Stalking Vol 2: The Bridge of Reason
Bonnie shot me her sketch artist's look, then with a breath of resignation I did not
understand, she slid the tab over to me.
"It's not a contrivance about being cheap," I said.
"No it's not," Bonnie agreed, but sadly.
She drove us back to her house, where I declined a coffee and went home to brood over
what more I had done incorrectly.
Minutes after I arrived, Ed phoned from Winnipeg to tell me that, after one heroic measure
resuscitation over which Paul Koenig was thoroughly pissed, he died again, this time for good. I
left a message with Bonnie’s daughter that I was going out of town, and the next morning I flew
to Winnipeg at a cost of about $750.
We buried Paul and returned to Vancouver a few days later, having said all that could be
said to my second family.
The next day, Bonnie and I settled in her upstairs living room where our conversation soon
touched on Paul’s annoyance at being ‘brought back'. Shortly afterwards, I found myself
criticizing Ed's lack of interest in esoteric matters, considering his personal experiences and
background exposure to it. The fervor with which I presented my views surprised me.
Bonnie was equally surprised at my lack of loyalty to such a good friend, and she wondered
aloud if this was how I spoke of her behind her back. Shocked that she could think there was
meanness in my observations, I said that it was because of my loyalty that I wanted him to
"You want him to learn for selfish reasons," she said. "You need someone to agree with you
when you take your stands for ignorance."
"Selfish? I spent nearly all I had going there."
"That was entirely self- indulgent."
"Ya–a party," I scoffed, then forgetting who I was talking to, "You have no way of knowing
this, but when we first became friends and I told Ed about my father dying, he said he couldn’t
imagine what it would be like to lose his dad. I promised then that I would be there for him when
that time came in his life, and I was," I said, missing only the adolescent foot stomp for
"O ur death practices ritualize morbidity," she said calmly. "You should have recognized at
least this much by now, because you know that no one actually dies, and everyone chooses their
moment to move on. O ur cultural indulgences in grief have burdened the earth with near
impenetrable boxes filled with toxic remains rendering plots useless as other than memorials to
our self-worth. O ur rituals are religious contrivances that gouge the pockets of the living by
exploiting their feelings of guilt and remorse."
"Ya, I get that—but I kept my promise."
"It was a promise that could only serve to stand you in a good light." With a shake of her
head, she said, "You should be forever grateful that you have a friend who can tolerate you, let
alone love you."
"That you live under the graces of a giving friend, then have the audacity to bad mouth him
when he doesn’t do what you think he should do, is example enough of your misguided sense of