An affluent New York couple find their lives touched, intruded upon, and compelled by a mysterious young black man who is never quite who he says he is.

Ouisa Kitteridge: I read somewhere that everybody on this planet is separated by only six other people. Six degrees of separation between us and everyone else on this planet. The President of the United States, a gondolier in Venice, just fill in the names. I find it extremely comforting that we're so close. I also find it like Chinese water torture, that we're so close because you have to find the right six people to make the right connection... I am bound, you are bound, to everyone on this planet by a trail of six people.
Paul: The imagination. It's there to sort out your nightmare, to show you the exit from the maze of your nightmare, to transform the nightmare into dreams, that become your bedrock. If we do not listen to that voice, it dies, it shrivels, it vanishes. The imagination is not our escape. On the contrary, the imagination is the place we are all trying to get to.
Ouisa: And we turn him into an anecdote, with no teeth, and a punchline you'll tell for years to come: "Oh, that reminds me of the time the imposter came into our house." "Oh! Tell the one about that boy." And we become these human jukeboxes spitting out these anecdotes to dine out on like we're doing right now. Well I will not turn him into an anecdote, it was an experience. How do we hold onto the experience?
Paul: I believe the imagination is the passport that we create to help take us into the real world. I believe the imagination is merely another phrase for what is most uniquely us. Jung says, "The greatest sin is to be unconscious."
Ouisa Kittredge: There is so much you don't know. You are so smart and so stupid.
Paul: I'll be treated with care if you take me to the police. If they don't know you're special, they kill you.
Ouisa Kittredge: Oh, I don't think they kill you.
Paul: Mrs. Louisa Kittredge, I am black.
Ouisa Kittredge: I will deliver you to them with kindness and affection.
Ouisa: I am a collage of unaccounted for brush strokes. I am all random.
Paul: It is the worst kind of yellowness to be so scared of yourself that you put blindfolds on rather than deal with yourself. To face ourselves - that's the hard thing. The imagination - that's God's gift, to make the act of self-examination bearable.
Flan: What kind of behavior is this?
Ouisa: Tell me Flan, how much of your life can you account for?
Flan: Are you drunk? What's the matter with you? Don't you realize how important she is? What are you unhappy about? The Cezanne sale went through, the Matisse went through, we're rich! Rich enough. Next month there's a Bonnard.
Ouisa: These are the times I could take a knife and dig out your heart! Answer me! How much of your life...
Flan: -my life can I account for? All of it!
Flan: I am a gambler.
Ouisa: We're a terrible match.
Elizabeth: "Quality of mercy is not strained"? Well, fuck you, quality of mercy!
Paul: This world has been so heavy with all the right-to-lifers - "protect the lives of the unborn"; constitutional amendments - "when does life begin?"; or the converse, the end of life: the right to die. Why is life at this point in the twentieth century so focused upon the very beginning of life and the very end of life? What about the 80 years we have to live between those two inexorable bookends?
Flan Kittredge: Why do you stay in South Africa?
Geoffrey: One has to stay there. To educate the black workers. And we'll know we've been successful when they kill us.
Ouisa Kittredge: Oh, goodness.
Flan Kittredge: Planning the revolution that will destroy you.
Ouisa Kittredge: Putting your life on the line.
Geoffrey: We don't think of it like that. I wish you'd come and visit.
Ouisa Kittredge: Oh, would we visit you and sit in your gorgeous house, planning visits to the townships, demanding to see the poorest of the poor? "Oh, are you sure they're the worst off? I mean, we've come all this way. I mean, we don't want to see people just mildly victimized by apartheid. We demand shock." You know it doesn't seem right, sitting on the East Side, talking about revolution.
Tess: He offered you parts in Cats? I thought you hated Cats. You said it was an all time low in a lifetime of theatre going. You said, "Aeschylus did not invent the theatre to have it end up a bunch of chorus kids in cat suits prancing around wondering which of them will go to kitty-cat heaven."
Ben: That's your problem in a nutshell: you're so limited.
Paul: Always remember the wine from the even numbered years is superior to the wine from the odd numbered years.
Flan Kittredge: Never bullshit a bullshitter.
Paul: Every moment in life is a learning experience. Or what good is it, right?
Ouisa Kittredge: Don't think about elephants.
Paul: Did you see Donald Barthelme's obituary? He said that collage was the art form of the 20th century.
Ouisa Kittredge: Everything is somebody else's.
Paul: Not your children. Not your life.
Ouisa Kittredge: No, you got me there. That is mine. That is nobody else's.
Paul: You don't sound happy.
Ouisa Kittredge: There is so much you don't know. You are so smart and so stupid.
Tess: I will not be part of this conspiracy!
Flan: It's not a conspiracy, it's a family!
Trent: When rich people do something nice for you, you give 'em a pot of jam.
Flan Kittredge: Having a rich friend is like drowning and your friend makes lifeboats.
Ouisa: Only your friend gets very touchy if you say one word: lifeboat.
Flan Kittredge: This is what I dreamt. I didn't dream, so much as realize this. I feel so close to the paintings. I'm not just selling, like, pieces of meat. I remembered why I loved paintings in the first place, what got me into this. I thought... dreamt... remembered... how easy it is for a painter to lose a painting. He paints and paints, works on a canvas for months, and then, one day, he loses it. Loses the structure, loses the sense of it. You lose the painting. I remembered asking my kids' second-grade teacher: 'Why are all your students geniuses? Look at the first grade - blotches of green and black. The third grade - camouflage. But your grade, the second grade, Matisses, every one. You've made my child a Matisse. Let me study with you. Let me into the second grade. What is your secret?' 'I don't have any secret. I just know when to take their drawings away from them.' 'I dreamt of colour. I dreamt of our son's pink shirt. I dreamt of pinks and yellows. And the new Van Gogh the Museum of Modern Art got. And the Irises that sold for $53.5 million. And, wishing a Van Gogh was mine, I looked at my English hand-lasted shoes, and thought of Van Gogh's tragic shoes, and remembered me as I was-a painter losing a painting.'
Ouisa Kittredge: Chaos, control. Chaos, control. You like, you like?
Ouisa: He might have a gun!
Flan: A gun?
Hustler: Yeah... I might even have a knife!
[last lines]
Paul: The canvas... the canvas is painted on both sides.
Flan Kittredge: I thought, dreamt, remembered how easy it is for a painter to lose a painting. He paints and paints, works on a canvas for months, and then one day he loses it - loses the structure, loses the sense of it. You lose the painting.
Woody: You gave him my pink shirt? You gave a complete stranger my pink shirt? That shirt was a Christmas present from you! I treasured that shirt, I loved that shirt! My collar had grown a full size from weightlifting, you saw that my arms had grown, you saw that my neck had grown and you bought me that shirt for my new body! I loved that shirt! My first shirt for my new body and you gave that shirt away? I can't believe you! I hate this life and I hate you!
Flan: I hope your muggers read every word!
Ouisa: Oh, Flan!
[repeated line]
Flan: We could have been killed. Throats slashed!
[first lines]
Flan: My God!
Ouisa: Is anything gone?
Flan: How can I look, I'm shaking!
Ouisa: I want to know if anything's gone!
Flan: Calm down.
Ouisa: We could have been killed! Oh, my God! The Kandinsky!
Flan: The Kandinsky!
Ouisa: It's gone, oh my God! Call the police!
Flan: Oh, no, there it is. Oh! The silver Victorian inkwell!
Ouisa: How can you think of that thing?
Flan: Here's the inkwell.
Ouisa: We could have been murdered!
Flan: A silver Jaguar. Why?
Ouisa: Slashed. Throat slashed.
Flan: There's the Degas.
Ouisa: To go to bed at night happy and then murdered. Would we have woken up?
Flan: We're alive.
Doug: She said having sex with you was like having sex with a salad with bad dressing! Why did you bring me into this world?
Paul: You watch. It gives me a thrill to be looked at.
Woody: That was my first shirt for my new body!
Paul: I was wondering if I could fuck you.
Rick: Man, I don't do things like that.
Paul: That's what makes it so nice. You don't.

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