H was my favourite professor. he was also the person who suggested that not only were tabloids worth studying but they might be a viable thesis option. this is the man who taught me how to write the way i write. croftie and i adored him. we were his groupies.
H is also the only person more awkward than us. during social hours, we would approach him to try to make conversation and he would blanch. despite the fact that he'd thrown back a couple beers, he stood rigidly in a corner, visibly oppressed by his lack of a doctoral degree. the effort to speak to him was exhausting. after a suitable interval, croftie and i would back away, shellshocked in the face of such social ineptitude.
i have conflicting emotions about H. during the spring of 2004, i wrote him no less than three fan letters- thanking him for the enormous influence he'd had upon my writing. and yet, i never really wanted to see him again because the memory of his taxing conversational inadequacy was so vibrant. i thought i'd just dedicate a book to him somewhere along the way and that would suffice.
so i was thoroughly unprepared to wind up sitting directly in front of H on the red line today. i didn't know what to do or what to say, so i did and said nothing. the bombshell and i rambled on about how old we feel as H and his friend rambled on about films. i was painfully aware of H's presence. he was staring, trying to place me. with a toss of the raven hair, i could have swiveled around and gushed, H, croftie and i loooooooooooooove you. but i did nothing. for seven stops i did nothing. even as i felt his eyes following me to the door, i did and said nothing.
it's times like these that i wish i had the foresight to have written letters to all the people i don't particularly want to see but might run into, in which case i wouldn't be able to summon the nerve to speak to them. if i'd had a fan letter for H, i could have swiveled around, smiled silently, dropped it into his lap and possibly made his day. as it is, he's probably wandering around boys' town vexed because he can't place that black haired, colourfully dressed girl with the peachy gum.