"So, what you doing around here today?"
"Talking about sex," I said.
"Ohhhhhh," she said. "Do tell."
"I'm talking with men about sex," I said.
"What are you talking about?"
"I can't really go into details," I said.
"That sounds juicy," she said, as she prepared my much-needed 3 p.m. cup of black coffee.
* * *
"What are you doing in Oakland?" the father of Youngest's BFF asked as I swung by to grab the lad to bring him home.
Now, I could have gone into a bit more detail with him, but there was his precious 11-year-old daughter, ears perked, standing two feet away.
"Um, interviews," I said.
"Oh? What job are you trying to fill?" he asked, ever vigilant for a new opportunity.
"Um, not a job," I said. "I'm doing interviews about...certain behavior adults engage in."
"I see," he said, not really seeing but totally seeing.
* * *
I am truly doing valuable work. I am. I just can't really prove it to you. But I am hopeful that it's work that matters. And while I could certainly talk in detail about what precisely I did for the San Francisco Chronicle, and I can't talk about what I'm doing nowadays, what I do today is as valuable, if not more so, than what I ever did at the Chronicle.
Or so I keep saying.
If only to myself.