20 | Psychopomp Magazine
I got up and went into the kitchen. At that moment, I wanted to be anywhere, anyone, else.
Daniel met Vera on campus after I had broken up with him, yet again. She was quiet and wore purple glasses. I thought her hair looked like the color of dishwater, but when I said it out loud Annabelle gave me a warning look. Vera wanted to be an art teacher. She liked to make pottery and volunteered for a program that mentored kids from troubled homes.
The four of us, along with others, got drinks on a bar patio. We were celebrating. Annabelle was starting classes after coming back from some sort of spiritual trip to Mexico. She’d been gone for months. I was settling into my line of work, although I talked about it with no one, of course. I had let go of the idea of school entirely, which displeased Daniel.
“So, what kind of money does an art teacher make?” My curiosity was genuine. What was it about this girl that was so respectable in ways I was not?
Vera giggled, and I liked to believe she did so nervously. She pushed those dopey glasses up her nose and met my eyes briefly.
“Oh, the money will be terrible. But I just love helping them, especially with the wheel. Sometimes it’s so hard to not jump in and do it for them—I can always see when a piece is starting to tilt, and I just know when the end is near.”
it’s so hard to not jump in and do it for them—I can always see when a piece is starting to tilt, and I just know when the end is near.”
“So why don’t you?”
“Jump in and save it. Seems a little cruel to just hang back when you know what’s going to happen.”
“Well, they can’t learn that way. With clay, you have to get the feel for how to apply pressure in the right way. Otherwise, you’ll just go on collapsing your pots forever!” She giggled again and glanced at Daniel. She was visibly relieved when Annabelle took over and told a story about hunting for peyote in the desert.
I admit it: I switched Vera. But it was for a good reason. Daniel was graduating, and I wanted to be there. I felt I deserved to be there. It was me who sat with him during all those long nights of homework. It was