Dr. Rosen Who Had No Daughter

Quiet, portly Dr. Rosen lived in the attic with four identical tan suits and a hot plate and that was about it. He smoked peculiar-smelling cigarettes and taught physics.

Or so I’m told. I never saw him on campus. I don’t even think he left his room more than a handful of times while I was there. Nevertheless, he was always on the outskirts of my consciousness in that strange place, loitering in the shadows of my daily life.

Petra knew him a little better, having shared a smoke or two with him. Once, as her father was leaving after one of his frequent visits from the Great White North, she and I were standing on the porch waving our goodbyes when I caught a glimpse of Dr. Rosen rounding the corner of the house. All I saw was the mumbling spectre’s round, tear-streaked face and a flash of tan as he disappeared through the door.

She gave me a decidedly Nordic look of compassion. She was good at those. And at other things.

“He has no daughter.” She shrugged.

I didn’t suppose I needed to know more.

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