Review: A mood piece. Wasted years Wasted loves. Wasted life. Rootlessness. Lack of a wholesome married life.
Passing through New York City, on his way to Paris the next day to meet with his current romantic interest, Janine, Ferris sees again his ex-wife Elizabeth, divorced eight years ago. He follows her, but does not catch up to her. On a whim, he calls her. She and her husband have a theater engagement that night, but Elizabeth invites him for an early dinner. Memories flood back of his years with Elizabeth, her beautiful artistry on the piano. And she now has children by her second marriage.
Ferris longs for Elizabeth’s settled life. He begins to realize the need to stop being a transient in a hurry between engagements. In Paris, Janine is singing in a night club, but he sees again Janine’s young son. He had once planned to go to a puppet show with Janine’s son, but he had had another engagement and could not make it. Ferris is determined to take the boy this time, but the boy says the puppet theater is closed.
“Again, the terror, the acknowledgment of wasted years and death.”
Short Story Masterpieces. Ed. RP Warren and A. Erskine. New York: Dell Books. 1954.