1 the alarm rings. it's 5:45. he could linger under the covers, listening to the radio and a weatherman
who predicts rain. people would understand. he knows that.
2 a surgeon
cuts across his lower back. the fingers on his right hand are so twisted that he can't tie his shoes. some days, he feels like surrendering. but his dead mother's challenge echoes in his soul. so, too, do the voices of those who believed him stupid, of living . all his life he's struggled to prove them wrong. he will not quit.
3.and so bill porter rises.
4 he takes the first unsteady steps on a journey to portland
's streets, the where he fights alone for his independence and dignity
. he's a door-to-door . sixty-three years old. and his enemies -- a crippled
body that betrays
him and a changing world that no longer needs him -- are gaining on
5 with trembling
hands he assembles his weapons: dark slacks
, blue shirt and matching jacket, brown tie, tan
raincoat and hat. image, he believes, is everything.
6 he stops in the entryway
, picks up his briefcase
and steps outside. a fall wind has kicked up
. the weatherman was right. he pulls his raincoat tighter.
7. he tilts
his hat just so.
8 on the 7:45 bus that stops across the street, he leaves his briefcase next to the driver and finds a seat in the middle of a pack of bored teenagers.
forward, stares toward the driver, sits back, then repeats the process. his nervousness makes him laugh uncontrollably. the teenagers stare at him. they don't realize porter's afraid someone will steal his briefcase, with the glasses, brochures
, order forms and clip-on
tie that he needs to survive.
10 porter senses the stares. he looks at the floor.
11his face reveals nothing. in his heart, though, he knows he should have been like these kids, like everyone on this bus. he's not angry. but he knows. his mother explained how the had been difficult, how the doctor had used an instrument that crushed a section
of his brain and caused cerebralpalsy
, a of the nervous system that affects his speech, hands and walk.
12 porter came to portland when he was 13 after his father, a , was transferred
here. he attended a school for the disabled and then lincoln high school
, where he was placed in a class for slow kids.
13but he wasn't slow.
14 his mind was trapped in a body that didn't work. speaking was difficult and took time. people were and didn't listen. he felt different -- was different -- from the kids who rushed about in the halls and planned dances he would never attend.
15 what could his future be? porter wanted to do something and his mother was certain that he could rise above his limitations
. with her , he for a job with the fuller brushco.
only to be turned down. he couldn't carry a product briefcase or walk a route, they said.
16 porter knew he wanted to be a . he began reading help wanted ads in the newspaper. when he saw one for watkins
, a company that sold household products door-to-door, his mother set up a meeting with a representative
. the man said no, but porter wouldn't listen. he just wanted a chance. the man gave in and offered porter a section of the city that no wanted.
17 it took porter four false starts before he found the courage to ring the first doorbell. the man who answered told him to go away, a pattern throughout the day.
18 that night porter read through company literature
and discovered the products were guaranteed. he would sell that pledge
. he just needed people to listen.
19if a customer turned him down, porter kept coming back until they heard him. and he sold.
20 for several years he was watkins' top . now he is the only one of the company's 44,000 salespeople who sells door-to-door.
21the bus stops in the transitmall
, and porter gets off.
22 his body is not made for walking. each step strains
. headaches are constant visitors. his right arm is nearly useless
. he can't fully control the limb
. his body tilts at the waist
; he seems to be heading into a strong, steady wind that keeps him off balance
. at times, he looks like a toddler
his first steps.
23he walks 10 miles a day.
24 his first stop today, like every day, is a shoeshine
stand where employees tie his laces
. twice a week he pays for a shine. at a nearby hotel one of the doormen buttons porter's top shirt button and slips on his clip-on tie. he then walks to another bus that drops him off a mile from his territory.
25he left home nearly three hours ago
26 the wind is cold and raindrops fall. porter stops at the first house. this is the moment he's been preparing for since 5:45 a.m. he rings the bell.
27 a woman comes to the door.
"no, thank you, i'm just preparing to leave."
- [in´keipəbəl] a.无能力的；不能的 四级词汇
- [,indi´pendəntli] ad.独立地；自由地 六级词汇
- [´bætlfi:ld] n.战场 六级词汇
- [´liŋkən] n.林肯 四级词汇
- [´spi:kiŋ] n.说话 a.发言的 六级词汇
- [ə´plaid] a.实用的，应用的 六级词汇
- [´ri:teil, ri´teil] n.&a.&v.零售(商品的) 四级词汇
- [´trænzit, -sit] n.通过；运行；运输 六级词汇
- [´teikiŋ] a.迷人的 n.捕获物 六级词汇