Walter is a romantic idealist who has a deep affection for a new coworker but cannot bring himself to tell her that to her face, so instead he discreetly stalks her on eHarmony and then tries to “send her a smile” – and when that doesn’t work, he’s frustrated enough to call the help line and demand to know why. But in real life, he is often absent from his coworkers’ lives and lost in his fantasies about being an amazing person – someone adventurous and courageous, highly active, and impressive to Cheryl. People are always mocking him for “zoning out” into his imagination and getting lost in his head, ignoring what is happening around him. These fantasies also include all the things he wishes he had the courage to say, such as telling off his boss and that escalating into a fight where they duel each other in the street in a fantastical battle. He has kept his head down and done his work at his job until a photograph goes missing, the one a famous photographer wants for the front cover – and then he goes out of his way to find it, at long last stepping out of the basement to actually do things and go places. He visits foreign countries, gets into scuffles with airport security, hikes up a frozen mountain, rushes toward an erupting volcano, leaps into shark-infested waters and… still, he is just thinking about how to connect to and impress Cheryl. It takes him many years to talk about the loss of his dad, and even then he just mentions what he did before his dad died (put his hair into a Mohawk and got a job) rather than how he felt about it. Frustrated at his inability to figure out what happened to the photo, he throws away a wallet that means a great deal to him (only to regret it later). He founders around trying to solve the clues of where the photograph went and where the photographer is, but slowly starts to piece things together. Walter has had the same rather tedious job for 16 years and has grown into a sense of stagnation at work, forgetting his former self in the process – it takes getting out of his comfort zone for him to remember the crazy, skateboarding and adventurous kid who wasn’t afraid to stand out and be noticed and who enjoyed drawing attention to himself. But he has to get out of his head into the real world to do it, and once there, he can be aggressive, risk-taking, and not always think about the danger he is in. In frustration, he tells the person he most admires in all the world that he’s an idiot and “what the hell were you thinking?” He also tells off his previous boss for being a “dick” on his way out of the office. Prior to his adventures, he frankly admits to the eHarmony contact that he has gone nowhere and done nothing, but then keeps him updated on his ongoing adventures, telling him the facts and having him add them to his dating profile. Going places and doing things causes him to muster up the courage to finally ask Cheryl out, once he realizes he leapt to an unfounded assumption about her getting back together with her ex-husband without any proof. Walter drains his bank account on something of a fool’s errand, to find a missing negative, but also discovers himself in the process.

Enneagram: 9w1 so/sp

Walter is… kind of absent to his real life, because fantasies are more interesting to him than reality, and has stagnated in the process, becoming so ‘inward’ and withdrawn and passive that he has accomplished none of the grand ideas he had for his future when he was young. He avoids conflict, even when he’s seething inside – his fantasies often include him acting out violently, saying mean things to people he dislikes, and being rude, while he remains stoic and indifferent on the surface, even when employers and coworkers pick on him for spacing out all the time. It’s only after he becomes more adventurous that he learns how to be more assertive, to stop tiptoeing around people and “not getting around” to asking out Cheryl and to actually do it. On occasion, someone makes him mad enough to fight back, such as the drunk man in the bar who pushes him off his stool – Walter gives it his best effort to try and smack him, even if he’s quickly taken out, and then he winds up sharing a beer and conversation with the guy. Rather than demand to see Cheryl when he returns home with a skateboard for her son, he leaves it for her and assumes she does not want him there. He feels affronted at the idea that his new boss would accuse him of losing a valuable photograph, and points out that in 16 years he has never done anything wrong or lost anything important – his desire to keep his record clean drives him to great lengths to find the picture.