When I was twenty-four and very poor and still far from sure of myself as a writer, I fell for a woman almost twice my age. D. was a Californian, a professor’s ex-wife who found herself living alone on a farm outside the small town where I was in grad school.
I’d noticed D. many times—looking too cool as she sipped whiskeys and puffed Camels in the main street bars. But it wasn’t until the winter of my final year that anything between us sparked. We got to chatting at a friend’s dinner party. We talked about her past (college and grad school in L.A.; six years in London and Marseille with her ex). We talked about her favorite artists (Twombly and DeKooning). After a few hours, and too many glasses of boxed red wine, we found ourselves alone on the porch. It was November and bitter cold. Somehow D. came up with a blanket. She covered our legs and took my hand. Within seconds, we were kissing. Continue reading