FOSTER WAS A professor of Library Science at BU who favored dusty card catalogs and microfilm. I found him in the rare book room masturbating over a folio from Fuerst’s translation of Beowulf. He had the sad eyes of a circus clown and often whispered, so accustomed to the silence of reading rooms. On Saturdays we’d lie naked on his old camp mattress and he’d show me his collection of library cards, when I’d lose interest he’d cook up some scrapple and eat it off my chest. We’d make love all morning but he was a sloppy lover, often fondling his books with more care than me and his tongue tasted musty, like old parchment paper as if he’d spent all night licking illuminated manuscripts.
Breaking Point: The discovery that he had tested positive for a rare book fungus found under his foreskin.