Four years of boarding school Latin, four years of a hopeless crush on the boy with whom I was in a perennial contest for the Latin book prize. Two years he won, two years I did. He was diligent and analytical. I was not particularly diligent but I burrowed my way into noun declensions and Virgil by sheer force of will and love.
Junior year it was all Aeneas, all the time. The man was maddening. Sucking up to the gods and then getting in meaningless tiffs with them. Seducing Dido and then abandoning her for the sake of being a big shot on another continent. You couldn’t like the man or trust him, but when he said, as he did say, in plain and heartbreaking words, sunt lacrimae rerum–there are tears in things–you had to love him.
Venus et al.