She had been teaching for twenty years and in all that time she had only slept with one student, a young woman named Arlette. It was during the time in her life that she referred to as the worst time when talking with friends.
At first, I would greet her from my sidewalk and she would respond with a nervous and instantaneous gesture. Afterwards, she would leap away, striking her knuckles against the walls, and, upon arriving at the corner, vanish without looking back. From the beginning, I liked her long face, her disdainful agility, and her striking blue jacket that looked more like a boys.
Translated from the French by Jeff Fort (Dalkey Archive Press)
In the morning, I went out into the hall to look for my old room, knocked on a few doors. Various residents answered my knocks, invited me in for a drink or not, seemed at home with themselves.