This time, the man did speak to me, and I answered him. We exchanged hellos and there was a space. There really wasn't anything to say. I looked at him, and he looked at me, and then he moved to the door. He stopped and turned and said something. "What?" I asked. He repeated himself. "When did you discover that you were a writer?" he asked. I answered, "I always was, I guess." He likes to read my articles, he said, and then he headed for the the door once again.
I watched him leave the store, and I thought about it. That's the truth of it, I suppose. I've always been a writer. He left before he knew who I was. How strange to think that he probably knows more about me now than he ever did, but I understand him no better than I did fifteen years ago.