I was surprised to see Mr. Nesbaum at the mailbox. He's a sales associate in the hardware department at Home Depot, so I rarely see him during the day.
"Got the day off, eh, Mr. Nesbaum?"
He smiled slyly. "I don't work at Home Depot anymore."
I slipped my query letter into the slot. "Really? Why not?"
"I don't need to work anymore. Can I get in there?"
"Oh, I'm sorry." I stepped aside so he could get to his mailbox. "Did you retire?"
He pulled out his mail and started sorting through the letters. "Sort of. I've got a new career."
"No kidding? Doing what?"
"I'm an author and lecturer."
That got my attention. "Author and lecturer? I didn't know you were a writer."
"Well, I'm not sure I'd classify myself as a 'writer' ... but I have a book out."
"If you have a book out, I think that qualifies you as a writer ... what's it about?"
"About the proper use of hand tools."
Well, that made sense. "What's the title?"
"The Truth about the Left-Handed Screw Driver." He stopped sorting and held up a letter. "Here's what I was looking for."
"A check from the Southpaw Mechanics Association."
"I was the keynote speaker at their annual convention."
"Nope. Say, how're your books doing?"
"Oh, fair to middling ... I just got a royalty check for twenty-two dollars."
"Well, good for you." He started to leave, stopped and held up the check. "We ought to have you and the Misses over for dinner."
"Sure." I watched him walk away.