I have no idea what course these were for. But apparently we started out with a short list of words and were supposed to use them to write something meaningful. The first exercise apparently had a time limit, probably three minutes or five minutes.
I think I should have learned more from this course than I did.
I was holding my baby. But I started being aware that I couldn't remember its name. And so I started looking at it and I realized that I'd never seen this baby before. Then I realized that I don't even have a baby. So I stared at it, trying to figure out where ....
Helmut was really good. He slid into the booth across from me, and right away I knew that I was dealing with a guy who knew his business and didn't have much acquaintance with self-doubt. He was an athletic type, a bit on the wiry side, although he told me that he'd hurt his toe recently and so hadn't been able to do his usual running. He had that lean, composed, East-coast city look to him. The face was engaging, but the eyes were always partly directed inward.
Right away, he stared asking questions. Like I say, he was good. I never felt like I was being interrogated, or that he was holding back information about himself, but he kept me talking so easily that I never had much chance to ask questions of my own. I could see that he was quietly, unobtrusively assessing the information I gave him, so that he would later have a mental picture of me more detailed than that of many people who had known me for quite a while.