in cervisiam veritas

Look, she shrugged. I don't do it because I think my life is more exceptional than anyone else's. Or because I think I'm better.

They ordered her another cold one and nodded, gathering around to listen. Then tell us, they said. Why do you do it?

Ah, she replied, a serene smile spreading across her face. For the joy of it. The simple joy of writing. She raised her beer in anticipation of a toast.

But you could write anything, they said, their eyes narrowing. Articles. Fiction. Grocery circulars. Grants. It must be more than that.

Her smile tightened slightly, her brow warm in the sudden spotlight. She set her mug down, considering its foamy brim. It's the challenge of constructing an honest narration of my life. Telling stories that will convey who I am - and what my values are.

Your values? The tone had changed; they'd grown questioning and suspicious. And why do you want people to know those? 

She looked up sharply, realizing the trap. They stared at her and waited. Licking her lips, she tasted the sourness of her answer before she gave it. Because I think they're the right ones. The best ones. 

Dead silence for a beat before, to her shock, they erupted in uproarious laughter. Beer sloshed. Thighs slapped. They shook their heads in thorough enjoyment of her joke. Brilliant, one giggled. Can you imagine? crowed another. And in the clamor no one noticed her quietly push aside the drink at her elbow.