Written All Over Your Face

My pharmacist today asked me if I was a writer. She quite literally made my day.

There's some back story required here. For one, I am a sickly, sickly human being. What is truly shocking about this, however, is that my wife is nearly as sickly. So the pharmacists at our local grocery store actually know each of us by name -- in fact, they've been allowing us to pick up each other's prescriptions for quite some time now, even though we've only been legally joined for two months.

Since I've been unemployed much, much longer than Nicole, I'm usually the one who runs the errands, which includes picking up our regular prescriptions. Over that time, I've developed a running dialogue with the people who dispense our pills.

I mean, these people knew when to switch from the "your wedding is soon" line of conversation to the "how was the wedding?" line of conversation. Honestly, we probably should have invited them (Nicole and I have the same primary care physician and the same ENT [Ear, Nose, and Throat for those not as sickly as we] and I have long maintained that we should have invited both of them to the wedding, if for nothing more than the gifts).

So, the first time I went to the store after Nicole and I had said our "I do's," I mentioned that our newly wed days were going to be a little harder than normal as we were both jobless.

That leads us to today. I picked up my prescription, and the nice lady behind the counter asked me how my job search was going. I told her I was waiting to hear about a few things (which is actually true). And then she asked me if I was a writer.

That kind of floored me.

Ultimately, this woman is a stranger to me. Aside from my various prescriptions and the fact that I've just been married, she doesn't really know anything about me. And I'll admit that, more often than not, I'm able to be fairly witty when I talk to her. I suppose that's a direct result of the fact that she has first hand knowledge of all my disturbing ailments so, really, how much worse can I look? And, besides, the fact that she knows I'm married (and has met Nicole) means that I don't ever get that "I don't know if I can engage him in conversation because he might be hitting on me" looks.

But still -- she knows very little of me or my life. And yet, with the little that she does know, she came to the conclusion that perhaps maybe I'm a writer.

So why was this so great -- why did it make my day? Because I NEVER call myself a writer. Never.

Okay, fine, it's happened a few times, but I feel like a complete shit every time I do. Why? Because I don't get paid to write. I don't make a living writing. None of the people who think I'm any good at writing are actually in a position to get me paid for it. I'm 33 and I'm still looking to get my foot in the door. Saying I'm a writer is like a fantasy baseball player saying they play baseball.

But evidently I'm giving off the impression that I AM a writer. And in this business -- and specifically in this city -- that means an awful lot.

I wrote a novel. I recently finished a book about my grandfather (and my grandmother and my relationship with Nicole). I have a stack of short stories that I regularly revise and regularly send out. I'm in a comic book class and I'm writing a full script for one of the many, many comic book ideas I have. I have, quite possibly, the most wide ranging and largest stockpiles of work in the world...

...and none of it has seen the light of day.

But today someone asked me if I was a writer. And while I couldn't actually answer in the affirmative, it was really nice to be asked.

I've been on a Jimmy Eat World kick lately, so here's a click of one of my favorite songs by them: