When Essie comes in, Bill assumes it's Virginia, and addresses his demands to the open air.
Billy: "Mother. You show up at night, you show up at day... I'll call security."
Essie: "We need to really seriously talk right the fuck now. Not at home, either."
Billy: "Is my wife okay?"
Essie: "For now. Look, you want to hear the worst thing I ever did?"
Billy: "No. Less than anything in this world do I want to hear this. You're standing in an office, in the middle of a career, that was born from your weakness and your mistakes. Don't sully it by telling the truth now."
"The worst thing I ever did was not to speak up. I didn't speak up, and I didn't stop what was happening to you. I didn't speak up about a lot of things, so I'm gonna speak up now."
He stops trying to stop her when he realizes she's not really talking about him, after all. It's the best apology he's likely to get, and it's what he wanted to hear, but she's not even halfway to her point, so it means nothing.
Essie: "Do you remember Eleanor de Sousa? All high heels and long, red nails. She used to give you saltwater taffy. Do you? Your father's secretary."
Billy: "Absolutely not. I'll sleepwalk into the ocean before I..."
Essie: "I said your father was very sexual, and he was. But not with me. She was so pretty."
Billy: "What the hell are you going on about?"
Essie: "I can see it, Billy. Maybe better than you can? There's something..."
Billy: "Stop right there, Mother. She's a research assistant. Don't insult her."
Essie: "Whatever it is, it's real and it's complicated. You were winter for so long and now I see you doing things, acting ways, like a normal human being, and it scares me to death."
Essie: "The man your father was, with Eleanor de Sousa, was the man he wanted to be. And what we got at home was very little. Less than nothing."
Billy: "Worse than nothing. Now, get out of my office. This conversation is..."
Essie: "That's what Francis used to say, This conversation is over..."
Billy: "Don't you fucking compare him to me."
That's all she's been doing; it's involuntary. There is a capacity for violence. Men like apes; women drawing blood, by tooth or claw.
Essie: "If you don't want to be compared to him, don't be like him. Figure out what the hell you are doing. Bring those pieces up into the light and look at them, and assemble a life. Because right now you are drowning in things you can't look at."