"So of course I googled you," she said as she ran her finger around the rim of her water glass. Oh my god, how she ran her finger around the rim of her water glass.
"I hadn't heard of your book. Congratulations."
"Thanks," Joseph said sheepishly.
"I did read some reviews."
"They have been mixed."
"Yeah, I noticed that. But apparently some people liked it," she said and smiled in a way that made him feel proud, almost warm inside. "I've picked up a copy, it's sitting on my Kindle with the other 100 books I need to read, but I'll make sure to put it on the top of the list, even if this doesn't go so well and I never see you again," again that smile, this time accompanied with a soft chuckle. Joseph melted and the viscous fluid that was his body poured off his chair onto the floor.
"Thanks," he said again. Why couldn't he think of anything witty to say? He was being incredibly boring already.
"So you teach?" he asked.
"Yeah, and try to get published, just like everyone. The dog eat dog of professional poetry. You know."
This time he chuckled. He wondered if he should have chuckled. He actually didn't have the slightest idea how much of what she said was sarcastic and how much was serious.