When I took Major British Writers II in college, it was in a small meeting room and we sat around two six-foot tables shoved together. Oddly, I had three classes in that same room that semester and I was only taking five. Somehow I always ended up being late for that stupid class, which meant, lucky me, I got to sit right next to the professor. This professor was a nice man. No Roger by any stretch of the imagination. But he was very socially awkward. Most of the time that wasn’t an issue. We were discussing literature not attending a tea party.
Until the fateful day when we were discussing The Love Song Of Alfred J. Prufrock, Steinbeck’s The Chrysanthemums and Joyce’s The Dead. Don’t ask me how Steinbeck ended up in the conversation. I was explaining this brilliant insight I’d just had about the shared theme of lost opportunity to the professor who was sitting immediately to my right when, horror of horrors, I choked up. Like tight voiced, blinking fast to keep from crying, choked up. My professor, who was the only one who could see my face and knew what was happening, got this wild-eyed panic. I stammered off into nothing and he carried on with class as if I hadn’t just been moved to tears over literature right in front of him.
I had to sit next to him every single class after that because it was still the only seat available when I got there. I got an A in the class and I have loved Prufrock and The Dead since. Steinbeck, not so much.
Waiting For a Girl Like You available now.