He showed up with another of our co-workers and his brother. And then another two guys showed up with their wives. I was sort of stunned.
I had two pieces to read, the first of which was a short that contained a conversation between a little boy and an old lady about why she never had any children. After I was finished reading it, my co-workers yelled and cheered, and one of them dragged me out of the room and started drilling me about "why don't you publish this stuff?" As though I've been willfully withholding it.
The thing is, all of my co-workers ended up asking me the same question: Did you write that? I can't decide quite how I feel about that question. On the one hand, it's like they don't believe that the person they know is capable of writing anything that sounds readable. On the other hand, they also say that what they heard was very good.
I have settled for being very flattered, and realized that it's always a little jarring to realize that someone you know is extraordinarily gifted. It's hard to reconcile the person you know and joke with and occasionally have terrible thoughts about with the sort of person who can make keen observations and put together revealing descriptions that are at once specific and universal.
I think that people at work will be looking at me a little differently now.