The Marine and the Monk

Image“That said, let’s move on to the next slide. Okay, one more.  What is it Josephine?”

“What does it smell like…feel like? I mean, how often does a person get a chance to do what you did? Have you written anything about it?”

“That is more than one question, Jo, so I’ll try to answer as succinctly as I can so we can move on.  It smells like Pasadena and feels like a rubber garden hose. Only one in ten thousand people get to do it. And, no, I haven’t written a thing about it.  Let’s move on.”

“Hi, Marge. Were you at the talk this morning?”

“Yeah, I was there, Jo. What is with Lucas, huh? He’s acting like he walked on the moon or something and doesn’t want to talk about it.”

“He gets more attention not talking about it–that’s why he’s being a jerk, Marge. I mean, ‘smells like Pasadena’? And then the garden hose business…and the stats…one in ten thousand can act like a dickhead.”

“He’s your advisor, Jo. Can you change advisers?”

“No, that would be sacrilege. I’d have to get a dispensation from the Pope himself.  Besides, I’m sleeping with him. It could be very messy.”

“You’re sleeping with Brother Lucas? How…what..?”

“Calm down, Marge. It’s not that big of a deal. He’s been known to do the nasty with one or two undergrads. Only difference with me is that I’m no 18-year-old Freshman. I’m 26 and a graduate student. It turns him on that I was a Marine right out of college. The way this is all going down, I’ve been thinking about going back to the Marines….”

“Jo, he’s a monk. How can he get away with this? What about his vows?  Have you talked with him about it?”

“Marge I screwed up.  Sleeping with my advisor is the issue. That he’s a monk is his issue–not mine. I’m going to go see the head of the department and see if she can fix this mess.”

“She wants a new advisor? Did she tell you why, Nan?”

“Yes.”

“Well, what did she say, Nan?”

“Brother Lucas, that’s confidential. What I can tell you is that Josephine’s interest in Biblical Archaeology has been piqued by Rene Attal.  And, with Rene as her advisor…well, let’s just say she will have more opportunities.”

“So, I’m a dead-end, am I, Dr. Kildare? Dr. Attal is famous and gets grant money every year.  He’s an elitist, Nan.  A smug, self-absorbed, Frenchman, with the hubris to gather up all the talent for self-aggrandizement, and, who considers all other archaeologists’ methods to be atavistic.”

“You said it–he is French. Really, Brother Lucas, casting such aspersions will not warm me to your perceived situation. Rene is, arguably, a bit conceited, and that’s as far as I will take this aspect of the conversation.”

“Well, I suppose that the choice is ultimately, Josephine’s….”

“You hit the nail on the head, Brother.”

“Right. Sorry, Sister. I can be a jerk sometimes.”

“Does Josephine know who you really are, Lucas? Because if she does, that could be a problem.”

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Join me next time for the continuation of The Marine and the Monk.
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