"Mary, let's get married."
"You're not joking now," she said, "are you?"
"No, I'm not joking. I wish I could tell you it's a mad, passionate love, but you know me better than that."
"Yes," she said with a short, rueful laugh, "I do know you. What is it then?"
"In espionage, there's a term they use. 'Safehouse.' It's a completely secure place, where agents can stay and know they're free from danger and harm. It's a refuge, a hideyhole. Mary, I need a safehouse. The world is too much with me. Everything's getting dark, and I'm frightened. First of all, for my own sanity. So you see, I'm asking you for very selfish reasons. I need a safehouse that offers sheter and protection. From the madness. I need your moral and emotional support. If I don't get it, I'm not sure I'm going to make it much longer. The sadness of being human is beginning to get to me. All our high hopes and dreadful defeats. Our weakness! I can't cope anymore. It's getting harder and harder for me to laugh."
"Have you told all this to Al Wollman?"
"He tells me to pick up a creamer and get laid."
"Yes, that sounds like Al."
"But listen," he said earnestly, "I don't want you to think I'm asking you to marry me because I need a live-in shrink. Or nurse. I believe I can give you the same kind of support I want. What I'm hoping is that, between us, we can make a kind of - a kind of..."
"A kind of sanctuary?" she said.
"Exactly," he said, relaxing. "A kind of sanctuary. What do you say?"
"Yes," she said.