Jean: Are you always going to be interested in snakes? (She fools with his ear.)
Charles: (Almost crossly) In a way…snakes are my life.
Jean: (After a very long pause) What a life!
Charles: (After a pause) I suppose it sounds kind of silly…I mean I suppose I should have married…and gone into the brewing business which I suspect my father’s always wanted me to do…as a matter of fact he’s told me so fairly plainly…but I just don’t care for the brewing business.
Jean: You say that’s why you never married?
Charles: (Chuckling) Oh, no…it’s just that I’ve never met her, that’s all…I guess she’s somewhere in the world.
Jean: It would be too bad if you never bunked into each other.
Charles: (Shrugging) Well…
Jean: I suppose you know exactly what she looks like and everything.
Charles: I…I think I do.
Jean: I’ll bet she looks like… Marguerite in “Faust.”
Charles: No…she hasn’t…she isn’t…(He helps out with a gesture)…hefty enough for an opera singer.
Jean: Oh. How are her teeth?
Charles: (Startled) Hunh?
Jean: You should always pick one with good teeth…it saves expense later.
Charles: Oh…you’re kidding me…maybe you should.
Jean: Not badly. You have a right to have an ideal. I guess we all have an ideal.
Charles: What does yours look like?
Jean: He’s a little short guy with lots of money.
This article is available to online subscribers only.
Please choose from one of the options below to access this article:
Purchase a print premium subscription (20 issues per year) and also receive online access to all content on nybooks.com.
Purchase an Online Edition subscription and receive full access to all articles published by the Review since 1963.
Purchase a trial Online Edition subscription and receive unlimited access for one week to all the content on nybooks.com.