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North Carolina Miscellany

COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

The Geography of Emotion by Kimberly Wheaton (oil and cold wax on cradled wood panel, 12x12)

NOBODY DISGRACED THEMSELVES AND SCURRIED AWAY UNDER THE COVER OF NIGHT. WITH ART BY KIMBERLY WHEATON

A long-time resident of Durham, NC, KIMBERLY WHEATON is a co-founder of Pleiades Arts, Inc., a nonprofit, community-based arts organization, where you can see her artwork in person. See her work, too, on her website. She has a bachelor’s in English Language and Literature from William & Mary and a master’s in Environmental Science from the University of Michigan.

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clear about his preference for having his wife beside him, his partner and the department’s. He’d even suggested that they split the appointment, but somewhere up the ladder of administration this was nixed. After the tottering relic whom Corin had replaced, nobody seemed ready to retire. Nobody got a better offer and left at the end of the semester. Nobody disgraced themselves and scurried away under the cover of night. Dorinda had a couple of nibbles, and one outof-town interview, but her own first year on the market came to nothing. They had made a contingency plan of visits and travel budgeting in case she got a job on the other side of the continent, but in the end they were not needed. His sigh of relief did not please her the way he may have thought it would. Her professional frustration increased after a period of working with a Temp organization, and though his actions were blameless and she did not, in fact, blame him, her state of mind was bound to affect his. Jeff, the department chair, eventually carved out a position for her as an adjunct teaching freshman composition. “It’s the best we can do right now,” he said. Corin understood. Dorinda did not. Dorinda wept off and on for days. He had a job, a real job, and she, whose GPA had been slightly higher than his, did not. Furthermore, his job had taken them to a remote and semi-rural location, around which was not a wealth of other educational institutions where she might have settled herself acceptably. The few institutions nearby were full-up, or in no particular need of a Spenser person. She sent feelers out in all directions, but everything was either too far away or not on the hunt. “I did the best I could” became his refrain, to which her response was inevitably, “I know, I know, I’m not blaming you,” followed by a flood of unforgiving tears. “Should I have turned it down? I still can.” She hated when he said this, for he knew the answer had to be “no,” and it edged her ever so slightly off the high ground. Preparing his first syllabus that summer, he called now and then to her from their little study, “Drayton? Should I include Michael Drayton? ‘Litany in Time of Plague,’ for sure. Should I make a point of introducing them to the madrigal?” He thought he was including her, but she thought of the standard freshman comp syllabus that had been emailed to her and from which the first year

Profile for East Carolina University

North Carolina Literary Review Online 2019  

A literary review published online annually by East Carolina University and by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association.

North Carolina Literary Review Online 2019  

A literary review published online annually by East Carolina University and by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association.

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