His cheeks were sunken in, his body frail. It looked as if he had not had a square meal in weeks if not months.
Howard was first sentenced to prison on January 20, 1981. He was later released on parole, but found himself in and out of trouble. Today, he wanders the streets of Nashville in search of change at the age of 57.
“Why did you do to get sentenced to prison,” I asked. “I killed four men in a poker game,” he told me. When I asked him to describe what happened he simply responded, “They cheated me.” I asked, “Do you still play poker?” He told me no with a slight smile. I then asked him, “Do you still kill people?” With a laugh he said, “No, I learned my lesson.”
“I want to quit drinking, I’m tired of this,” he said while looking down at the cracks in the sidewalk. It was as if he and I were the only two on the streets talking. “I’m ready for rehab,” he said with a disappointing frown. I gave him the phone number of a rehab center that offers scholarships for the homeless. He took the number and calmly walked away as if he were about to cry. "I'll call tomorrow," he said when he left.
“Addiction is the primary way people escape the modern world. Unfortunately, it is destroying the modern world.” ― Christyl Rivers