I can't bid you farewell
In my mind
I Don't think twice
In my mind
It's a tricky situation
Why, is everyday, I feel pain
Leo enters the office.
“Please, close the door Leo. Have a seat please” Dr. Rod Burgundy, dean of the English Department at The University of Illinois gestures, with a quick nod of his head to a cheap folding chair in front of his desk, the guest chair. A likely-to-fall stack of papers rests on it.
“Yes, over there is fine, set them over there next to the others. What's ailing you Leo? You look awful”
Burgundy's office has the faint cedar cellulose scent of a library. Three quarters of his office space is cluttered. Books, various stacks of papers piled on top of each other, corrugated boxes placed here and there, some filled with more papers. A Western view of the campus quad is behind him as he sits at his desk. It's late afternoon and the quad is sparsely populated with backpacked students feeding squirrels.
"I really screwed up this time Rod" Leo confides.
Burgundy stands to gaze out.
"You gave in" Burgundy sighs, "to an opportunity"
Leo looked down at the wooden edge of Burgundy's desk and recalls the tantalizing memory of her near him, whispering in his ear how she wanted to be his little yellow lover, blouse unbutton one button too many.
"Her submission, this time was not so terrible, unlike the previous one. This one was sad, real and lonely and just so real. It didn't need revising and editing at all. I could have left it alone and be done with it.
"But you didn't, did you?" Burgundy adds, still standing near his window, now facing Leo.
"The submission, her assignment haunted me. The writing did not need help, but she did. I added a new character to her short story. The new character was a mysterious boy who showed up from basically no where. An angel maybe, perhaps a savior of some sort. Long story short, he was not there to seduce her, but instead to instructed her, give her an assignment of sorts. He told her to leave and for the next two hours she go to a mall or any public place and feel beautiful. Will yourself to feel that way, pretend, live the fantasy, be fake for just two hours. Then after that come back to me.”
”Did she come back? After the two hours as instructed?”
”Yes she did and, yes we did”
”Leo!”, Burgundy shakes his head and sits back down across from him.
“You're an educator. The Instructor-Student relationship, is almost fatherly, almost priestly and add in the fact that, crap Leo, you of all people, you know how you are”
“I know what I'm not, a writer, is that what you mean? I cannot create a narrative to save my life, yet I torture myself with being an assistant professor of literature.”
”Maybe the same reason some become pilots, or doctors. The fear drives them to it. But tell me, how is it that you can edit and revise other works like nobody's business. You can transform any students narrative or assignment, regardless of how originally god-awfully written into a thing of sublime beauty.”
”And my female students fall maddeningly in lust with me.” Leo smiles a knowingly look Burgundy, a look Burgundy knows to well. “I never thought the classroom front row batting of the eye-lids was meant for me” Leo continues, “ and the secret messages left behind after lectures, it had to be a mistake, but the quick titty flashing in the hallways, just my imagination. I've never had such attention before.”
”Uh huh, yes we've been over this and as much as I have a hard time believing all this, I mean look at you Leo, you're a clone for Ross Perot. Do you really think you have the magic, your words puts spells on women and they want you then in a bad way.”