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A young man is rocked by two announcements from his elderly father: that he has terminal cancer, and that he has a young male lover.
Hal: Well, let's say that since you were little, you always dreamed of getting a lion. And you wait, and you wait, and you wait, and you wait but the lion doesn't come. And along comes a giraffe. You can be alone, or you can be with the giraffe. Oliver: I'd wait for the lion. Hal: That's why I worry about you.
Oliver: Our good fortune allowed us to feel a sadness our parents never had time for.
Anna: Why do you leave everyone? Why did you let me go? Oliver: Maybe because I don't really believe that it's gonna work. And then I make sure that it doesn't work.
Anna: You can ask me anything you want. Oliver: Anything? What's there? Anna: That's a tree. And Cars. Another building like this one. People in the building like us, half of them think it's never going to work out, the other half believe in magic. It's like a war between them. Oliver: How do you know so much about people? Anna: Well, you have to learn how to read their faces.
Oliver: Go and have experiences with your own people. I'll be right here... I'm a human. I'm not a dog... And you're a Jack Russell and that's a breed... Your personality was created by this guy John Russell, who was a hunting enthusiast in the 1800's. And he bred your ancestors for their stamina and their courage for the hunt. You think you're you and you want to chase the foxes, but... other people planted that in you years ago. And now somewhat arbitrarily you're considered very cute by us humans. And we keep breeding you not to chase foxes, but to be cute. And we put you in television shows, and movies, and you're chasing tennis balls because they're as close to a fox as you're gonna get.
Anna: But now I'm always in a new apartment or in another hotel somewhere. Oliver: How do you keep hold of friends? Or boyfriends? Anna: Makes it very easy to end up alone. To leave people. Oliver: You can stay in the same place and still find ways to leave people.
Oliver: Well, I'm gonna have to kill you now. Anna: Hm... why? Oliver: Because I'm falling in love with you.
Oliver: [writes on a billboard] You make me laugh but its not funny.
Anna: [writes down] Why are you at a party if you're sad?
Oliver: I've always wanted to have a phone call with somebody who doesn't talk.
Oliver: Why are you telling them you're turning the corner? Hal: Well, uh... Oliver: You, you have stage four cancer. Hal: It's not as bad as it sounds. Oliver: Pop - There is no stage five. Hal: [chuckles] That's not what it means. Oliver: Well, then what does it mean? Hal: It just means that it's been through three other stages.
Oliver: You re-wrote Jesus' death? Hal: It was far too violent. We need new stories.
Anna: You look so unhappy. Oliver: Well are you happy? Here? Anna: Maybe I'm not perfect at it. I don't really know what I'm doing. But I wanna be here.
Anna: You've lost so much. What if I can't make up for that?
Oliver: And what about the chair, is it gay? Hal: The chair is not gay, obviously.
Hal: I don't want to just be theoretically gay. I want to do something about it.
Oliver: We didn't go to this war. We didn't have to hide to have sex. Our good fortune allowed us to feel a sadness that our parents didn't have time for and a happiness that I never saw with them.
Oliver: Okay. You point - I'll drive.
Elliot: You're thinking about her all the time. Oliver: And you know that because? Elliot: Because you're not talking about it. I know you. There's a pause, then the truth.
Oliver: [voiceover] Six months later, my father told me he was gay. He had just turned 75. I always remember him wearing a purple sweater when he told me this but actually he wore a robe.
Oliver: I don't know Anna. I don't think this is what I'm supposed to feel like.
Anna: My name is Anna. You're worried you can't trust me because you don't know who I am. I get it; that makes sense to me.
Elliot: What was that? Oliver: Historical consciousness. Something bigger than myself.
Arthur: We knew it wouldn't work even before we met her.
Oliver: And I can really see Anna's eyes in 2003. Her ears. Her feet. This is what it looks like when she says, 'I love you,' in 2003. This is what it looks like when she cries. When she tells me there's always a new empty room waiting for her. They used to make her feel free. Now they make her feel the opposite of free.