This is not something I do very often. And I never do it when anyone else is around. Not that I’m ashamed or anything but it just involves a lot of explaining and then you have to swear people to secrecy and I really don’t want word getting around about me having this secret power. Anyway. It was past midnight, and I’d just got out of a dinner in Palo Alto with some guys from Google. (No, I can’t tell you what it was about. But it’s insanely cool, trust me, and you’ll be hearing about it soon enough.) I was walking back to my car and I came across this skeevy looking guy sitting on University Avenue dressed in layers of sweaters and jackets and begging for coins. So I stopped and gave him a pre-loaded Shuffle, which is what I usually do with homeless people, because I believe music has the power to transform lives. We get talking. He tells me he’s an Army veteran, was in the first Gulf War, doctors still can’t figure out what’s wrong with him. He’s been in and out of VA hospitals. Muscle pain, joint pain, weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath. His memory goes in and out. Sometimes he can’t remember his own name, or where he’s from.
So I look around. There’s nobody on the street. I figure I’m safe. I go, Do you know who I am? He nods his head. You’re Steve Jobs, he says. The guy from Apple. I go, That’s right. So I ask him, Do you believe I can heal you? And it must be something about the tone of my voice or maybe he can feel the force coming out of my eyes or something because he goes, Steve, I do. I really do.
It’s a frightening thing, when this happens. I’ll be honest. Every time I’ve done it, I’ve been scared myself. It’s like my whole body starts to vibrate at this very super high frequency, so fast that the movement is almost imperceptible.
Stand up, I say. He goes, I can’t stand up. My legs are too tired. So I lean down and put both of my hands on his head. I close my eyes and start moaning my syllable. I can feel the power rushing through my hands into his skull. He starts to shake like he’s having an epileptic fit. It’s all I can do to hold on to him. But I hold on. I tell him, Stand up! Stand up and walk!
He’s making this weird high-pitched sound, like a whining sound, and I know what it is — it’s the illness leaving his body. All of the years of badness, all of his demons, flying out out of his mouth. And as this is happening, he starts to lift up off the sidewalk. It’s like I’m pulling him off the ground by his head, except for one thing: I’m not pulling him at all. He’s floating up, on his own.
I take my hands away. I go, How do you feel? He says he’s a little woozy, but otherwise he feels fine. He says the pain is gone. He feels like he could go run a marathon.
Dude, he says, thanks a lot. Seriously! And thanks for the Shuffle. But wait. This shit’s not DRM’d is it? I’m like, Um, yeah, you know, we pre-load those from iTunes, so yeah, it’s got DRM on it. He goes, Oh, well, in that case, here, you can take it back. I don’t want it. Cause I friggin hate DRM. Totally impacts on my freedom. But thanks anyway. And thanks for healing me and whatever. Okay? Peace, man.