Stephen Fellner

When I was a graduate student, I didn't know what I was doing. I went alone immediately after undergrad. I took the train from University of Illinois to Syracuse. I had two sets of jeans and a few shirts. I had been so alone as an undergrad that I was used to not having any hygiene products and I don't remember but I don't think I had any. I forgot how to be clean. Sometimes I still do. I couldn't write, not that I couldn't, I was too scared. I don't believe in writer's block. All you to do write is put words on the page. The first semester I slowly made friends, but I could not write. I think it was one of my first depressions. I think I was still at a point though I didn't need pills. My brain was still OK enough that accumulating friends was still enough. Melanie Rae Thon was my first teacher. I remember going into her office, crying. All I did was cry. And she said, do you mind if I turn off the light? And I said, no. And she said, Can I hold you as you cry. And I said, yes. I must have cried for thirty minutes. It makes me sad that the world has changed. A teacher can not hold a student in the dark as they cry. I know why. I understand why. But still. Sometimes it needs, should happen. Sometimes you can save someone like that.

Subscribe to Our Site
All images other than author photos and artist artwork ©Matthew Batt 2020