It was morning -- 10 o'clock or earlier. I hadn't slept.
But I was young, and though I'd lectured for an hour or more,
I still had energy to spare.
I was walking out of the building where I'd lectured, when
I saw a woman, young, who stood where light was streaming in.
Her gauzy dress was billowing in the breeze,
and I could see her form, as if she wasn't wearing clothes
On exiting the building's door, I met that woman's gaze,
for just an instant. Walking, then, across the sunlit yard,
I heard, behind me, footsteps, fast -- and found her by my side.
She greeted me. I turned and answered, being just polite.
She was quite beautiful.
A word or two of casual talk, and then -- she offered me
a ride. I said, "I live nearby. I usually just walk."
But she insisted. So I sat, and as she drove, she asked,
"So what's your major?" I answered, "Physics."
"Why do you have that book, then?" she inquired,
and gestured at the thing that sat upon my lap --
a book on mathematics, meant for freshmen
who weren't majoring in engineering, sciences
or math -- and needed a refresher course.
But we were at the buildings meant for faculty,
where I was rooming with a friend who taught.
"I'm saved!" I thought. Some part of me
was just unwilling to acknowledge that
I now no longer could romance a girl
who might just be an undergrad, while I
had finished with my post-doc there at UCI,
and now had given my last lecture there in math,
and would be leaving soon for someplace far away.
I said, "We'll talk about that later, over coffee."
"But where -- and when?" she asked.
"I'm sure we'll meet each other once again.",
I said -- and saying this,
I waved and walked away.
I'd almost reached my building when I heard her car
-- and saw it curve and glide away.