When he's invited to a formal academic dinner, he's asked (not in so many words) to play the role of guest and the role of performer and the role of audience for the Famous One, who is in town for one night to make what seems to some a lot of cash.
At the dinner, more than one person out of, say, 15, will fawn. More than once he's noticed the fawning and felt badly. He feels like a grubby hick and double-checks to insure his elbow is not on the table. He keeps an unobtrusive eye on the Famous One.
Out of nervousness, he will inhale the food, which always has too much sauce on it. Usually he cracks one good joke, just sophisticated enough, and he asks one question the Famous One likes answering. He earns his keep.
Outside, finally, he gulps cool air in darkness, loosens the noose of his red tie, gets the blazer off. He disappears from the group. He drives away like a burglar who got nothing but escaped arrest.
At home, more often than not he gets out of the car and stands behind a tree in the dark. There he opens his trousers and pisses. As he pisses, he breathes easy. He stares into rain or fog, or up at stars. He knows he will never master the art of being an academic.