"What's it like?" he asked, "What's it like being a writer?"
I wasn't sure if he wanted my truth or his. I smiled.
"Your mind must always be in this creative state. Everything is inspiration. It's amazing."
I nodded. I let him answer. He was writing the scene. Not me.
"I wanted to write. You know? I have these ideas. I just never could get them out. I can never find the time. I don't know how you do it."
My smile grew. I didn't it to slip from my face as easily has his insult had passed through his lips.
"What do you do?" I asked.
"Me? Oh, I work in insurance. Keeps me busy. Good pay," he shrugged.
I smiled again. I wanted to tell him I'd always been interested in insurance. I think he wrote those words for me, but I went off script and smiled at someone across the room. He turned. His smile disappeared for a moment, then the corners of his mouth retracted into a different kind of grin.
"A friend of yours?" he asked.
"Yes, Please excuse me."
Not waiting for a response, I stepped away, chardonnay in hand, toward another stranger with kinder eyes and a real smile.