I looked him over. Different than our usual transients, he had a well travelled air about him. His clothes are nice under the inch or so of dirt. A beard wrapped around his face, hairs jutting to and fro, yet it seemed as if it was well shaped not too long ago. The kicker is the tattoo, a steampunk-looking butterfly that starts on his forehead and continues across the bridge of his nose and down each cheek.
“Hi, Evan Banned,” I said, “I run this place. What can I do for you?”
He ignores my outstretched hand. I have always found it best to be polite to sketchy people that know your name.
“Um, yeah. Did you want an application?”
He pointed to his face.
“Do I look like a damn librarian?” he said.
“Well, I was raised not to judge. Plus, I’ve met a lot of librarians. They come in all flavors.”
“Don’t be cute, Mr. Banned. Don’t suit you,” he said, “and I know all about having an open mind. S’why I got a can opener on my face. Everytime I look in the mirror I know to keep an open mind.”
I had nothing to say to that. What do you say when alone with a stranger that tattoos kitchen implements on his face and has the gall to wake up early in the morning?
“I’m here to tell you something about that position, Mr. Banned,” he said, “you make sure you choose the right candidate for the job, okay? They might not be the best or the most qualified, but you better choose the right one. Got me?”
I had no idea what that meant, but I nodded anyway. He did not look convinced, but slapped me on the shoulder and began walking away.
“You do good work here, Mr. Banned,” he said, “hate to see that end.”
“Didn’t get your name, sir,” I said.
The man with the can opener on his face just kept walking.
Later I called the police and described the incident. They said they had had no run ins with anyone matching my description, but since he had not done anything there was little they could do.
I sat alone in my office while Dave took care of the library. I stared at the fresh stack of job applications I had been avoiding. How early on a Monday is too early for a drink?