The story so far: Freddy Williams sometimes talks about selling his dog-walking business, but the thought of being an employee again is somewhat chilling. Plus, the money he makes -- $15 per dog walk -- isn't bad. To catch up on earlier episodes, go to www.washingtonpost.com/freddy.
The lights in Freddy's Adams Morgan apartment are off. A quiet beat drifts from the stereo. Freddy is lying flat on his back on the soft gray carpet in the afternoon. His eyes, wide open, are staring at the ceiling.
He jumps to his feet as a visitor enters. "What's up?" he asks. One of his dreadlocks flops forward like a limp antler. Freddy's exhausted. Over the past couple of days, he's hardly slept. That's why he was on the floor: trying, unsuccessfully, to nap. It's been another duel with insomnia.
"Maybe I should change my diet," he speculates, punctuating the thought with laughter.
Outside on the brick curb, Freddy smokes cigarette after cigarette and talks about what's been keeping him up. He says his pet-care business has been overheating. "I really need to put the brakes on. I accepted two more clients." He was already walking 12 dogs a day, five days a week. He doesn't have the time or energy for more.
Just yesterday, Freddy says, he was walking five dogs when a woman in a "very nice BMW" pulled to a stop.
"Are you a dog walker? I've been looking for one forever." Freddy mimics her voice in a falsetto. Freddy had run out of dog-walking business cards, so he gave the woman a card proclaiming his other profession: deejay.
"Oh, you're a deejay," Freddy remembers her saying. "The way she said it was total disbelief. Like, oh, another deejay." To his relief, she hasn't called. Another dog-walking client would be bad news, and, "Man, I can't say no."
-- Tyler Currie