Professor Gewanter

My name is Rashid Darden and I like dreams.

Last night I dreamed that I was in Georgetown (the neighborhood) outside of a house just beyond the gates of the university. It was a much larger house that what’s there in real life. In fact, it was giving New Orleans Garden District.

I was late for something, and I ran into Professor David Gewanter.

In real life, Professor Gewanter taught me poetry during my sophomore year in college. In fact, Amerie and I were in this class together. I remember walking from Walsh back to main campus via the library steps regularly with her. She loved Professor Gewanter and I was painfully indifferent. Something about him rubbed me the wrong way. Amerie would always try to delve deeper into why I didn’t like him, but I couldn’t articulate it. In retrospect, it seemed to me that he was surrounded by people who adored him and my perception was that he ate up the adoration without working toward a relationship with anyone else.

That’s probably not what was really happening, but that’s how 19-year-old me perceived it. (I must say I was in a different poetry class with Carolyn Forché a year or two later and I found her to be kind, friendly, and generally supportive of all of her students.)

Back to the dream. So, I’m outside of Professor Gewanter’s house and I’m late for something and he offers to give me a ride. I’m like sure, works for me, might as well. I get in his car, and it is old and junky, but it runs.

We’re riding around DC, but it really looks like a much larger metropolis, like Lagos or Tokyo or something exotic like that. Somehow, my friends Whitney and Clayton show up in the car with us.

That’s all I remember. I’m sorry. I never said these things had conclusions.