Wednesday, February 16, 2005


She walks through the hallway in a straight line. Her office is at the end of the hall; she turns the key and pushes the weighted door open. The last light of the day comes in through the window. The room is small, but she is glad of the large window.

She sets her briefcase down on the desk and checks her voicemail. Her partner has a late meeting: should she get take-out on the way home? She decides to stay and grade a few papers; she returns her partner’s call and leaves a message.

The papers are for an undergraduate course she is teaching in Renaissance art. She reads five of them and makes comments in blue ink. The last paper analyses the construction of the female body in Florentine portraiture; she smiles and gives the student an ‘A’.

Stretching, she stands and looks out the window. She is tall and strikingly thin; there is no excess in her. She deciphers the bodies of women but does not recognize them.

She will give two lectures tomorrow that she has already prepared. This leaves her time to finish her report for the Faculty Committee. She sits on three committees to demonstrate service to the university, and has submitted two articles for publication this semester. She reminds herself that her tenure application is three years away.

She wonders when her partner will arrive at their apartment, and if she will already be asleep when she does. She drifts for a moment, imagining the space between her breasts and kissing her there. She decides that she will make a cup of tea when she gets home.

She collects her briefcase and coat and takes an apple from the side pocket. She closes the door behind her and walks through the hallway, biting through the apple’s skin as she turns toward the elevator. It is 7:45 PM.

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