I woke up this morning and didn't shave. I put on rags for clothes, had coffee with my wife (which is the best part of the day), and headed off to work. My clothes are full of holes, one layer of rust shining out from under a layer of brown, like stars, but with considerably less magnificence. My hair is sticking up in a wild, strange way. I think I have an ink smudge on my cheek. If I can find my fake cigarette in my work drawer I'll dangle it from my lower lip, ever so occasionally giving it a outward puff that blows a small cloud of white dust that looks surprisingly like smoke.
What am I up to? Well, for Halloween, when I was about five, I went dressed as a hobo. I have had a soft spot for this look ever since. But I think my real mission has something to do with a surge of disaffection for professionalism, that glossy, clean, tech, glamour that the whole world, including libraries, seems to strive for, that successful, positive, professional, corporate, virtuous, perfect, magazine wonderfulness of image that has eaten us all whole. Our success, our beauty, our positive goodness, our achievement, our love are all only the cheap tools to get others to be jealous of us, admiring, validating. I'm not up for it today. So I dressed as a hobo.
It's a busy day. I am very good at the front desk. I will be content If just one person goes home in a daze and says "There was like, this street person at the library today. I thought he would smell but he didn't. Then it turned out he worked there. He was incredibly helpful. Look at all these great Columbo DVDs I got!"
If just one person says that it is enough for me.
Please don't be jealous.