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Stalking Vol 2: The Bridge of Reason

"It is a natural emotion that’s meant to be used as positive impetus, but when our self- image
becomes involved all bets are off; the camouflage of reasoning allows us to hide the true nature
of what we might do from ourselves."
"Its manifestations?"
"You can’t be angry unless you‘re afraid; fear turned inward is depression, outward is rage,
lingering creates confusion, craving it creates apprehension, wallowing becomes obsession, and
adjusting to it makes poor choices seem reasonable under the circumstance. In the modality of
our times," I grinned, "we are less the originators of it than we are targets."
"Does it make sense that you went back to warfare to reclaim the losses your self- image
interpreted as cowardice in El Salvador?" she said without inflection.
"Perfect sense," I replied blandly.
"Does it make sense that you went back because you fit in there, and not here?"
"Also a perfect fit."
"Does it make sense that most combatants glimpsed the true nature of courage?"
"I don’t… shit—" I said, caught off guard by this new idea. "That might be a huge part of
what secretly silences them when they come home," I said as an epiphany.
"Set aside your personal places of concern; where is fear for warrior societies?"
With another of my secrets spoken as if I was reading washing instructions, and Salvador,
Beirut, and Argentina out of play, my Hunter’s landscape was clear: words flowed like arrows,
without caveat or consideration.
"Subtly and contagiously, fear covers the entire spectrum of their lives. From digesting
their first parental threats, as a way to live, to their last plea for forgiveness as they die, they are
told what to think and why to think it. In between, they are continually made wary by innocuous
commercials about potentially deadly symptoms, and weather reports sponsored by cancer
protection creams, and allergy medicines sparing us from the hazards of our natural world. We
can’t see how our indoctrinations have us accepting illogical circumstances by way of a fine
weave of illogical expectations, followed by participatory exclusion," I said surprising myself…
"By design, governments make it difficult to do anything against their desires. There’s only
the appearance of outreach in the publications they use to inform us, because it’s a three-step
process to just contact the right person, assuming you can read advertisements posted in tiny
fonts designed like death notices that our eyes naturally ignore."
"Good catch."
"Not sure it was mine," I said, taking a deep breath, but not to ponder: "O ur vigilance has no
borders. O ur days are filled with so many fabricated concerns that we are unable to focus beyond
them. To cope, some people camouflage their angst in faux acts of selflessness, deep bottles, or
retail therapy, while others overtly maintain the continuity of fear by beating their wives, kids,
and dogs. A warrior nation’s history is haunted by endless bureaucratically contrived dares they
have taken, and subsequently conjured into memorials to the imitation courage they required to
justify the horrors their institutions paid homage to, for later use. If they, or we, try to break the
cycle, we face losing our jobs and friends… our fit in the continuity of our culture is lost."
Surprised at my lucidity, but not indulging in it this one time, I easily pictured how the
underlying elements of fear had caused entire cultures to confuse what they wanted with what
they thought was necessary. Then they took what they were told they were entitled to, or had to
defend—especially rights and freedom—which is precisely what they were destro ying. I knew