In Los Angeles many of the residential blocks are cut in half by alleys. Not narrow corridors... these are access roads which cut through several city blocks, giving access to parking areas and trash pickup. This is where the homeless are found. They do not live here-- here, as everywhere, they are not encouraged to loiter --these are their thoroughfares, concealed from the better sort of people as they push their Sisyphean shopping carts of debris across the city. When on foot, Lavender liked to take the alleys. She wanted to speak with the homeless occasionally; they offered more balanced counsel than the legion of record execs and industry lawyers she would otherwise be confined to.
"I'm becoming very powerful," she said. "It's happening so much more quickly than I imagined. I'm not sure what I should do."
"Be good to others," said the transient, "and go with God."
"Is that what you did?" she asked, genuinely. "Because your life is almost over and you're living on the street."
"No," said the man. "I didn't do that. That's why I'm where I am now."
Lavender didn't believe this was the whole truth, but she did not contradict him.
"I watch people do terrible things to each other. I've always noticed it, but it's been especially clear since I came out here."
"You can't do like that."
"That's what I was taught. But it seems as though this is how people succeed."
"You can't do like that. You got to be good to one another."
Lavender gave him all the money she had, minus enough to get a cab the rest of the way to the office.