There’s some kind of nasty illness going around St. Mary’s. It’s afflicting everyon; a Black Death-ish sort of thing that hits you hard for a couple of days and goes away. And then you wind up getting it again because you go back to class and getting it from someone else. I’m finally better and I’ve gone to the “BAT” (remember that?) with C.M. for some food. We wind up getting frustrated and leaving because there are no vegetables. As a vegetarian, this is a big problem for CM; for me it’s only a minor annoyance except that I need the vitamins and minerals to get well again. And a meatball sub just isn’t going to cut it for me. Besides, I need to get to class.
I hurry to class: an independent study with Joanne Klein. I scramble up the stairs to her office (or just our meeting place?) at the top of the Washington Monument. There are only five floors in the whole building and each floor is preposterously large — bigger on the inside than they ought to be. I’m briefly detained and interrogated by some Marines (in full dress uniform) on the 4th floor who needed me to play a quick round of basketball. By the time I get up to the 5th floor, Joanne is there waiting for me. I apologize for having been absent the past couple sessions. “I’d had that nasty Black Death-ish thing.” She replies that she’s just getting over it herself, blows her nose, and pulls out a pack of cigarettes. She’s switched to Camels.