Birthday Entry 11/04/78

I looked in the mirror this morning: I am a male, older, tall. Of average
weight, slightly under. I was born today, thirty seven years before. I am
an academic sprung from a family of lawyers and doctors: a generation of
words after an bout of illness. I have now been separated for exactly two
months. I am holding up. I burned the notebooks yesterday ---everything,
not only the sections about her. Will I regret it? Does the memory only
seem to fade?

I've made her room into a storage room. She has left two bags behind but
I will not contact her: I think it was intentional. They are filled with
the clothes and jewelry I bought her; on the other hand, it is only a small
portion of it; actually, I think it is the cheaper stuff. Perhaps they are
the things she grew tired of.

I turned thirty-seven today but I feel as though I have been here for a
long time. That I have always been working towards this number but that
it has no significance in it of itself; it is simply a number that reminds
me--no, rings of, truth. So I have arrived at the age of truth--whose truth?
My students asked me today, slyly, if I am taking a trip; of course I am.
I am notorious for my mid-quarter sojourns. I am taking a brief fling into
the heart of France; Provence, to be exact; I murmur something about a heart
irregularity, a hospital; they love this: the teacher playing hookey. The
administration, appreciatively, turns a blind eye on these escapades of
mine; perhaps they are thankful that I have yet to become embroiled with
a student, or their politics....perhaps it simply winds back to the inexplicable
popularity I have with my students; inexplicable because I teach with no
great zest, profundity or rigor. I am, at times, verging on the inconsistent,
the lax. Tenure is a fine thing in that respect. I come late to class--the
few minutes that indicate that I don't care--I have no endearing quirks,
memorable disfigurations. My looks could not carry me any farther than this
door. I publish only infrequently. And yet I am as sure of my position here
as I am of my name.

Where will I go tomorrow?

Marenna. I have ordered the ticket. I will stay with Marenna. She will be
sixty in January. Only recently have her paintings become popular; I wonder
how she could have waited so long. That is love, I suppose, of a different
order. Now she churns them out like prints.

I admire her for this lack of art or shame. The rooms are filled with light. It is strange how we met. She never seemed to be the sort of woman who belonged in Haiti.

cf. Haiti
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