(Act One is subtitled "Spooj")


Scene 1

Aleksii Antedilluvianovich Prelapsarianov, the World's Oldest Living Bolshevik, addresses the crowd from a podium. He poses a series of philosophical questions: Can people change? And can the world survive without an all- encompassing theory like the one that communism offered? Marxism was grand and sweeping, Aleksii says, but modern America only lives for throwaway things and pygmy ideals. At the end of the scene, Prior appears as he was at the end of Millennium Approaches, cowering on the floor before the Angel. He tells her to go away.

Scene 2

Louis shows Joe his new apartment on the Lower East Side. Louis begins to seduce Joe, but Joe holds back, uncomfortable, and moves to leave. But then he goes to hug Louis, who stops and admires his smell. Smell is sexual, Louis says, and the two men inhale deeply, then kiss. Joe finally agrees to stay, and they embrace passionately.

Scene 3

As Mr. Lies sits playing the oboe in Harper's imaginary Antarctica, she enters in her snowsuit, dragging a fallen pine tree—she claims to have chewed it down with her teeth. Joe enters, wrapped in Louis's bed sheet—he is the "Eskimo" whom Harper saw last time. He tells her he is having an adventure but that she cannot join him. He disappears, and Harper admits that she is not in Antarctica but in Prospect Park in Brooklyn and that she took the tree from the arboretum nearby. A police car pulls up, lights flashing, and Harper surrenders.

Scene 4

Hannah answers the phone in Joe's apartment and learns that the police have picked up Harper with a fallen tree in the park. She reprimands the officer for laughing. She insists that Harper is not insane and promises to come pick her up.

Scene 5

Prior wakes up in his apartment, the Angel gone and the ceiling intact. He has had a wet dream. He calls the hospital to talk to Belize, who is working the night shift. Prior tells him about his sexy "dream" about the Angel and asks him to come over—he feels sad and scared yet filled with a mysterious joy. In the hospital, Roy's doctor Henry tries to get Belize's attention, but Belize ignores him long enough to sing a hymn with Prior to cheer him up; Prior chooses "Hark the Herald Angels." Henry gives Roy's chart to Belize and tells him to treat him carefully. Belize protests that if Roy has "liver cancer" he belongs in a different ward. When Henry leaves, he calls Prior back with the gossip: the closeted Roy has just checked in with AIDS.