Prior finds himself lying in bed, surrounded by Belize, Emily, and Hannah. He tells his friends that he’s had a bizarre dream. Emily notes that Prior’s fever has gone down, and Hannah complains that she’s been sleeping in the same chair for a whole night. She claims she needs to go—she’s also had a strange dream.
Hannah seems dimly aware of what happened in her dream/vision, but nothing more—we can’t help but wonder if she remembers the orgasm she had a few hours ago.
Before Hannah can leave, Louis enters the room—he’s still horribly bruised from his fight with Joe. Hannah pushes past Louis, and Prior calls to her, “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” Hannah replies, “That’s a stupid thing to do,” and walks out the door. Belize also says goodbye to Prior—he offers Prior a “gift from a bad fairy”: Cohn’s stash of AZT. Prior studies the pills. He knows they can save his life, but they’ll also make him weak and anemic. Belize assures Prior that they can discuss these matters in the future. He walks out the door.
In this section, Prior alludes to the closing line of A Streetcar Named Desire, in which the tortured Southern belle Blanche Dubois is taken away to the insane asylum. Hannah’s ignorance of this play—a staple of popular (and gay) culture—shows her ignorance of the gay community. AZT is once again portrayed as an ambiguous symbol—here both in its effects and in the way it’s been procured.
Prior and Louis are alone in the hospital room. Louis tells Prior that he wants to get back together with him. He explains that he’s failed Prior—he’s run away from Prior instead of expressing his love. Louis tells Prior that he loves him deeply.
This seems like a reunion scene, with Prior and Louis finally professing their sincere love for each other—but as we’ll see, this just isn’t the case.