Note: I seeded InferKit with the first sentence and let it generate text until it ended on the end of a sentence. So everything after the first sentence was AI-generated.
I have a ceramic bust of Medusa.
You know, the woman with snakes for hair.
The one who turned all of Phoenicia to stone when Ganymede turned to stone and Medusa laughed.
We were silent for a minute.
“Do you want to know what my first thought was?
Is that too much to ask?
That’s how I was thinking, okay?
I was thinking-did you ever look at the Medusa in the original painting?
I think it’s a stone gargoyle.
So you know, stone and stone and more stone and that’s why she turned to stone.
That’s a stone gargoyle.
So, what if I bought a ceramic Medusa, and I decided that it wasn’t worth much money, so I broke her head off and hid it.
After all, she only does what I want her to do, doesn’t she?
I think that maybe she only destroys things that are worthless.”
I was not surprised to see Julia shiver.
Her hand had flown to her mouth.
She looked down at the table, breathing through her mouth.
“Is it, do you know, obscene to talk like that?”
Is this the kind of conversation we should have with people in the art department?
After all, we have to be familiar with all of the many styles of sculpture and painting that this college has produced over the years.
So, if I told the art history department that I had a friend in the janitor’s closet who threw away some of their garbage, and he’d brought me a marble sculpture that he’d found in a dumpster, I don’t think that they’d tell me that was lewd and filthy.”
I had never said anything so obscene.
I could feel my face going hot.
And then I said, “It’s because you’re a woman, isn’t it?
You can’t make these jokes.”
“Well, that’s just it, Christian,” she said.
“What you think that this university is, what it is-what it was.
It’s not so much a university as it is a place for cultivation and improvement.
It’s not a place for my jokes.
It’s not a place for your jokes.
It’s an academy, and it wants students who have the ability to follow rules.”
“It doesn’t want my jokes?”
“Christian, that’s not what I’m saying.”
“You think this is some kind of place, some kind of position in life, that you can say any word you want and you’re protected?
All of us-the servants, the janitors-we don’t have the ability to say anything that we want and think that we’re protected?
Do you think that maybe when we got here, we signed on to do a job?
Do you think that maybe we’re here to study?
So we don’t think the way the artists think, or the philosophers, or the anthropologists, or the historians?
Because there’s this school of thought that we have to pick one culture to study, because that’s all we’ve got.
Do you know what that feels like, to go from being an Indian to being the servant?
To go from being a Mexican to being the servant?”
“I’m sorry,” she said.
“Don’t be sorry.
It’s not your fault.
I shouldn’t have said it.
And then she touched my hand.
She had very pale hands.
They were warm, but they were cold.