The Professor’s Daughter

“I see your selection of books hasn’t improved.”

“David!” She stood up and embraced me.

I took her book, “What’s this? Toilet paper?”

“That happens to be a classic. You haven’t changed. Not one bit. But your hair, we need to do something about your hair.”

“I like my hair.”

“YOU do. The rest of us that have to look at your coiffure don’t.”

“Coi what?”

“Your hair, David. Your hair!”

This was Isabel, the professor’s daughter. Her father used to teach economics at some small college. He could have easily taken a job in one of the more prestigious universities but never did. He enjoyed the simplicity of provincial living. He once told me, “David, remember this, the whole point of moving away, is to get away!” He got his way and went away. His wife, Isabel’s mother, also got her way – away from him. Her photos still cover the professor’s walls more than eight years since they separated. I asked him why he leaves them there and he answered, “Why not? I’ve been surrounded with ugly things my whole life why stop now?” Isabel, he said, was the only beautiful thing he had. That she was – beautiful.

“You’re staring, David.”

“Oh… Sorry…”