A SWANKY EVENT, with wine and cheese and such, and balloons, but I felt overwhelmed and hid in the men’s room. Into which walked an older woman of maybe 55 or 60. An average Estonian woman, though attractive in her own way, blonde, with breasts, and eyes, and lips, and maybe a soul under her business attire. She was an accountant. She didn’t tell me so, but I just knew. They all have that look, as if only numbers interest them, and not men. Of course, I kissed her. “Why did you kiss me?” she asked. “Because I was desperate,” I told her. We kissed again, and then washed our hands and dried them and left. I left the event and walked into a computer classroom. Rows and rows of PCs. Mostly empty seats except for one. Lata was there, sitting beside one of the computers. She looked at me from behind the screen. “What happened to you in there?” Lata asked. “Nothing at all,” I said. I felt bad for little Lata, as if I had betrayed her with the toilet accountant, and left. Rich, an old friend from my college days, came up to me after that. He wanted to know if I had a recording of a lecture on reporting from the prior week. I said I did, and we began to walk toward my room, which was still in the university’s journalism or J school. Rich walked too quickly and soon disappeared into a crowd, and in the atrium, youngsters began to pester me for autographs. “Justin, Justin! Justin, Justin! Sign here, Justin!” I signed as many books as I could, and eventually reached my room. My mother was there on the couch, reading a newspaper. I began to play with some old toys on the floor behind the couch. Then Lata walked in and started to chat with my mother. Mother said, “Has something been going on between you and my son?” Lata addressed me, in Hindi. “Justin, does she know about us?” I answered her, in Hindi, “Not as far as I know.” “Actually, I do know a little,” said mother, reading her newspaper. I felt alarmed, I felt my inner temperature rise. But Lata and her both got to talking. They agreed that it would be a good idea to go to therapy together.

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