Back at the library
As part of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, I visited the Human Library, a one-on-one experience where you as a reader spend time with a human book who shares their story. The available curated “titles” available at the circulation desk included “Open Marriage,” “Over the Hill Gender Transition,” HIV, Addition & Me,” among others. I spent time with “Boy Weaver” and “Recovering Hoarder.” The encounters were surprisingly intimate, even though our conversations were limited to 20 minutes each. The compressed timeframe encouraged them to share as much as possible, with Tobin, the Boy Weaver, bubbling with passion about his technical skills and the possibilities of learning more. I asked him about his relationship to perfection. He laughed and said his craft demands it.
I had expected my conversation with Ross, the Recovering Hoarder, to be mainly about accumulating things, but I was pleased to have my assumptions thwarted when he shared stories of his childhood and adolescence, as well as the passing of his mother. It was a timely story to share, as I had just finished reading de Beauvoir’s “A Very Easy Death.” I asked him what recovery looks like, and he simply said that he would want to have a home where each room serves its function (i.e. a kitchen where he can cook, a bedroom where he can sleep). I wished him the best when we parted.