Best of Knoxville 2009
You’ve got the want ads in print and online. You’ve got inspiration if you need it; the memoirs of Harlan and Anna Hubbard, who lived for years drifting on a shantyboat with their dogs and piano. You’ve got Henry Miller’s advice on panhandling (never in your own neighborhood). It appears you’ll need Inter-Library Loan to read Angelo Pellegrini’s very sweet Lean Years, Happy Years, but that just means you’ve got something to look forward to. You’ve got Thorsten Veblen and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Jack Kerouac to persuade you that you’re better off with no money. Sometimes Thomas Merton too, though he vacillated. You’ve got an inexplicably red Austin Powers-esque spiral staircase to navigate that demands your full attention and has cognitive priority over whatever might have been troubling you when you encountered it. You’ve got bright, friendly people who are paid to talk to you in hushed, polite tones, and who seem to tolerate the occasional random outburst of profanity whether Tourette’s or the state of one’s finances is to blame. You’ve got current financial analysis and stacks of true crime genre writing which can be read together to satisfying effect. And it would be impolite, here, to answer your silenced cell phone, which is buzzing from a number you don’t recognize. But you can, at least, log onto a public terminal and do a reverse number search to see if it’s a collection agency.