When I came to a small college town in Ohio for a job interview at a state university, Nick came to the airport to pick me up.
We introduced ourselves and shook our hands. He had an enormously wide shoulder, attached to bulky and short arms like swollen balloons. He stood upright before my nose, his green eyes were staring at me like burning torches. I could hear his heavy breaths from his nose and mouth. Then suddenly he grabbed one of my hands and said, “Girl, I will take care of you.”
Nick told people in the university that he was a big shot in the biotechnology field. I was also in the same field, but I had not heard of his name before the interview.
Shortly after I was hired as the first and only female faculty member in the 38 years of the department history, one day, Nick appeared in my office. He sat down across the desk without saying a word, staring at me, the two torches burning again like wildfires.
I waited a minute for him to speak, but he was silent, only staring at me. I started talking slowly, then faster and faster. I started to sweat. I took my sweater off over my head. Beneath the sweater, I had a long-sleeve green shirt on. He was still staring at me, in the same manner of someone looking at Michelangelo at Uffizi. After about a half-hour, speaking alone, I finally gave up and turned to my computer as a polite signal that I needed to go back to my work. Nick slowly stood up, with his thick arms still crossed, and left my office, without a word.
When I looked down, the second and third buttons of my shirt from the top were unclosed and my red bra was visible from the wide-open spade-shaped slit.