And I walked into his office.
And again I got happy, weak in the knees, excited. He was so sweet... He was, he was in admiration... I don't know why I thought that because he made the appointment everything had changed... we talked about the article and my classes... And he told me a lot of personal-ish things... Career personal... and theories... and I was rapt and then I fell silent... and I switched seats... so we sat closer... and my body ached for him... and he said, "You look so pensive..." And he said "You need to be able to speak freely..." And he said,
"Okay, I wasn't going to bail you out, but you asked if I was being sarcastic... and no, I wasn't... I just realized as soon as I said that, that it was a gimmick, and cliche, and I didn't want to say it, it just seemed like the thing to say, it was... I think it was coming from a good place... but it was... well not necessarily clumsy, maybe clumsy, well it was a bad endeavor, so, I apologize for that, I'm glad you called me on it... And there were many other things I said on Tuesday that were... forced... I won't say those things anymore..."
"I'd rather you didn't, because they don't work, and I recognize the gimmick, and-"
"I know, I'm sorry... You're staring..."
"Sorry..." I said, and my body was burning so hard.... "I'm just, I'm physically distracted... I don't even have thoughts. I'm just... looking... I'm eating ice cream..." I said.
"Okay," he paused. "But there's always a direction of thought... I don't want to make you talk about anything, but what happens is now, you come in, and then you just stop, the dialogue stops, so... You're saying it's pointless to say those things you write... But don't you think it might be more beneficial than saying nothing at all?"
"You're very articulate when you write and... And I don't mind the e-mails, I'm glad you're telling me how you feel, but it's like you always say it after you leave... I just think instead of carrying on these two separate conversations, it might be valuable to say some of those things in here, where I can respond to them, right?"
"Right... Bail me out Julian..."
"Well the clock might bail you out soon--"
"I don't want the clock to bail me out."
"Oh, well... Why don't you think of a question you'd want to address, just so that you're not constraining yourself--"
"I have to constrain myself." I blurted out dead serious staring at the floor.
"Are you just like, oh god, this girl on my couch that'll never leave, stammering here about-"
He looked at me and shook his head and mouth 'no.'
"What you said on Tuesday about maybe it's good that I'm attracted to you since it shows I'm no longer looking for-"
"Ineffectual basement dwellers..."
"Hah, yes. Well... it was just..."
"It was clumsy and forced, it was one of those cliches, and I'm sorry I said it."
"I concede that. Was that what you wanted to say?"
"Yeah, it pissed me off..."
And then the clock bailed me out, and I said, Okay, and he said, okay, and I took a breath on the couch, and I got up and stood really close to him for a second, closer than I ever have and then mouthed 'Bye.'