Siegfried Hardy
“You really look terrible, old man…”  The over-educated Professor Siegfried Hardy tilted his head slightly, examining his face in the mirror.  He tried to avoid shaving when he could – too much one-on-one time with oneself.  He was teaching again, and felt it important to maintain a respectable appearance, if for nothing else so the students wouldn’t talk.

Certainly not an attractive man by any contemporary standards, and having “let himself go” in his mid-thirties, Siegfried did possess an indescribable rugged charm, though he was unaware of it.  He ate too much, drank too much, and did not sleep as often as a man in his fifty-fourth year should.

He longed to be home in Darrowby, a quaint agricultural community with rolling green hills, stacked stone fences, and a small, warm pub with the perfect pint waiting.  But there was no chance of tenure in that small town, and as far as he could tell – he wasn’t cutout for much aside from teaching.  Furthermore, he enjoyed it, and if he could allow himself a small amount of pride, he was a good at it.

Being a fifty-four year-old professor without tenure did serve as a point of annoyance for Siegfried.  There was the letter from Miskatonic University – but America, really?  The professor did not feel so bold as to take on an adventure of this magnitude.  Sometimes he felt his chances of gaining permanent employment in the archaeology department at Cambridge were equal to that of, well – not good.

Siegfried truly loved archaeology, and a visiting professor’s hours were such that he could pursue with some level of regularity the various odd hobbies that filled in the hours between eating, sleeping, teaching, and drinking.

The towel felt cool as he wiped the remaining shaving cream from his face.  He sighed.  He felt unimportant.  “Another day…  Here we go.”