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Stalking Vol 2: The Bridge of Reason

By holding the tongue even in the slot, which meant pulling down slightly w ith one hand—a
counter intuitive move—the zipper worked perfectly every time.
"He didn’t tell his mother that his frustration had been all her fault, be it for having a child
with short arms or for buying a long coat, and he wore the garment comfortably after that."
Bonnie stopped walking and looked my way.
"The lesson is that through impatience he blamed the wrong person?" I guessed.
"His lesson was that the world didn’t require his concern; it was all about him and his wants,
so assessment of his actions wouldn’t cross his mind until enough scars got his attention, and he
realized he’d been like this all of his life. His free-spirit, damn- the-torpedoes attitude was a
camouflage for his youthful sense of invincible self-worth, which superseded all else to the
extent that his moods were created and controlled by clothing and weather."
"I was just a kid."
"You don’t see the grander implications. To recapitulate everything he could possibly recall
about breaking dishes, burning elbows, falling off bicycles—everything you can imagine about
being in too much of a hurry to be careful," she opened her arms to encompass the world, "would
be to capture the essence of his problem—self- importance. To later witness any of those
behaviors, and hear the same excuses he used as he ran out the door with no apology for putting
his hand through the screen again, is to comprehensively see that continuity." She snapped her
fingers. "As he equated these behaviors with their adult versions, he would claim as his own
knowledge the entire spectrum of this aspect of self- importance. With it, he would see the
incalculable losses his neglect, disinterest, and utter lack of concern for anything other than
himself had created." She stared at me.
"I can see the benefit of getting a lot of information all at once."
"It’s not a lot of information; it is a massive comprehension that almost supersedes
language." She took a considered breath. "The more comprehensive the exploration of your
behavior, the more comprehensive is the zipper you will have closed around a massive data bank
of indicators about everyone who uses the same excuses and practices the same essential
"No offence, but we’ve been over all of this."
"And you have yet to incorporate its principles into your daily way of life, so we’re going
over it again."
"Incorporate what?"
"Being cheap is one tug on a zipper of your behavior. It is a sign of a greater continuity in
play, so when you understand its impact on all else that you do, you will have subdued an
enormous amount of your personality. In fact," she corrected herself, "as the core influence that
blinds you to seeing the rest of your harmful beliefs, it’s probably the only influence we need to
deal with. I think I mentioned, the rest will fall like dominos without its support."
"What is it?"
"I told you, fear."
"And I told you, I’m prudent because I can’t pull twenty dollar bills out of my ass."
A digression—
The moment I left the world of news video editing, where my days passed in one-thirtieth of
a second frames progressively compressed against a six o’clock deadline, I literally threw my
watch away. It is for this reason that I do not know precisely how long Bonnie howled in
laughter, indelicately sniffling back snot so that she could gulp a decent breath, only to continue
choking to the brink of purple. As a measure of sorts, her attempts to regain a modicum of