I interact with - literally - hundreds of people some days. Ever since the death of Jamie Hubley, I decided to be as visible as I can. There's a law of averages in effect between my decision and the reality of the number of people I talk to that I bump into the occasional individual where there's friction.
It happened today, unexpectedly. In the middle of a good conversation where I'd suggested multiple books and obviously had tastes in synch with the guy, and so I suggested a few other titles. He had mentioned his wife. He asked about a particular series.
I said, "Oh, my husband read those. He loves them. And he also liked..."
And that's as far as I got, because he gave me the I just swallowed lemons and baby poop face, made a disgusted noise, and turned and walked away, dropping the books he'd been gathering on one of the tables as he passed it by.
It's a conscious choice to be myself, out loud and without hesitation. It also really sucks sometimes. I'm not going to stop. But man, every now and then someone reminds me of the way the world is, rather than the way I'd like it to be.
"IMHO," by Marcy Rogers
This very short tale kicks off Friend. Follow. Text.: #storiesFromLivingOnline, edited by Shawn Syms, and lets the reader know they're in for tales that go beyond the typical - and safe - ideas they might have been expecting.
Here we meet Jude, who has connected with Scott online - a man he's never met, but for whom very strong feelings have definitely grown. But it's not what you'd think, and in a very short space, Rogers gives you a sharp left turn, and then - boom - the last few lines are like a series of rabbit punches to your expectations.
A great start - and I can't wait to keep going.