Stalking Vol 2: The Bridge of Reason
"You created a momentum of conflict by elevating your defenses, from subtle satire through
condescension and sarcasm, to bold- faced lying. By essentially attacking innocent
circumstances, because the boogie man of truth has by this time become too difficult to conceal,
your partners either leave, or you break up with them." She cocked her head.
"All I did was open the door," I said as Catherine came back for our order.
"And you are not pleased about it now that I'm presenting you with your reflection in the
glass." Bonnie looked up. "The poached salmon, with two plates, please."
"Maybe I'm annoyed at your poor perception of me," I said, quelling the anger I felt at
hearing her order without consulting me: that Bonnie knew I enjoyed salmon, but rarely bought it
because it was expensive, didn’t calm me as much as my having the foresight to show her how
much money I had. I could hardly pick up the menu and check the price; it would be close.
Leaning toward me, she said, "I told you that self- importance has to be dealt with head on;
I'm orchestrating experiences that will show you to yourself in an infinitely safer way than your
travels did. I'm not the enemy," she said, reaching over to tap me on the chest. "The enemy is
"It’s comfortable there."
Leaning back and ignoring my comment, she said, "You felt awkward about our encounter
with the panhandler, so I pricked your ego to put your defense s on full alert. Then I presented
you with an opportunity to reconstruct your self- image so that you could see it for yourself."
"What should I be seeing?"
"You tried to gain control of a threat to your autonomy by presuming grandiose authority
over an insignificant circumstance."
"Grandiose authority over a door?"
"You blithely assumed you could fulfill my expectations, which tells me that your sense of
self- importance is the size of a free state!" Her grin complemented the breadth of her arm span.
"It was role-playing—an expression that suited the circumstance you created," I said
scowling at her contrivance.
"I told you, prodding your calculated attitudes and fears to the surface is tough stuff. Stop
acting like an average man, and I do mean acting; it’s getting old." She sipped her wine.
I did the same before saying, "What calculated attitudes?"
"Why did you both show and tell me what you could afford?"
"Prudence: it’s all I’ve got."
Bonnie looked away, failing to conceal a grin from which I caught on tha t this circumstance
was by design; it always had been.
"I’m broke until my check comes in on Friday, which you couldn’t have appreciated when
you ordered; what’s miserly about me spending everything?" I said reactively.
"What’s prudent about it?" she countered.
"Liking you affects my judgment," I said evenly.
She looked at me as if memorizing features for a police sketch artist. "You should make a
habit of treating yourself well. You've been cheap for so long that you don't recognize the
contradictions it creates."
"Such as?" I said, proving her correct.
"Feeling that you are spending unwisely and doing it anyway demonstrates two things: as an
average person you are extracting recognition, while the Stalker in you knows you'll be fine,
because you always have been. Speaking of which, it is Friday and your check is in." She