She hated that she cried in front of him. The Pervy-Pear-Priest-Particularness of his essay notes–sure, she hated that, too. But the way he was softening up just now. She hated that even more. It was an assignment. Not her life. Though he was telling her now that it was about her life. Or making her life speak, or some sort of nonsense.
“You’re not making me care here. I know there’s more that you want to say here,” he huffed, albeit more gently. “I know it.”
It surprised her that he was taking so much time. Profs outside of majors weren’t known for that, even though the admissions lit talked about how much they cared about the students. She wondered if her tears made him feel guilty. She bit her lip, hating the fact that she cried even more.
“What breaks your heart is what makes poetry,” he said, “what makes memoir is what tried to break your soul and failed.”
He was trying to make editing this thing some sort of spiritual moment. Broken soul? The third time he said “the aesthetics of the piece,” she started to tune him out a bit, and started going through her to-do list.
Revise paper, do laundry, pack suitcase, make good coffee for the train, get to the station in time to buy a ticket.
It was all do-able. It might take an all-nighter, so maybe she’d just forget the coffee for the train ride and just sleep. The crowd could occasionally contain a weirdo or two (Chicago to Las Vegas by way of Kansas City could do that), so she sorta wanted to keep her wits about her, so maybe she should make more coffee, actually, and be prepared to swig down the bad stuff on the train should she run out.
“Don’t you think?”
Shit. She had no idea what he had just suggested. It was going to take much longer to fix this.