on I wanna take it with me.

What I think will really help
is if I get a word processor.

Ah yes a venerable instrument.

It's gonna speed up the old writing.
What do you recommend?

Well, I know a dealer out in Queens

IBM, with everything...
$4000 includes a printer.

No...less, less, mucho less.

Wait a few years 'til the prices come down.

-I don't wanna wait.
-You know what I suggest?

-Just writing.


You know you get a pen, some paper

put a few marks on it. Works real well.

Thanks, Dave.

My pants don't hang down in the back.

Dude, your pants always
hang down in the back.

-Michael, do my pantshang down in the back?

Michael, have you finished editing my book?


Isn't it fun?
Have you come to the part

where the Androids have an orgy
in wind up devouring each other?

Oh, I love that part.

Uh...not yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

What do you hear from Nick?

He's alive.

Douglas, you're not still pissed at him over

our little prank on Fire Island...are ya?

You are forgiven. Nick, I'm not so sure.

Give him a call. He'll appreciate it.

Would you get me another drink?


Excuse me...

2 by 2, it's like 'Noah's Ark' in here.

yeah? I hadn't noticed.

The guy that's leaving, that's your lover?

Mm Hm.

What are you doing tomorrow night?

I haven't thought that far.

Why don't you pack a little bag,

and fly to Paris for the weekend with me?

I have a standing reservation

at the Concorde

suite in the Huitieme and a box at the Opera.

I never dine at a restaurant

with less than 2 stars.

What do ya say?

Chem lab Saturday morning.

What are you doing?

Take the N - E - Y out of

'New York' and what does it spell?


My rent's going up again.


Who's the piano duo?


Die Klaus und Liselotte

I met 'em at a gallery opening...

turns out, it was their show.

They're painters?

They're Mixed Media Performance

New Expressionist Post
Modern something or others.

I mean, I can't keep track.


Then, they've been here for 4 months.

You know how long I've
been trying to get a show?

Too long.

I invited 'em over...

I... invited them over.

They're here now...

to learn the secrets of their success.

Klaus says, he's here for 'das anarchy'.

Personally...I could do with a little order.

I'm not cut out for Modernism.

Post or otherwise.

Yeah, you can do anything
you want now-a-days.

But, sometimes I have this feeling,

-there's nothing left to do.

How come I get to paint stuff like this?

What do you thinks going on?

There's more painting
going on in this part right here

then all this stuff in SoHo combined.

No. I mean do you think she's

just finished writing some tirade to her lover.

but the maid's just come in
with a letter from the lover.

that says, 'Sorry I take it all back.'

It's probably a letter from the IRS, nailing her

for back taxes.

The Maid is so insinuating.

JOAN: 'Madam, I've just arrived'

And the Mistress is delicately perplexed.

JOAN: 'Could it be from Louise?'

Who's Louise?

I'm gonna send in to the 'Alumni Weekly'

-Come on...

-Spare me
-What's your title?

-I forget.
-You do not.

Executive Director...

Your Holy Eminence...

-Grand Dragon?
-Liaison Officer.

Mmmm. Classy.

-Hi Michael.
-Having a good time?

-Yeah we are. Are you?
-I'm okay.

-Ricky, how are ya?

Pretty good.

I know what you need.

-No...I'm just...
-[giggling] Come with me.

No, I'm not...I don't...

[speaking German]

-What's up with Nice?
-Not much. You should give him a call

I did. I went by to see him on Tuesday.

Well, bless your heart.

He talked about
Opera, the whole time.

and that's fine,

At least he's not listing what he's
gonna leave me in his will again.

Ah...I got him hooked.

If you need an escape.
Mozart's the ticket.


Maybe he'll do a rock version

-of 'Eine Kleine Nachtmusik'
-Oh , no.

He said he only eats

because you come over and make him.

-Is he trying to do himself in?

He'd eat.

He only said that 'cause

he's afraid otherwise come.


Oh, God. I feel like a widower

in Miami Beach

Your re-eligible.

Robert laid this shit
on me tonight about

how he needs a break.
'It's gotten too settled'.

-He likes being settled.
-I like being settled.

-I hate being settled.
-I like being mean.

the last couple weeks,
I've been so God damned nasty.

I don't wanna be nasty to him.

You really shouldn't...I mean, it's not

fair. You're much too quick for him.

I can see him trying to duck 'Michael

insults. Right...Left...Right...
-He doesn't duck.

he just sits there all calm,
and looks at me with those

eyes....I married him for his eyes.

Oh, I thought it was for his teeth?

-His nose?

I don't want him to leave.

Hey. Take off...

go for it.
Have a little adventure yourself.

[electronic chirping]

I'm even more wacked out than Nick.

That's why it never could have worked.

would've been 'The Tower of Babel'.

Robert's cooled you out a little.

With Nick, I don't know

where he leaves off and I begin.

Two sides of the same coin.

This month...

I've know him for 10 years.

What are you gonna do when he's gone?

-Miss him.
-Me too.

You know his father doesn't even know.

-You're kidding?
-Mm mm

JOAN: When was he gonna
tell him, after he was dead?

I have a feeling we're gonna be the ones

who wind up telling him he's dead.

It's true what they say...

The good die young.

I'll probably live to be abou 150.

[both laughing]

-I have a secret.

I've always loved Nick

more than Robert.

I know.

I've never told Nick.

You better.

Sometimes I feel so guilty.

It's not your fault

It's nobody's fault.

No, it's not that, it's that sometimes

when I'm over there all I can think of is

I'm so glad I don't have it.

Who wouldn't be?

And don't worry,
a few years down the road,

we have lung cancer, heart attacks

-to look forward to.
I-t's different when you're 50 or 60.

Impending death doesn't
freak you out as much.

I bet it does.

I bet it's a fucking drag, even if you're 80.

Do you think those are real?

Mmm hm.

God, he's going
berserk with that piano playing.

[Group applauding]


Don't let me interrupt, keep playing.

[speaking German]

['Beautiful Dreamer" by Stephen Foster]


-Hello Joan.
-Glad you could make it.

-Friends of yours?
-What can I get ya?

-How about a beer?
-Apple Juice.

Okay, Mom.

Nick, long time no see.

Hey, hey Miss Thing, how you doing?

-Can't complain.

So, where's dildo-head?

I dragged myself out of bed
just to say 'goodbye'.

Haven't seen him.

SARAH: Michael's definately cuter.

ROBERT: He's nice looking.

SARAH: That's awful...'nice looking'?

ROBERT: This is what's known

as the grass is always greener.

SARAH: No it's not.

Hetero men have a gene

missing or something.

You know, back in school

I...I knew about you

even before you did,
even when we were dating.

You did not.

From the first date.

I thought...

forget it, he's too cute, and I was right.

There's some cute straight guys.

What an egoist.

Of course there are,

the point is...

I'm so in love

with him I can't stand it.

Except I hate the way he eats.

The way he eats?

He slurps.

[both laughing]

Mmmm Mmm

At dinner, we had sesame noodles

and I thought I was gonna have to kill him.

-He was slurping?
-A little.

Uh...but who cares?

I'm in love.

Well, I told Joan I'd buy one of her paintings

on one condition.

Somewhere in it
she has to have Edith Piaf.

Douglas adores Piaf

Edith Piaf?


How's Morgan Guarantee treating ya?

Fine, thank you.

Hey, how's about if Michael and I

come visit your house out at the island?

The season's over,
and the house is closed.

Ah, shucks.

Hey, looking trim.

So are you.

I'll have the last laugh.

I may have comitted the gay cardinal sin

of being a bit overweight...

but it's this self-same
so-called attractiveness

that has spared me from the plague.

-Come on Douglas,

You're not that overweight.

Now what about that painting over there,

That's nice even without Edith Piaf.

NICK: [speaking in foreign language]

-Still having wild times

up at the seminary?

I left the seminary.

No shit?

Listen, I truly am very
sorry to hear that you're ill.

I'll pray for you.

Thanks, I'll pray for you too.

I told him, if he wants to--
[cork pops]

He better get his suit together fast.

You're Nick Spangler.

No actually, I'm Tina Turner.

Yeah, my kid brother
has a couple of your albums.

Yeah, well, he's got 'em all.

Your friend Michael
kinda likes playing hard-to-get.

-doesn't he?
-That's 'cause he's already got.

He comes in the record
store I work all the time.

Buys a lot of Opera

Can't figure out if he's interested or what.

Well, he's a cautious guy.

If he's worried about catching you-know-what

it won't be from me.

That's not what I meant.

[Ttain whistle blaring]

[couple laughing]

It starts out good.

It's petered out some, but it comes back.

Goes back and forth,

peaks and valleys.

Stop, I'll get seasick.

You're with somebody six months,

it goes sour, so you dump

him, find someone new.

Repeat the whole thing.

But what you finally realize,

is that if you waited a bit with the first one,

it would've gotten good again.

almost like finding a new person.


Yeah? So?

Are you telling this to me, or to you?

-So how's he doing?
-He's pretty good.

Nah, he's upset.

Okay, he's mad.

He's mad? Good.

Hey, do you think I should go beat up Robert?


-Yeah, oh yeah.
-Oh yeah.

You don't believe me, do ya?

I'm gonna call a guard and
I'm gonna book it right now.

You better call an ambulance, too.

Nah, I ain't gonna beat him up.

He's alright.
I'm gonna beat you up, instead.

Hey, I'm gonna go get a beer.

-Don't tell Mike.

So, Klausala.

In all seriousness, what is

the secret of your success?

Indifference combined
with peripheral vision.

Is it true that that
man over there is dying?

Who wants to know?

The pain is astonishes me.

It can give pain or pleasure.

It can give life,

and now it can give death.

Pesky little devils, aren't they?

He's pregnant with death.

And look at the others, waiting,

wondering if some

innocent moment pf pleasure

long past has set them up

to wrestle with the ultimate.

[speaking German]

I'd like to stage a piece

in which all ther performers

are people who are terminally ill.

Can you imagine the intensity

the concentration of purpose?

Excuse me.

Oh, I hope I didn't say
anything to upset you.

I'd like to speak to you , if I may.


About what?

-Have you seen Sarah?
-Don't worry about it.

She's up with Robert having
one of their famous rehashes.


I can't do it if someone else is in here.

-What's that?
-My number.

I suppose you want mine?

Joan gave it to me.

Hey, I'm sorry about earlier.

Aw, forget it.


It's okay.

I think there's someone in there.

Is it my wife, by any chance?

Hey, there's Robert.
I think were gonna cut the cake.

I keep losing the guest of honor.

-I'll be with you in a moment.

[speaking German]

♪ forgot and never brought to mind ♪

♪ Should auld acquaintance be forgot ♪

Get your hands off me.

[speaking German]

Nazi fucker, you killed my grandma.

You Americans who are the Nazis.

Why don't you people pick
on someone of your own size?

I could kill you in a split second.

What's to stop me?

[speaking German]

Let's hear.



Now that was quite a performance there.

You're amazing.

Now listen, I want you
to give old Joan a hand

and get her a nice gallery show, okay?

And then I'll do some
singing in your next art piece.

Be all gnarled and terminally ill.

How's about it?

I'll see what I can do.

[speaking German]

JOAN: Tada!

[group chattering]

Where's Nick?

I think he left.

-[PETER: Yells]

Scare you?

-Did too.

Yeah, I grew up in Brooklyn.

Nothing scares me.

You wanna know why
I'm crazy about Michael?

Oh, I'm like trembling with curiosity.

Okay, first you gotta admit that I'm

eminently irresistible.

Bullshit, you're a ditz ball twinkie.

Who you calling a twinkie?

You're beyond twinkie,

you're in the realm of the super twinkies.

Bet you were a twinkie once.

-You were.

Alright, maybe I was a quasi-twinkie.

I'm crazy about Michael

'cause he don't give a
shit about my irresistibility.

Everyone else is after me
all the time, but Michael,

is like so cool.

makes me crazy.

I like the chase.

I'm a wolf in twinkie clothing.

So, I got a chance?

Let me sit.

When I first met Michael,
he was a freshman at NYU.

So I'm hanging out in the Village...

I'm a Columbia freshman.

Will you shut up a minute?

I'm hanging out in the Village, and I...

I'm a couple years older than Michael

and I see this Midwest

nerdy type kid walking down the street.


So I chat him up a little bit.

He don't know anything.

I mean, the whole scene is

happening four blocks
away from where he's going to school.

-and he don't even know it.
-No shit?

So I show him around.

Ya know, we go bar hopping that night.

Terry had this place over on Barrow Street,

so we go there, there's a party going on.

Michael went wild.
He almost flunked out of his first year.

We tore this town apart, man.

That's what you need.

Find somebody your own age.

-Get your hair messed up a little bit.

sick of hearing about the good old days.

Listen, we had more

fun in one weekend

then the entire state of New Jersey's had.

since the signing of
the Declaration of Independence.

That's not saying much.

I want a plain old, ordinary life.

Lover, a co-op in Central Park West.

BMW, house in Bucks County.

Jesus, next thing you're gonna tell me

you're a fucking Republican.

I got it all figured out.

See, I get an older boyfriend,

he supports me
while I'm in medical school.

Then I'll make it out of school,

I can support him.

Oh forget it. Michael never has a penny.

I'm just kidding.

Anyway, I'm crazy about the guy.

Your parents know you're gay?

Sure. Told 'em when I was 16.


Yep, I had a boyfriend in high school.

They freaked.

You know, the usual bullshit.

How could you choose this kind

of lifestyle, Peter?

I said, hey guys, it chose me.

I mean, your dick knows what it likes.

You reach puberty, you don't fucking decide

which sex you like, you ask your dick.

You say, hey dick, what do you like?


Alright, then you go for it.

You said that to your parents?

In so many words.

-You got a lover?

-Ever had one

-None of your business.

Love America.

You're a trip and a half,

you know that?

I love it.

It's fucking blinding.

We're the goddamn Roman Empire.

Don't ya fucking love it?

God, now I know you're Republican

I love Manhattan, I love the Yankees,

I love chem lab and bio lab.

I even love 'Honeymooners' reruns.

I bet you saw them when
they were originally on.

-Bang, zoom.
-I love Michael.

What do you love?

A lot of stuff.
I just don't yammer on about it.

Teach me some guitar moves, would you?

You got'em down.

Take me out. Show me the Village.


put your little ass in a cab

-and go home. You're drunk.

I got my own money.

What do you wish?

-What do I wish, what?
-What do you wish for

more than anything?

Wishing is for whining, self-pitying assholes.

I wish I could live forever.

Yeah, well that's one thing you can't do.

I could fucking try.

What a little nimrod.

[group giggling]

What time is it?

-It's time to go dancing., no, no.

-TERRY: Yes, yes, yes. I made reservations.

No, I have to go to sleep.

[group laughing]

Listen Joan...

I'm not much of a letter writer.

-A postcard will do.


-I'll talk to you later.
-Wait! Say goodbye to Sam!

I'd like you to paint a picture

of me, looking like this.

[♫ Tell me why by Bronski Beat]

♪ Contempt in your eyes ♪

♪ When I turn to kiss his lips ♪

♪ Broken I lie all my feelings denied ♪

♪ Blood on your fist ♪

♪ Can you tell me why? ♪

♪ Can you tell me why? ♪

♪ Can you tell me why? ♪

♪ Can you tell me why? ♪

♪ Whoo hoo hoo ♪

♪ Can you tell me why? ♪

♪ Tell me why? ♪

♪ Tell me why? ♪

♪ Tell me why? ♪

♪ Tell me why? ♪

[phone ringing]


It's Robert.

-Robert, Robert, Robert, Robert...



-Where are you, Africa?

I can hear drums.

I'm sorry I didn't
get a chance to see you.

to say 'goodbye'.

That's cool.

Listen, I can't hear you.
There's too much noise.

Take care of yourself, Nick, okay?

I'll send you a letter.

No, send me a giraffe, alright?

I could use a giraffe around here.


Nick to Robert, over.




[metallic clanking]


Greg Wildemire?

What are you doing here?

Heaven's real boring.

Hang on as long as you can.


Why are we whispering?

It's spookier that way.

So, Michael's turning

you into an opera queen?

Just keep to baseball,

Nick, it's a lot cheaper.

Will do.

Oh...I'm frying in this thing.

I Think I overdid the smoke a little.

Oh, your mom says 'hi'

and, if you go on a trip,

make sure to take...


Take what?

Hey come back here.

Jesus, what a fuffy outfit.

See that guy Douglas

dragged off at the party?

You disappeared on me during the party.

You always do that.

Come on, we're gonna be late.

Very nice, running off,
leaving me on our last night.

Please, you sound like a wife.

Let's go.

Let's jog.

Come on, lazybones, it feels great.

You're trying to make me miss my plane?

What gives you that idea?

ROBERT: Michael?!

You told Sarah, people should stick with it.

You fucking hypocrite.

-You told Sarah, I heard you.

I explained why I'm leaving, goddamn it!

-I told you I'll be back.
-You're leaving because you don't want to be

around when Nick dies.

You don't want to deal
with me going through that.

You'll come walking back when it's all over.

-You're wrong.
-You better stay away, man.

or you're gonna come
back to a fucking maniac.

You think I can be mean now?

I'm gonna go after every politician,

idiot doctor, and smug born again asshole

I can get my hands on.

Nick knew what was going around.

But he went right on trashing it up.

It's his own goddamn fault.

Don't you dare say that!

I'm a lot stronger than you.

Michael, I love you.

I wouldn't be surprised if we're still together

50 years from now.

But, I just gotta get out for a while.

And, you need to
spend more time with Nick.

I've just been getting in the way.

Go, you can not be late. Go.

What are you doing up here?

I've been searching for you high and low.

What are you doing here?

You come to see me off?

Hardly, I'm going with you.

Well, at least as far as Rome.

Then it's off to
Sri Lanka and points east.

-Sri Lanka?
-Yeah, 6 month field trip.

I've been planning it for months.

Why didn't you tell me about it?

What, and risk tipping off Betty?

She only found out about it this morning.

This morning?

Yes, rather naughty of me, it was.

Actually the news didn't

seem to phase her, particularly.


Marty. Marty, M...Marty, Marty,

do you think you
could talk a little bit louder

so I can achieve my life-long ambition

of going totally deaf?

Notice how quietly I'm speaking?

I don't like to shout!

When you guys run
around with your assholes

clamped tighter than Chinese handcuffs

totally geared towards mindless fucking.

Well, I'm not in the
mood to get fucked, alright?

So lie back for a change and take this in.

I could go on the tour,

I could go on the tour.

I'm not going to drop dead
in the middle of the tour.


What's that tapping?


Hung up on me.

So, how you doing?


This jerk's trying to
fuck with my contract.

-Better get your lawyer on it.
-That was my lawyer.

Robert get off okay?


-He called me last night.

I don't know. Maybe I dreamt it.

You know the difference between

straight guys and gay guys?

-Uhh...I forget.
-There isn't any.

There's a scary and
seldom understood fact.

Straight guys are jerks,
gay guys are jerks.

I'm calling this jerk back.

Can you wait 'till after lunch?

Go put your soap opera on.

Not watching that shit either.

Do you ever wonder, how straights

can be so narcissistic that 99%

of everything you see is about them?

Yes. Go and watch TV anyway.

I gotta try and cook in here.

Straight guys are jerks, gay men are jerks,

straight women are jerks.

That leaves lesbians and they're off

in their ivory tower somewhere laughing

their heads off at the rest of us.

I should've been a dyke.

God, I don't know if
you exist, but if you do

you've got me pissed.

What did you have for breakfast?

I didn't have breakfast.
I don't like breakfast!

Nicky dear, do you

think you could be
quite for a little while?


No, not that.

No, no no. I like this stupid thing.


Like that.

Heavens, what have we done?

Go for it.

Hey, you can have my TVs, alright?


Watch a video?

It's my will.

-Put it away.
-I'm just showing you where it is.

What bullshit.

You know France is working...

...working on this new drug that we should

get by the year 2000.

Maybe we should go to France.


We should've split when we first met.

Gone to Kentucky or something.


Wisconsin, Colorado, Virginia, you know.

some place in the Midwest.

Settle down on a farm.

You'd last about 10 seconds on a farm.

Oh, Roberts got the right idea leaving.

You should get out too.

Robert's an asshole for leaving,
and I'm not going anywhere.

Good. because if you ever left
I'd go clean outta my fucking mind.

You were it for me, you jerkface.

I know.

It's not fair, you've been in love a bunch.

Just once, really.

Yeah, and now he's gone, right?

He's right here.

Want to have lunch?

What are you gonna cook?

I can't cook, but my mommy can.

She know you're up here?


Miss your daddy, don't you?

[speaking foreign language]

Oh yeah? My sentiments exactly.

How about if you guys
come over for lunch tomorrow?

Make chili dogs, okay?

Chili dogs?



[phone ringing]


Michael. I caught you in.

Oh, hi.

Listen, Dearheart,

you left your umbrella here last night.

Oh, sorry...I'll

stop by and pick it up
next time I'm in the neighborhood.

I don't suppose you know about

silly Cecil running off?

God, that's awful.

Listen, you can cry on my shoulder anytime.


I was thinking more in terms
of going out and having a good time.

Have you heard of this club called 'Area'?

Can you hold on a sec?

I have another call.


Did I beep in?

I'm sorry.

Look, I...I just

called to tell you I'm on the island.

Out by Douglas'

I can't take it anymore, Mike.

This is it.





I can be there in 20 minutes.

What about getting back?

Two people going back.

How much is it?

How much?!


What the fuck are you doing?

Hey, I thought you'd be glad to see me.

Did you miss your plane?

No, it missed me.

Well, I gotta get on a plane right now.

-How much money ya got on you?

I'll be right there.

What the hell are you doing?

Nick's out on the island, he called,

sounded incredibly weird.

He always sounds weird.

Well, I think he's gonna kill himself.


-You want me to come?
-Where's your luggage?

On the way to Africa.

So, your flight got canceled?

-When do you leave?
-I'm not leaving.

-What do you mean?
-Just that5, I'm not leaving.


Hold that thought,

I'll be back...uh...whenever.

We'll pick it up right from there.

Welcome back.


Are you okay?

Yeah, I'm fine.

Oh, that's good.

NICK: Notice how the land ends here,

and the water starts right there?

MICHAEL: Amazing, how it does that.

Which way is Europe?


-Europe, is it that way?

It's that way.

What, are you crazy? it's that way.

That's South. It's that way.

Where's Africa?

Where's South America?

Uh...I still think Europe is that way.

It's not...

Europe, Africa, South America.

Let's take a trip.

You proposing we swim?

NICK: I got money

We'll just go for a couple of weeks.

Well come here.

I haven't slept in 24 hours.

I'm zonked. Let's go!

Will you get over here?

Hold up your arm and point.


Now, close your eyes.

What are you gonna do?

Spin you around.

If I end up pointing that way,

We'll have to go to Alaska you know.

So, we'll go to Alaska.

and...that way's Newfoundland.

Yeah, that's okay too.

I'd rather go someplace warm.

Will you shut up and spin?

Ah...Europe's too fuffy.

How 'bout we visit Robert in Africa?