glorycloud's Diaryland Diary



I am down in the lower level reading some more of the novel 'Dissident Gardens' by Jonathan Lethem. I started reading this novel a long time ago. I really do not remember right now when I first started reading 'Dissident Garden'? I started reading this novel again while volunteering at the Book Nook. There has been for sale for a very long time a paperback edition of 'Dissident Gardens' and I once in awhile read from it where I last stopped reading. Finally I decided to finish reading 'Dissident Gardens' here at home. I am almost finished reading this wonderful novel by Jonathan Lethem. If I remember correctly I started reading 'Dissident Gardens' because I had been collecting Lethem's works, but had not actually read anything by him except some essays of his in a book titled, 'The Ecstasy of Influence Nonfiction ETC'. I am glad I finally got around to reading a novel by Lethem. I just remembered I did read by Lethem from his short story collection titled, 'Lucky Alan and Other Stories'. I found some of the stories in 'Lucky Alan lame to be honest. Recently someone made a movie based on Lethem's famous novel, 'Motherless Brooklyn', which there is also at the Book Nook a copy sitting on a bookshelf (been sitting there since the first day of Creation).

Yesterday towards my volunteer shift at the Book Nook (12:55 PM my shift ends at 1 o'clock PM) a fellow comes into the store talking to me like we know each other. In the course of our short conversation I find out that year ago before COVID-19 hit and closed down the Book Nook we meaning Hank and I had talked about Punk Music and the music of John Cage. I told Hank I did not recognize him because his hair was different. Hank had had a Mohawk haircut when I first me him (Hank is a mixture of African American and White parentage). Hank said he had grown his hair different since we last talked. Apparently Hank was at the library hanging out with the homeless crowd who sit downstairs or lay around all day on the bottom floor of the library with other homeless people who play with their cell phones all day and eat junk food out the snack machine if they have any money.

Hank like I wrote came into the Book Nook talking to me saying he had been sober now five months or was it ten months? Hank went out to tell me he had just came back from Grand Rapids searching the streets for a girl he use to hang out with on the streets. Hank told me (he was speed talking real excited with his eyes all crazy glow) that after looking high and low just as he was about to head back to Holland he spotted this girl (found out she is an addict, a prostitute, and homeless) walking down a street collecting cans. Apparently Hank picked her up against the wishes of her pimp and brought her back to Holland. Hank told me he was going to get this girl some help and get her back to health etc. . . Hank lives in an old 1992 van and he told me that right now as we were talking the woman addict (never got her name-Hank did say she had been living on the street [human trafficking] for ten years) was sleeping in his van feeling safe from a hostile world.

As we were talking or let's say as Hank was speed talking to me my replacement came and he went out to join his homeless friends. I got my stuff and as I was going upstairs I yell quietly to Hank "Nice talking to you." As I walked out of the library Hank was walking over to his old van and I was walking to my old 1992 Dodge van. I found this whole episode dreamlike because I found myself comparing my present world with Hank's present world. Hank looked to be in his late 20's and I am 69 years old. Many years ago before I was married and lived in Richmond California I was on Staff of the Richmond Rescue Mission. Also when I left California to attend Bible College I lived and worked as a Night Supervisor at Mel Trotter's Mission downtown Grand Rapids MI. I had communicated to Hank that I knew somewhat what it meant to live on the streets and that I had grown up with alcoholics. And yet as Hank walked to his old van I was going to get in my old van and came home to a nice cozy home, a godly wife, plenty of food, a life rich in divine blessings a living heart glorious knowledge of salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ. Whereas Hank had a van to live in and the task of getting a woman he once knew on the streets who was an addict and a prostitute (ex-prostitute?) helping her to get back to normal life job, no drugs, healthy and happy. To me sitting down here it all seems a sad tale of woe. I found myself praying for Hank and this lost woman. Maybe this coming Thursday when I cover for someone at the Book Nook I will run into Hank again and maybe we can talk some more. The Lord has been good to me over the 51 years I have been following the Lord Jesus Christ, He has taken care of us above all I can comprehend. Life is short and I pray Hank comes to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

6:10 p.m. - 2021-10-05


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