“How many girls have you slept with?” the man shouts.
The woman talking to me look over at him. “What did he say?” the first woman asks.
He shouts the line again and adds, “That’s what it says. Right here.”
I realize that he’s reading one of the pictures. In a stone at the bottom of a picture, there is an argument cut from my novel and one character asks this question of another.
“Who’s he talking to?” the second woman asks.
“Um…” I flip my artist badge over and back. “Well…”
The man’s wife takes him by the arm. “Come on,” she says to him.
“It’s her novel. And I’m reading and that’s what it says.”
People rarely read the art that closely. Or if they do, they keep it to themselves. Earlier another man said, “Your novel and your art? You’re really putting yourself out there.”
I couldn’t help but hear the unasked question, “Why?”
Why do we put ourselves out there? What do we hope to gain?