Huffpost Politics
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Jack Schimmelman Headshot

I Am Hobo

Posted: Updated:

As our culture wades deeper into an ever-deepening plume of darkness, Congressman Heller, Republican from Nevada, tells us that those who cannot find work are hobos. Obeying authority I cover my face with soot, choose the darkest, tattered rags I can find in my small closet and sail off remaining unemployed. I am Hobo. I am legend in Congressman Heller's mind and, I suspect, the minds of millions of others who worship at the feet of denial.

I am one happy truant from the corporate universe. Two plus years ago, I was fired by a multi-billion dollar international law firm whose sun never sets. No hobos worked there. I had gone to HR to ask about claiming disability for a physical condition that had almost immobilized me. I explained I was having trouble walking, breathing, but other than that I was an Olympic athlete. Three days later I was fired. This was in April 2008, before the big crash. They had started eliminating employees in January of that year and later I was informed that they had a "bloodbath" at the firm, thereby creating thousands of hobos. Must not cut into Partners' profits. That is against the law of nature. No soot on those faces.

I recovered, but being out of the job market for such a long period of time basically eliminated me from consideration. My story is common. Our Hobo society grows exponentially as the sun sets on our spirit. The first time I went for an interview during my newly created poverty, I walked through Pennsylvania Station in New York City and noticed there were more ghosts than people. The uninvited were Hobos unable to make the trip in their former occupations. The texture of the atmosphere had changed. Going to work was never easy, but now competing with the phantom of the disappeared were the terrorized eyes of the employed. When they exhaled, the sky would fill with shadows. The only thing that prevented night at high noon was that few people dared to exhale lest they catch the attention of their managers. Being a Hobo does have one advantage. You learn to breathe through the grime.

I want to reassure the good Congressman from Nevada that you serve your constituents well. Never mind that your state has the highest unemployment rate in the country. You are fearless, brave. How do you ease this tragedy? You make the ring tighter and ensure that those who aren't in remain out. It takes guts to name a problem! And you have guts in abundance. I saw your picture. No unemployment insurance for you. And if you can't have it, then why should anyone else. So keep on keeping on, secure in the knowledge you are preventing the lazy, uncouth, threadbare women, men and children from sipping from the shiny, clean well of taxpayer funds.

I Am Hobo. I am stealth, aligned with anonymous neighbors who have lost their jobs, their homes, dignity. Yet, within such sorrow resides a glimmer of delight, for we know that one day when this storm has embodied its full fury a tidal wave will rush in and wash away our fear, leaving us free. Eyes steady, we will stare through the opaque minds of Congress, hear empty echoes, and finally exhale. Hobos have a way of surviving. We live in shadow, but we see, clearly guided by the exquisite spark that is each and every soul's birthright.

Sun Rise

Shiver

in the center of a transparent rose.

The new visitor slowly heats walls of hunger.

She yearns and stretches her head shrouded in a red veil, watching.

Without Sight

Naked, uncloaked, unwashed and unseen.

We are bathed in mirrored, majestic pools of love.

A simple song plays.

Welcome

Hobos Unite! We have nothing to lose but our soot (suit)!

Register To Vote