Some time last year I was sitting at the same table in the same cafe for days on end, writing. A woman came in each or most days and was clearly observing it. I noticed that peripherally.
One day she came up and said "excuse me, sorry to interrupt you, but are you writing a book?"
I said "Yes" and she seemed dumbfounded. She said then something like gosh and went away.
Earlier today I was sitting at a cafe table, writing. A man came over and said "Are you writing a book?" but there was a sneer in his voice. I didn't like anything about his voice.
I said Yes, but I said it with a snarl. Whereas I had looked at the woman and smiled, because really she meant well and it is I suppose a reasonable question; or let's say that my activity is unusual, with this shit I just reacted against him, his voice, his manner, his inate aggressiveness. I had, almost, welcomed her; not him.
I heard him speaking to a waitress later saying "I'm a writer" and I was confused. I rationalised it by saying to myself that, whatever kind of writer he is, he wanted to show off, and / or talk about himself. That done, I thought of more interesting things.
Later a friend told me she had had a terrible day or at least quite a bad one no a terrible day because she'd had The Sun wanting to talk to her. What did he want? I don't know she said. He asked all sorts of odd personal questions. Said he was writing about the area. Was he aggressive and pushy? Yes. Did he have a whining insincere voice. Oh God, she said. His voice!
I said: Let me tell you a story.
Neither of us was asked to remove our t shirts