I was standing buck naked and getting ready to step into the shower at the YWCA and someone says, “I know you.”
The first thought that flashes through my mind is, “You couldn’t have said this before I undressed? Did you not recognize me then? Do I have a tell-tale birthmark down where the sun doesn’t shine?”
“You’re the one who writes the article in the paper,” my reader said.
Now I know my thumbnail shot in the newspaper doesn’t show my best side, but it certainly doesn’t show the side this guy was seeing either.
Anyway, the reader goes his way and I step into the shower and begin washing the sweat from my workout off and lathering up my hair.
Then I hear, “I like your articles.”
I look around and then I look down. I like them, too. Oh, wait. He said art- not test-. It’s the same guy who has finished his business on the urinal and is on his way out, but he decided to stop and have a conversation with me.
“Thanks, it’s always nice to get feedback on my stories.” And I really do love hearing from readers, just not when I’m soaped up and slicker than a politician’s promises.
“I like the stories you tell,” the reader said. “They are interesting and personalized. “
I felt sure my cheeks were blushing. Both sets since the shower was pretty hot. How could I be angry at someone who was being so nice? I also realized that this was going to make an interesting article.
“That’s what I look for… the stories that aren’t in the history books,” I said from the safety of my shower stall.
“Yea, I like them,” he added.
Then he walked away and I was left wondering why he couldn’t have been Scarlett Johansson. It would have made for a much better story and not just a recounting of my most awkward conversation with a reader…ever.