Book Reading Guy



There are all kinds of people on the street scene. If you are a student of human psychology you will find plenty of fodder worthy of study. You will meet many, many peculiar and one-of-a-kind characters. I’ll give you an example.

There’s a guy on the scene that we call Book Reading Guy. He got that name because, well, for years and years he sat under the awning of the People’s Park bathroom reading paperback novels all day long. And I mean ALL day long. He would show up early in the morning and start reading away. And he wouldn’t stop reading until 10 o’clock curfew at night when we all got kicked out of the Park. Then he’d walk a couple blocks to a doorway on Tele and Dwight where he crashed. Wake up in the morning. And start the whole thing all over again. Every day.  Rain or shine.  For at least the last 5 years.

After awhile you barely even noticed Book Reading Guy. It was like he was just part of the scenery. “There’s a tree. There’s a bench. There’s a rock. And there’s Book Reading Guy.”

He was an older black man. Probably in his late 50s. To call him mild-mannered and subdued would be an understatement. He never talked to anybody. Never made eye contact. Never put out any vibes. Just sat there quietly with his face buried in his book.

The only time I ever saw him get up from his chair was when some free food hit the Park.  He’d jump up and get his share.  And then go right back to his reading.

I admired him in a way. He never caused any problems. Always minded his own business. And never got involved in any of the madness that was always swirling around the Park (which is more than you can say for 90% of the people in this damn place)

For all I knew he was practicing a form of meditation — withdrawing from the outer world into the inner world of his imagination. He had made a peculiar adjustment, but it allowed him to exist and function in his own little niche. . . On the other hand, it seemed like a pretty severe and limited existence. But who knows.

Anyways, last week I showed up and Book Reading Guy was gone.  And the groundskeepers were cleaning up blood from the ground. “The whole ground was covered with blood,” said Hate Man. “Book Reading Guy slit his own throat this morning. They rushed him off to the hospital.”

Everybody was shocked. This guy who never did ANYTHING. And then all of a sudden, completely out of the blue, he does something like THAT.

Last I heard, Book Reading Guy survived. After he was released from the hospital they took him to John George — the local nut house. I guess to try and figure out what to do with him next.

In a strange epilogue, a couple days later a big tree by the bathroom up-rooted and crashed into the building. Landed right near the spot where Book Reading Guy sat all day long. So that was weird. They say it was caused by all the heavy rain we’ve been having. But my theory is that when something violent happens, a lot of violent energy stays swirling around in the area on a psychic level. And that’s what toppled the tree. I’ve seen stuff like that happen over and over, over the years. So I believe it

Course I’m a little peculiar myself.


2 thoughts on “Book Reading Guy

  1. One thing I learned about camping life. The years away from T.V. and out in the world gives you a sharpened sense of reality and spirituality is a reality . Your B.S. sniffer has to be sharp and your respect for energies and karma is a survival instinct not a belief. The tree and book man. Just as normal as the wind and rain. I too have seen hundreds of things like that and even more obvious and in my face. Just walking down Telegraph and picking what street to take up to the park effects an entire day or much, much longer.

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