We've been members for years. There's a guy I used to see in there a lot, but haven't seen in two or three years. I guess one time we must have exchanged names and I must have told him I'm a writer. We were both lifting weights last night.
Him: "Hi! I haven't seen you for a while."
Me: "Yeah, it must have been a couple of years."
Him: "Every time I'm here, I think about what you wrote about this place."
Me: "What's that?"
Him: "That getting out of here is the traffic merge version of a-" he leaned forward and whispered - "mercy f*ck."
Me, trying to backpedal away from the f-word: "Oh, I actually wrote that about someplace else."
Me, babbling: "The Castle Super Sex Store. It's impossible to get out of their lot. Only I was actually talking about them when they used to be the Boston Market."
I sounded like some weird pervert. I should report that I only wrote that word in an essay for Portland's alternative weekly because I was trying to sound hip. And I had once set a scene at the Boston Market, which was taken over by Castle Super Sex Store. And I predicted it would fail for the same reason the Boston Market did: It's impossible to get out of the parking lot unless someone is willing to hold up traffic for you. (Full disclosures: So far, I've been wrong. )
Thank God I don't write about character's sex lives too much. Or all those readers would think I really meant me. It's bad enough that every time this guy looks at me he's going to think "mercy f*ck" and "Castle Super Sex Store."