"Helen was gay," Julia Taylor said.
"And you're not" Ann Grove asked.
"Well, Im not so much anything right now."
"Sexual experimentation is not obligatory at fifteen, you know. Infact, it's not obligatory at any age.
"No, its not that; it's just ... I think Helen likes one of my teachers."
"That's different: You can't act on that attraction until you've graduated and turned eighteen. If, of course, Julia is also attracted to her."
"But Edward wasnt Jan's teacher, ever. And he certainly had boy fri9ends before".
"That was politics."
"It's wrong to win a Nobel?"
"No." There was a brief pause: "Jan's mother is also a high-profile celebratory, at least in the Netherlands."
"She just writes poetry"
"She's the Court Poet at the Hague. That's the equivalent of Poet Laureate in Britain and in the States. Last year, during the fuss about public funding of the arts, the First Lady announced she had invited a number of poets to dinner at the White House. The Poets responded that they would come, and recite some of the political poems they had written about the President, which was an abuse of hospitality. The First Lady responded by trying to limit the topics the poets could write about. In my opinion, that was a really stupid move. Nothing sets a poet's back up like telling her what to write. Jan's mother wrote two limericks One about the First Lady cancelling the dinner and the other about the poets. Neither limerick translates into English.
"However, there was a fuss," Ann continued. The State Department got involved, the royal family got involved, Jan's mother offered to write another limerick, the ambassador from the Hague got involved.
"In any case, Jan and Edward decided to be law abiding until Jan's eighteenth birthday."
"I didn't know that, about the poets."