Mickey: I'm curious, that's all. Come on, girls. Tell us, in your own words, why Jack and Shelley are out and we're in. Pray make it improbable.
Mary: Alright, I'll go first. It comes down to this: me and Shelley together create a surfeit of madness. We brighten each other's consciousness, but painfully so. We inspire each other, but the price paid in frazzled nerves and sleepless nights is terrible. He's hard on my nervous system.
Mark: I think he's hard on everyone's nervous system!
Mary: (taking Mark's hand) That's why I love you. You're just a regular, salt-of-the-earth guy.
Mark: You're damned right!
Mary: Though sometimes I worry about your temper.
Mark: Well, at least I'm not some spastic little elf.
Mickey: Now, come on, Mark, let's not be insulting. These are women of taste, and they've insisted that Shelley is a brilliant poet. We may forgive much from a spastic little elf if he delivers us beauty.
Mark: I'm looking at the only Beauty I care about. (caressing Mary's hand)
Mickey: Alright, I can see we've hit a bit of an impasse. The spotlight's on you, Harding. I want you to tell me, without undue restraint, why you left Jack and took up with me.
Harding: Mary's reasons were much more definite. With Jack, it's more of a subtle thing. I can't really explain...it's like he never looked at me. He's on some narcissistic quest to find himself, and I was merely incidental...he obsesses over everything, he agonizes over everything, and he doesn't know how to shut off his critical faculty and just live. It was too much like a prison being with him. It was acutely claustrophobic and I just had to get out. But I left him so cold. I definitely feel bad about it.