Conversation with a Coworker

Written by Mimi Starr on Thursday, 07 June 2018.

Yes, I know it's weird. You gotta problem with that?

Conversation with a Coworker

“What is that?”

I glance up to find my coworker’s face a few inches away from my own, squinting as she tries to make out my chicken-scrawl handwriting.

I quickly move my hand to cover the page.

“You don’t want to know, trust me.”

She rolls her eyes.

“Well, I just asked you what it was, didn’t I? Obvs I want to know.”

I refrain the urge to tell her that “obvs” is not a word at all, no it isn’t, check it up, it is not a word. Instead, I push my glasses up my nose and lean over the paper again.

“Just something I’m writing.”

“For college?”


“So for what?”

I glare at her, but she doesn’t seem fazed.

“For myself.”

“Ooh, like a to-do list?”

“No, not like a to-do list.”

She waits. I sigh heavily.

“I write. I’m a creative writer.”

Her eyes widen.

“Wow, that is legit cool! You write poetry?”

“Legit,” I say, after a long silence, “is not a word. Check it up. And no, I do not write poetry. Poetry is for people who think they’re deep and are really, really not.”

She looks offended.

“I like poetry.”

“Thank you,” I say, returning to my writing, “for proving my point.”

She’s quiet for a moment, trying to figure out whether she was just insulted.

“So, if you don’t write poetry, what do you write?”


“Fiction. I know what that is, I think. So, you, like, make up stories and stuff like that? Like Yael Mermelstein or Riva Pomerantz?”


Apparently, monosyllabic responses are not enough to scare this girl off.

“So, you’re in the middle of writing a book now? Ooh, is it going to be published with, like, a cool cover and everything! Will I be able to buy it in stores?”

With all the dignity and cold fury I can muster, I turn to her, my nostrils flaring and jaw clenched.

“Yes, I am in the middle of writing a book now. As to its publication, I have absolutely no idea whether or not it will be published. If it is then, yes, you will be able to buy it in a store. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I would like to continue my writing.”

And with that, I returned to my first draft. Something was definitely wrong with that sentence, why would he have done that when—

“What’s your story about?”

I sighed.


She thinks about this for a while, her brow furrowed.


“Yes,” I say in exasperation, folding up the paper and shoving it into my bag. It is obvious I am not going to get any work done as long as this girl hangs around asking stupid questions. “It is very weird.”

“Why do you do it, then?”

“Why?” I ask incredulously. “Why?

“That’s what I asked.”

I look at her for several long moments.

“Because I want to,” I say.

Then I stand up, bag in hand, and walk out the door.

About the Author

Mimi Starr

Mimi Starr

 Mimi Starr is an eighteen-year-old Chassidic girl currently residing in Brooklyn, New York. This blog is the expression of her thoughts, which is why you would probably be better off reading something else. In her sadly-limited spare time, Mimi likes to read, write, and eat ice cream.

Please feel free to leave comments with any suggestions for topics you'd want Mimi to discuss.

Comments (6)

  • Hadas Bat-el

    Hadas Bat-el

    07 June 2018 at 18:42 |
    I write poetry! I also do fiction though...
    I love this post too much to be offended much though.


    • Mimi Starr

      Mimi Starr

      08 June 2018 at 17:00 |
      Sorry, did not mean to offend anyone. I actually used to write poetry myself, but I found that, like most people, I was using it to try and be profound. I find fiction to be a more honest, to-the-point form of expression.

      I have absolutely no problem with poetry! The one thing I DO have a problem with is people who automatically assume that I must be a poet.


      • Hadas Bat-el

        Hadas Bat-el

        10 June 2018 at 06:47 |
        Haha, I get that. I definitely know the type of people you were referring to writing thing poetry like: "I love the blue sky, it make me want to fly.."
        I guess it depends. I like fiction but there's a lot of work put into it and you need lots of patience. For a book you need to really map things out, flesh out characters. Poetry just comes out, I can just be writing my feelings and afterwards I'll be like "Wow...that's an actually really good poem, did I write that?" Actually a poem I wrote just won me a 70 dollar gift card, so it's not all worthless :)


        • Mimi Starr

          Mimi Starr

          12 June 2018 at 14:06 |
          Yes, that's my point. Fiction is, in a way, more of an art: you need to do a lot of analysis and really plunge yourself into the story. Yet, somehow, poem writers get all the praise for being "deep." Sorry for all the passion: it must be obvious that I'm harboring some resentment about this :)

          Wow, good for you! Where can I sign up? ;)


          • Hadas Bat-el

            Hadas Bat-el

            13 June 2018 at 17:24 |
            I agree. I do short stories, my ADHD doesn't allow for much more. Hahaha, I honestly don't remember who sent me the ad, or applying, but I won. So there's that!
            Poems are more of an expression. Blog posts, essays, short stories, all take time and effort. Although if I'm writing a song, which I often do it's much harder, getting the beat and tune right, and the words catchy etc....
            Most of the poems I write are songs...


  • StillFighting


    14 June 2018 at 16:45 |
    I'm going to pretend i'm not insulted mimi;)

    I write poetry. And I am authentically a deep person.

    But I humbly admit that with all the poetic license I have I do find it corny and overdone sometimes... when that happens I just jump to prose for a bit even though its not my comfort zone I've had a hand at short stories and essays..

    Love how you made your point so clearly through this convo..


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