Wednesday, November 21, 2018
There was a string of them as I sat watching at the front desk of my library: The woman with a small suitcase dragging on tiny clattering wheels behind her, the man pushing one of our shopping carts that he had filled with seat cushions, and the family troop working out of two epic sized double strollers that looked prepared for an invasion of Czarist Russia.
It was then that it hit me:
Our library patrons may have millions of dollars. They may have loving families and beautiful homes. They may work complicated and fulfilling jobs and lead eminently productive, responsible, and successful lives. But the moment they walk in through our doors, the moment any person steps foot into our library, they are instantly transmuted, by some strange alchemy, into homeless people. They have nowhere else to go. They have nothing but what they brought. They exist on their instincts alone. They scavenge from whatever random spaces and things that are commonly available. Money is meaningless and so is history. There is no hierarchy. Everything they have built in their life is now as nothing.
Somehow, simply, they must survive here, get what they can and get what they need, all on their wit and craft alone.
No Kings, no boss, nor CFO, no Lords, Doctors, or Ms. Vice Presidents. No titles, class, rank, or advantage.
The library patron:
All street people, living rough.