“I’ll make an appointment for you first thing nextweek, sir.” She insisted, “Please follow me.” If you knewFlores, you would know how futile her polite insistencewas. You see, Flores is a Skid-Row regular. He lives eachday as if it were a lifetime. He doesn’t expect to wake uptomorrow like you or I do. His occupation is rummagingthrough garbage cans looking for discarded lotto tickets.He figures that finding a winning number is his only pathto freedom. So you can see why waiting a week for anappointment was not in his universe. You might as well askan ice cube not to melt in Death Valley.“Mr. Flores, get back here!” The receptionist soundedclose to tears. I took a deep breath, got up and opened thedoor.“It’s all right, Joan, I’ll take care of Mr. Flores.”Usually she has a very professional demeanor, but shewas glad to get rid of the smelly intruder.“They don’t pay me enough for this crap,” she mutteredas she turned on her heels and trotted away in a flash.“It happened again!” Flores says as he slumps hisbony body in my chair, like a starving greyhound. He waswearing his usual, polyester pants, a tatty aloha shirt,and a Playboy hat. All were well stained and grubby. Isuspect he didn’t own a change of clothes.