“Don’t let anybody tell you there’s no money in crime. There’s plenty money in crime.” The philosopher had a stained green bag over one shoulder. He carried a blue plastic sack in one hand and a walking stick in the other. He wore a soiled baseball cap and Cal t-shirts.
“Any bargains?” he said.
“I can give you a deal.”
He picked up a “Best Ride.”
“$5,” I said.
He looked at my photo on the back cover. “What happened?” he said.
“I still have the same sweater and jacket,” I said.
“Are you from New York?” he said.
“Philadelphia. I came out here in ‘68.”
“I just graduating high school. San Leandro. I’m fifth generation Californian. My mother’s a Daughter of the Golden West.”
He handed me a crumpled bill. I signed his book.
“To Monroe,” he siad. “Like the movie star. My grandfather’s company copper plated the Catholic church. They blessed each piece because we were Protestant.”
On the way out, he dropped the book.
But he picked it up and kept going.
In Other News…
Adele stopped by the café on her way to a doctor’s appointment. This was a different morning. She had forgotten to bring something for while she waited. She chose “Best Ride” too – a loaner.
She hadn’t read it in 40 years. Me either. She hasn’t been able to get over how good it is. She asks me where its depth came from. I say, I haven’t a clue.