10-27-2001: "Addict on the Sidewalk"
Walt walked quickly down the street, trying to make his next appointment. He needed to make that sale today. Along the way he tripped and fell onto the sidewalk. A homeless-looking man was nearby, smoking something illegal, and commented on Walt's misfortune. "Funny. Bigger they are, harder they fall. S'true, big boy."
"What's your point?"
The man inhaled whatever it was he was smoking, and kept going, ignoring Walt's question.
"You know, you can't control when you fall. Kinda like with me. Had everythin' going, then I ran into Mr. Crack here. Couldn't resist 'im."
"I can control when I fall."
"Even if you were stronger than me..." the man paused and inhaled again. "Anything could happen. You could die anytime, anyplace, and never know what hit ya. You could lose everything on the stock market. Me, I lost everything on a drug. Now look at me. I'm worthless to anyone else."
Walt picked himself up and walked away, with the addict rambling on. He tried to push the addict's words out of his head, but couldn't. He knew the man was right, and unusually wise for someone like him. But maybe people like him weren't dumb just because of what they indulged in. Maybe people like him had just fallen prey to a bad addiction.
The next day, as Walt passed by the homeless man, he stopped. "Sir, you know they have rehab."
"Hardly ever been able to find a place. When I can, I can't get off my crack."
Walt thought for a moment, then said, "Yesterday, you said some things that hit me pretty hard. You said some things I never expected to hear from a guy like you. You changed me. I owe you something in return."
"How about giving rehab another try? I'm going to help you. Visit you every day. Maybe you can get rid of this bad hand you picked up."
The homeless man paused, as if in deep thought, and then said, "It's a deal."