"Ernie? That's what you go by?"
"Yep. Sure do."
"But your real name is Robert Scud Miller?"
That's all the information I would get from Ernie for a while. My first time I talked to Robert Scud Miller, or rather, Ernie. Must've been a few weeks ago, can't remember for sure.
Just out for a walk, and saw some folks gathered around this fellow sitting cross-legged on one of the picnic tables. He looked in his 70s, but I think he was younger. He had one of those black composition notebooks in his lap, and he was writing at a frantic pace, total concentration, his eyes laughing, and his tongue poking out the corner of his mouth. There was this crazy hat resting cock-eyed on his head, the kind a 1960s TV dad would wear when he took his kids fishing. Looked like presidential campaign buttons from several years were pinned all around it.
No one spoke while he wrote. After a few minutes, he finished with a grand flourish of his pen, waving it in the air, then stuck the pen in his torn shirt pocket. He tore out the pages and handed them to a young woman and said, smiling, "One dollar, please."
She dug around in her purse, fished out a five, and handed it to him....
Keep writing, friends.