Over the next month, Val dives deep into despair. Val begins working on collages and writing love letters and poetry on the walls of his studio. He has become a social recluse, not shaving or washing for weeks. The few times he leaves his home he stops and waits outside of Jackson’s door. He begins to hallucinate strange sounds coming from behind the door, sounds of antique radio broadcast and voices in foreign languages.
Later, Val finds a spider crawling across a collage in mid-composition. Val kills the spider, hitting it with such violence he fears he may have broken his hand. Val walks across the hall and asks Jackson to take him to the emergency room. Although the two friends haven’t spoken in weeks, Jackson agrees and takes him to the hospital where they tape his sprained hand and give him a handful of painkillers. On the way home Jackson buys a bottle of Laphroaig.
Back at Jackson’s studio, as they drink and take painkillers, Jackson shows Val a photo of him as a young man with his uncle in Hong Kong. Jackson tells Val about his travels and how he became addicted. The two men spend the night talking while Jackson plays Spanish Guitar and Val sketches the view from the window of the LES with his good hand.
The last vignette of Act two begins with Val descending into a state of madness. Val finds himself in a “point-of-no-return, to get out of it, he must go through it. While Val works his way through his madness, he is not participating in, but more eavesdropping on the world to try and figure his place in it.
When Val breaks his hand, it is a surrogate suicide, much the same way as when he destroyed his career. Val uses the occasion to reunite with Jackson, and from this, we learn of Jackson’s rationale for his actions.
Act two ends with a dark moment and a reconciliation between Val and Jackson.
The Jack of Hearts > > >