Conversation with a Coworker
Yes, I know it's weird. You gotta problem with that?
“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.”
“So for what?”
I glare at her, but she doesn’t seem fazed.
“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?”
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.