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Stalking Vol 2: The Bridge of Reason


forward, she said, "They couldn’t give a shit about the weather, or uncle Arnie’s gout. You’ve
listened to and assessed the prattle of the average person... are you interested in it now?"
"Never really was."
"When we’re finished taking your personality apart," she said, leaning back, "you won’t be
interested in talking about yourself either."
"Leaving me with what?"
"Clarity, and Controlled Folly."
"I’m still confused by what you mean by appearing to be communicating when they’re not."
"When we first met, you and I appeared to be on the same exploratory page as we
established our views, but my understanding of yours lay in knowing what you were giving away
beyond what you think you were conveying." She picked up her fork and took a bite.
"You were pretending to be interested?"
A moment to swallow later, she said, "Not at all. I was sincere in everything I said, and
deeply interested in what you had to say. I’m saying that I knew more about the situation than
you did."
"How much of a mouse am I to you?"
"You are a student; there is nothing more precious to a teacher." Listen," she said leaning
closer, "you have studied the elements of confusion, clarity, and assessing the nature of an act so
what you can learn about others from a few sentences far exceeds what the average person would
understand, or believe they are giving away. Correct?"
"Correct."
"Are these people idiots?"
"Not categorically. There’s about twenty-five percent of…"
Bonnie’s rigid stare stopped me short.
"I get it. Can you give me a sample of what you mean by using the average person’s
assumptions to appear to be communicating with them, but not really?"
"Your own example will have more meaning to you."
"I can say anything?"
"Anything at all," she said, mimicking my shrug.
"Okay." Pausing briefly, I said, "Hi, how are you?"
Without hesitation, Bonnie said, "I am clearly alive and apparently well, so at the least you
are being insincere under the auspices of established social graces." O n an impulse, she reached
for her carryall to retrieve a pen, and an old receipt on which she scribbled some words. Turning
it face down, she said, "My reply is 'I’m fine, and you?' by which I mean I’m finely tuned to your
deception."
"Me too, by which I mean I’m feeling fine."
Bonnie said nothing.
"You don’t care what’s on my mind?" I finally said.
"I know what’s on your mind." She tapped the paper. "You had the opportunity to choose
any topic, and you chose a common deception to camouflage the most common concern. Asking
me if I cared what was on your mind confirmed my assessment—not that I needed it. I know
you."
"Meaning you have been misleading me since day one," I complained.
"You have misled yourself. I haven’t lied to you about anything, whereas you have lied to
me endlessly... the overt one’s aside," she said blandly.
"But you knew what I was doing?"
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