At the corner of Powell and Geary Streets, tourist central of San Francisco, a block from Saks Fifth Avenue and the St. Francis Hotel, where the doormen were hailing taxis for elegant women in stilettos speaking French very convincingly ...maybe they were French.
The reader stood in a corner, out of the way, with his book. I explained my project. He wanted $5. I left but later returned. Though I don't feel like my blog should be the stuff of monetary transactions, I could spare $1 and, from the appearance of his duct taped jacket, he'd be better be better by, if not $5, by a dollar.
I offered him $1 for a conversation.
Reading The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade, by Herman Melville. It's about a guy who sneaks aboard a steamboat on the Mississippi River and tests people's confidence.
His favorite books of all time--Papillon, by Henri Charrière--an autobiography by an unjustly imprisoned French man about his prison escapes--and, by Jack London, White Fang and Call of the Wild. There are many more, he said, it's just hard to think of them all at once. (Here's a post of a dogeared reader I met in Atlantic City whose favorite book was Papillon....he's not pictured either.)
What prison escape stories do you like? One of my favorites is The Long Walk, by Slavomir Rawicz, about a man who escapes from a Siberian labor camp and walks to British India. Whether the story is true or not remains a question. Another good book I read recently that gives an idea of the New York prison system (but not escapes) is Random Family, by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc.