"So," he cocks an eyebrow, "How much they payin' ya?"
I sigh, realize I should have seen this coming. Whenever I tell someone I have published some poems, the first thing they ask about is money. They are not interested in the types of poems I write. They are oblivious to the quality, reputation, or prestige of the journals which have taken my work. And they certainly do not care about my passion for writing, my desire to have my work read, or my involvement with an international community of poets who value art for reasons beyond the bottom line.
Sizing him up, I notice his chipped tooth and Maple Leafs cap.
"As much," I reply, "As you make playing hockey."
I sharpen my pencil