when i was in graduate school, i taught
the short story. once, while my best student
and i were drinking at howard’s, a bar
downtown, i told him that ‘who’s afraid
of virginia woolf’ was originally
written about homosexuals.
after that, he raised his hand at the
beginning of each class, entertaining
us with some bogus homosexual
fact. when he told us that bartleby
was a homosexual, i said,
“class, the reason john is giving us
all these homosexual facts
is because I am a homosexual.”
that shut him up. after that class, all
the students that had sat up front with their hands
in the air, participating the fuck
out of every story, moved to the back
and never spoke again. and all the silent
malcontents who’d sat in the back doodling
moved to the front and began to talk.
that’s when i decided that i was better
at being a waitress than a teacher.