"Oh." I'm not sure what to say. I thought I was the one supposed to talk about my childhood, perhaps. Does he realize how uncomfortable he's making me? Am I supposed to be impressed by his allegedly having read The Scarlet Letter as a kid?
I prefer to remain on more neutral ground. "Actually" I say "my research isn't really on The Scarlet Letter. I work more on the short stories, 'The Minister's Black Veil', 'Young Goodman Brown'..." Would he even have heard of these? "My theme is Puritanism and the New England Gothic. I'm even, ah, looking for connections with Lovecraft..."
Now I sound like I'm talking to a potential adviser, rather than a therapist, albeit an odd one.
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