"What about that man you call Sensei? If ever he's going to help you, then isn't this the time?"
This was the extent of Mother's understanding of Sensei. The same Sensei who, on my return home to the country, had urged me to receive my share of the family wealth while Father still lived. Brokering a position for me on my graduation was hardly within his purview.
"What was it that he does?" Father asked.
"He has no occupation," I answered.
I'd told my parents from the start that Sensei was not employed. My father, I expect, had not forgotten.
"How can he not be employed? He must do something to have earned your admiration so."
Father was goading me. The way he saw things, any man of worth should have established himself in the world in a position of respect. A man of leisure, it thus followed, could be nothing but a wastrel.
"I don't earn a paycheck myself, but I try to at least keep busy," Father continued.
I held my tongue.
"If he's the distinguished gentleman you describe him as, then certainly he can find you something. Have you tried asking him?"
"I haven't," I answered.
"You won't know if you don't try. Why not ask him? Write to him at least."
I returned a reluctant response and rose from my seat.