The first time I met her, I was startled by her beauty--though beauty isn't precisely the right word in that it connotes certain culturally accepted aspects of form. In the eyes of the culture, she's probably more cute than beautiful. But what I felt was beauty. Something emanating from deep within her touching something deep within me. It was "that moment when music breaks glass," which is how Cheever described it in "The Country Husband." I felt that "pang of recognition," and I remember, I could hardly speak. My mind went blank for moments at a time, creating awkward pauses. She must have known. She must have known right then how stunned I was by her very presence. I feared she might think it had something to do with her celebrity status as a basketball player, rather than the deep inner connection I felt, rather than the sense of the numinous that arose at the first sight of her.

Professor Blat, she said, with a pleasant smile. I've come to see you about your course in postmodern American literature.

I took a step back. I couldn't speak. I looked down at the floor to cover my silence.

Professor Blat, she repeated. Her smile wavered. I couldn't form a single word.

Professor Blat, she repeated. I've come to see you about your course in postmodern American literature.

Yes, yes, I said, finally, thank God, finding my tongue. Come in. Please.

She came, hesitantly, into my office, and for the rest of the interview I spoke as best I could, but I know it was halting and awkward. When she left, she appeared confused.

How fondly I remember that day. With what great pleasure.