1995: My professor lusts. I feel his stares, like a cat’s rough tongue. He is a political columnist and fiction writer too, so I don’t drop his class. One afternoon, I arrive late and he points to me: V, here, she’s not a writer. He moves on to another student and stuns her with what he cannot give me: yes, Shiela, she’s a writer. After class, over beers, the other writers console me, the professor was only being provocative, they say.
They were being daft. He made his point.
2015: I think of my H.H. and I remember what Nadine Gordimer wrote on writing:
“…A writer doesn’t only need the time when he’s actually writing– he or she has got to have time to think and time just to let things work out. Nothing is worse for this than society. Nothing is worse for this than the abrasive, if enjoyable, effect of other people.”
Photograph by Alex Stoddard