You learn a lot about your neighborhood when you drive a junkie from the laundromat to the homeless shelter in the next town over. You learn, for instance, that the red house on the corner across from the pizza joint is owned by a man who has a serious crack habit and (though you must take this next part of the story with a large grain of salt) owes the junkie in your car a good deal of money.
You learn there are people who linger behind the abandoned mini-market after the sun goes down. You learn what they’ve been doing there. You learn about the people who’ve recently been arrested in your town and why they have been arrested.
You learn some of the backstories about the three men who were tied up, shot in the head, and dumped into the river a few weeks ago. You hear crazy stories about fights and betrayals and big plans. You hear wild claims and self-justifications that spiral off into so many tangents that, suddenly, you’ve entered a Thomas Pynchon novel.
And then a thought creeps into the back of your mind, the thought that God loves this man. God loves all men equally, of course. It is a big love. But, God loves this man especially. Or perhaps a better way to put it is that God has a special interest in men like this, the junkie, whom we ought to call David, since that is his name. [Read more...]