Chapter 6: Tara
I closed Kevin's email and attachments. I didn't know how to react. Something was definitely roiling inside me. Here was a man who had given me so much pleasure dancing, and yet I felt ambivalent. Ambivalent being an understatement. Actually I felt furious. My heart wanted to side with Robin. Suddenly I remembered how I had first heard about his Robin. We'd been dancing and I had just found out that he was an English professor, or had been, rather, before retiring. I'd asked him who his favorite poet was. "Robin McClellan," he had said without hesitation. I had never heard of a poet by that name but was pleasantly moved when I found out Robin was a woman. Not the usual gender for a male professor to cite as a favorite author of any genre.
Later, from his emails and her notebooks, I learned that she hadn't published much. Had eventually changed from being a professor to working in the university library instead. While Kevin had offered to support her so she could write full time, she had, foolishly in my opinion, turned down his offer of financial support. What I wouldn't have given to have somebody support me while I worked on my own stuff rather than writing other people's memoirs, which didn't happen all that often in the first place, or type and answer phone calls for some attorney. It was a good deal all in all. Allowed me some time off to mull over my own work. But it made me queasy. Wasn't my inner life worth supporting me full out? I could see Robin's possible reasoning here, too, though. If you're being supported to do something, then it had better be lucrative. I loved her sentiments about Lolita. I wanted to know so much more about her but was also afraid that it might distance me further as far as Kevin was concerned. Clearly she'd had issues with him. And the not dancing. This was practically inconceivable to me. The way men typically are, of course. Inconceivable. They see us. They allegedly want to be with us, at least as far as sex is concerned, and maybe raising their children and such. But they do not want to please us. They'd rather please each other, or at any rate, take directions from each other. Fundamentally I believe most men are homosexual, especially those who profess otherwise. They adore each other, they respect each other, they aim to please each other, they look out for each other, they take all their directives from one another. The only thing they don't dare to do is make love to each other. Okay, so I'm wrong. They're not homosexual. Rather, they are homoamorous. No wonder women and sex, while necessary to their well-being, not to mention the well-being of future generations, are so low on their scale of respect.
I went out dancing a few times. It wasn't very exciting without Kevin there and Doreen still busy with Jake who was indeed relocating. Yay, Doreen. Once again I wished I had her sunny spirit. She accepted the world the way it was. Oh, she complained, she ranted and raved and blustered, but on the whole she wanted what was on offer. So what was wrong with me? I too wanted what was on offer, very much so. But there was something missing in me that would forever leave me discontent. I had successfully avoided dancing with the ambitious Kwan again. I did dance with Jeremy once each outing and with several others, including Lalo who actually showed up without Maricela one night.
I was wondering with some anxiety when Kevin was coming back. I guess being retired he could do whatever he wanted whenever he wanted.
"Is there even a place to go dance where you are?" I asked him once in an email.
"Actually no," he wrote back. "But I do have a beautiful view of some hills from my window and I go for walks by the ocean once a day or so."
Kevin not dancing was hard for me to envision, and yet, clearly that had been Robin's life. So hard to imagine. Only now it was becoming my life as well.
Then Kevin wrote that he was going to stay away longer than he had first planned. What in the world are you doing? I asked. Writing. Going for walks. Not dancing. I remembered Doreen's early warning not to fall in love with him. Well, I hadn't. Technically I wasn't in love with him, but now I loved his emails, especially when he sent me another piece of his story.