I was buying wine Friday night. I got carded. I told the cashier that I was flattered, considering I’m old enough to have children that are of legal drinking age. I got over my initial burst of pride when he put on glasses to check my ID.
He rang up my purchase and told me the total due was $19.70. While I swiped my card and cycled through the screens on the keypad, he reminisced about how good of a year 1970 was for him. He mentioned music and some songs in particular. A pleased look took over his face, along with a smile. Not the overdone, comical, huge ear-to-ear type of smile, but one of those smiles you get when you don’t even realize you’re smiling.
We were just about done with the transaction when I blurted out “I’m writing a novel that is set in 1970.” It was out of my mouth before I knew what I was saying. I’m not one to bring up my writing with people I don’t know. I stick to discussing it at school, with family and close friends, on my blog, at writing festivals, or at my writers group. I don’t wear it on my sleeve.
He started asking me questions about my story. My transaction was complete and there was a line behind me. I had put myself in an uncomfortable position. I felt like I was being interrogated by the police, shackled to a table with the bright light shining in my face. “Confess! Or else.” I gave him some vague details. As I did I noticed that the woman in line behind me was leaning in with her head turned and tilted to hear what we were talking about. I took my bag and left the store.
As I walked through the parking lot, I realized that I had just admitted in public that I am a writer. The amazing part was that nobody heckled, snickered, or pointed at me and laughed. They showed interest instead of laughing at me and my silly dream.
I am a writer.