David Fishkind

After the students disbanded, Lauren, advancing toward her professor, became suddenly, as if he was consumed by some forward moving notion of his existence beyond hers, elevated in terms of time, like he was existing seconds ahead of her, partially ignored. Following him, then, down the stairs voicing concerns of the machinery possibly necessary in order to see through her thesis, the man’s lurch seemed to react in anticipation of each thought stated, as if her very existence was some adumbration on his part, to be endured. Out and across the park, up two flights of stairs and down the echoing tiled floor, he turned to her and paused. She could read neither judiciousness nor humor in the thin lips, which not unsmilingly shaped around his words, when he did finally reply, ―Have you considered a career in social work? and slipped through a door just scarcely open, not having to say she’d be better not to follow.