A guy stops by my table at the café, balding, goatee, close-cropped red hair, ball cap (“C”). Grad student in chemistry.
I give him the usual answer. “Existential sports novel, true crime reportage, memoir, riveting medical account, black comedy.”
He picks up “The Schiz.”
“Half-dozen murders,” I say. “Kinky sex. Twenty different illustrations by twenty different cartoonist. Intricately plotted.”
“Looks interesting.” He has stopped at Shary Flenniken’s drawing. “But I don’t have cash.”
“I take credit cards.”
“Really?” I didn’t look the type.
“If I can work my Square.”
“It’s easier if I pay cash. I see you here all the time.”
Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, I thought.
“I think it’s awesome that you get to do what you like.”
If I was the role model, it would take him thirty years and luck.
In other news…
REMINDER: Adele and I read from I WILL KEEP YOU ALIVE at Books, Inc., 1491 Shattuck, Berkeley, on August 6, at 7:00 p.m. (Free admission, no cover, no minimum.)