Timofey: [voiceover] The hands on the clock are waving goodbye. It was my grandfather's watch. The dial was painted by hand in America during Word War I. The brides of soldiers seated at long tables dutifully making luminous little sixes and eights to help keep the world free. The eights were particularly hard to make; so the women sucked on the tips of the paintbrushes to bring them to a fine point. One by one, their mouths began to fill with cancer. The radium-based paint they had swallowed bombarded their brains and bones with alpha and beta particles. The women who painted the watch faces sued the US Radium Corporation of West Orange, New Jersey. Had the trial been at night, the breath they used to say goodbye to the world would have glowed like moonlit fog. They were given ten thousand dollars for their lives.
Shiv: I need to see the shit.
Timofey: You don't understand.
Shiv: Fuck you! Let me see it! I want to see it!
Timofey: Are you aware of the radiological effects on living organisms? Protons cut through your DNA rewriting your genetic code. The instructions for teeth become the recipe for cancer. Your marrow dies inside your bones taking with it your immune system. The next coughing person will become an infection, the smoke from your cigarette becomes lethal as a bullet. A thousandth of a gram can change a life.
Shiv: Okay, I'll put the cigarette out.
Timofey: There is a right way to open this canister, no fewer than twenty wrong ways. Open it the wrong way and the material spills out. It costs thirty thousand dollars to learn the right way.
Timofey: [voiceover] Uranium, Neptunium, Plutonium. They came from space; found their way here by comet and meteorite. No child ever wished this from a star. Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl. Problems with half-lives forty-thousand years long. Half a life. Time takes half of us away and comes back later for the rest. We are children and then we are parents. We are long division. Slowly we decay into memory.
Timofey: [voiceover] In the end, everything decays to lead, number eighty-two on the periodic table. All of the brilliant things born in the center of stars will have turned cold and gray. Everything is moving in that direction. Toward lead. Impossible to stop.
Timofey: [voiceover] Light is a particle and a wave. This is hard to understand how a thing can be two things at once; but a woman is also both a particle and a wave. She's a wave when you see her reach down to pull a shell from the sea, and you feel her beauty pass through you like electrical current. She's a particle when her hair brushes your face, and her hands push into yours. And a child is also a particle and a wave. He is a wave the sound of his pain shoots through and twists you away from yourself. And he is a particle when a doctor hands you a baby; a small mirror. Women, children and light can be two things at once; a particle, a wave. They ricochet off the hard surfaces and illuminate the corners. Without them it would be far darker.
Timofey: [voiceover] An element loses a particle and becomes unstable. A chain reaction is set in motion. Pulsing waves of desperation in every direction. Perhaps the lost part is clarity or hope. In the fallout, the man-made elements appear- isotopes of fear and anger that cannot be handled safely or buried in the ground. They take the shape of a mushroom cloud started above a desert, that circles the globe and shadows us all.
Tusk: That is what you need to be able to see in the world now: a Baskin-Robbins of pussy. That is capitalism.
Timofey: You read too much.
Marina: I thought that's why you liked me.
Timofey: I never said I liked you. I said I loved you.
Marina: When did you say that?
Timofey: Before I ever knew your name. First day I saw you at the institute. I tried to say it with my eyes. On the day I married you in Tuvula and every day since. Just sometimes I said it to myself.
Timofey: [voiceover] I have been thinking about what hurts more: the jar or the pins. And I think I can tell you that it is not the pins. Because the monarch in the jar is already dead when it comes to the pins. At some point things stop hurting; and from inside the jar, with eyes that see in all directions, maybe it is possible to look into the future, well beyond the pins, to where the compass in your head tells you that you need to go.
Shiv: You know who wore hat like this?
Shiv: Jesse James.
Andrei: Jesse James!
[mimicking pistols with hands]
Shiv: Jesse James. He wore hat just like this. He only stole from rich people, so he really wasn't a thief. He'd go into a rough place like Chicago or Brooklyn and do business.
Andrei: Like you?
Shiv: [nodding] The CIA chased him for years. Whenever Jesse Jackson needed a car he stole one.
Andrei: Jesse James?
Shiv: What did I say?
Andrei: Reggie Jackson.
Shiv: Jesse Jackson! He could've been the president of the United States but they don't respect the black man so he went underground.
Andrei: Was he who did sports like Michael Jordan?
Shiv: Michael Jackson! Michael, Reggie, Jesse... and two other brothers: the Jackson Five. The most powerful family in America. Hey, what bill is Andrew Jackson on?
Shiv: Twenty! Hey. Respect the Jacksons.