Are you selling these?
If someone will buy them.
And you, uh, uh, write…
I write them. I sell them.
He had been around for years. On his good days he slouched in a chair by the door of the café and twitched. On bad days, he stood outside, shaking, shouting, waving his arms. I had never seen him speak to anyone except the owner when he was being told to keep quiet or move. He had a grey beard and a wool coat. He had not cleaned it or himself in a while. He had a “trailer,” a body-width-wide, body-length-long, four-sided, roofed and floored structure, whose two-halves, which snapped together in the middle, could enclose a sleeper. It had wheels and a hitch that could attach to a bicycle but it sat now in the parking lot of the health food restaurant across the street like a shell awaiting its mollusk to return.
He said he would see me when he had money.
I said I would be back Wednesday. The first of the month had been a week ago and I did not see him receiving an infusion of cash soon.
When I was leaving, he asked what philosophy I offered people who read my books.
That was a good question. I said I did not have a philosophy, except to write about what interested me at the moment. I wrote a lot, I said, about alternative and underground cartoonists.
I had to repeat that for him.
He said something which referenced “The Telley Times.”
B.N. Duncan, I said. I’ve written about him,
Bob, I said.
Wayne, he said. Like Bruce Wayne
He had been born in Berkeley in 1949. He was writing about spiritual matters himself.
Wednesday, Wayne was there with a crumpled $5 bill. He wanted “The Schiz” because of its cartoons. I told him it was $15, so he wanted me to hold it for him. I said he could take it and pay me when he had more. He came back from his chair with another crumpled $5.
That will be plenty.