“Fuck anyone who tells you not to quit yer day job! You just fuck ‘em!” It was really disconcerting advice. Not only because it was being yelled in my ear by a panhandling old man, but also because I’d just self-published my first children’s book, Cats With Laser Eyes. It had just gone to print that afternoon. The timing was uncanny.
It followed me back to my day job. Staffing a pump isn’t glamorous work, but it pays the bills in a way I doubt the kid lit ever will. One keeps my body alive, the other sustains my soul. It’ll do.
Around mid-shift, a friend called me and mentioned a party, so that’s where I ended up after work. I think I knew whose house it was, but I couldn’t pick him out of the crowd. The drink was bad, but it was free. I ended up in a corner of the house behind a potted tree, sharing an overstuffed chair with a pretty librarian who looked like an actress making time as a waitress. I told her about my book. “Don’t quit your day job,” she teased.
I decided to take the crazy old man’s advice.