Excerpt from “Grace Notes”
Part IV, Chapter 4
“Let’s have that meeting while we walk
to the conference,” the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, suggested.
Ilene Bullock, a round, hesitant woman, was Grace’s boss of sorts. Her
on-the-fly meetings were Grace’s least favorite thing to do; she wouldn’t be
able to take notes. And Ilene’s thinking was so less linear that Grace
preferred. The woman’s eyelids closed and fluttered for long moments as
she talked in a circular, self-correcting way, ticked her tongue after every
clause, and never completed a sentence. Ever.
As they crossed the chilly courtyard,
the wind unabated from the night before, Grace looked up. Directly in her
sightline, was Chad.
He was talking intently to a tidy woman, thirties, with hair the rich red of a
bay colt, live black eyes and very deep dimples which, Grace was sure, prompted
her to smile often without showing teeth. Grace recognized her as the new
Poly-Sci associate professor come to them fresh from her PhD at Northwestern University—they’d
had a passing, trivial conversation at the cocktail party for new
faculty. She had a Midwestern name, Kristi, Debbie, Julie, and had seemed
awed a little, as though she’d joined the faculty where she’d just completed
her degree; her hot eyes searched everyone.