Ryan Carries Bellow & Kerouac

I was technically off-duty from my Street Librarian position, walking in Hollywood without my bicycle library, and Ryan was standing with a sign that said “Indigent,” outside the Rite-Aid. The text on his sign asked for money for a place to stay, and had a little paper-clipped piece of paper that he could switch the number on. It said “8” to go, meaning 8 more dollars. I stopped to tell him about Street Books and then looked down at his feet to see a couple of books. “Wait,” I said. “You’ve already got books.” He smiled. “Yeah.” It was a Saul Bellow reader, and a Kerouac book, (I forget the title, but Ryan said “This one isn’t as good. The writing is super drunk and rambling. He doesn’t even try to hid his identity anymore, just goes by Jack Kerouac.”) Ryan’s twenty-five and comes from Cleveland. Said he’s got a wife there. He is a hell of a reader. Said he’d just “finished the Russians” and now he’s in the market for something French, like Celine.