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Stalking Vol 2: The Bridge of Reason


Standing, I put all of my money on the tray, which included a slightly larger than 15% tip;
keeping the overage would have made me look cheap, while prudence wouldn’t have fed a
parking meter.
As she stood, Bonnie slid the crumpled receipt she had wr itten on towards me.
"I know what it says," I said, leaving it untouched.
A few steps toward the cash register later, we both chuckled at the same time, thinking
about what Catherine would make of a note that said, "How do I feel about you?"
Once outside, we headed toward the broad beach at English Bay; Bonnie continued making
her point about Kent State.
"Your experiences slaughtered your altruistic illusions, which were defenseless in light of
your comfortable and caring upbringing as a young, white man ed ucated more or less in the
heartland of Canada. Specifically, your sense of self- importance and naive expectations of
continued living in a safe society were crushed when the press corps abandoned you in
Argentina. After this, you deliberately determined to prosper from others suffering by diligently
over-charging them for your pain and suffering. You missed the irony, and contradiction, of
acting as they did, including putting others at risk to the extent that you were willing to be
injured. Historically," she motored on, "this has been an all-or-nothing proposition for both of
you: America is dangerous to anyone who dares to confront their muted fears and unchecked
greed, and you are dangerous to me because I’m confronting your fears. The minor difference
between you and America is that you're further ahead now that you know you reconstructed your
image from the same rules your perceived enemies live by."
Bonnie waited for me to acknowledge this truth, which I did by turning a shade of Nordic
usually seen on the first weekend of Spring daylight.
She continued: "You both have experienced how changing fundamental assumptions is
tantamount to committing suicide, but neither of you have recognized that the deaths are of
illusions only."
We crossed the busy intersections of Denman, Davie, then Beach, and the seaside bicycle
route, as smoothly if we controlled the traffic signals. Stepping onto the grassy skirt surrounding
the beach, I said, "I can't imagine the home of the brave and the land of the free seeing it any
other way than you're attacking them... and Jews, and Iranians, doctors, and all religions for that
matter. The movie isn’t going to make any friends."
"Those who are free of fear will understand me, and the brave will strive to be free, just as
you are attempting to do in the only way it can be done—by discovering and facing the truth. As
I have said many times," she bumped my shoulder, "I'm not attacking you or any culture. I’m
talking about how they created the way things are."
She slowed her pace, stopping short of a three-foot diameter, twenty- five foot log.
Apparently pondering how much she was going to tell me, she said, "America is in a unique
position to facilitate global changes, but not through their military might; that is the means of
their downfall. I’ll come back to that. For now, it’s enough to know that they have the economic
influence, and a particular population needed to create a wave of new thinking. They also have a
massive pool of uncorrupted courage to make the changes that will be required of them to
survive."
"O nly them?"
"America can lead, because it’s their lesson. The population chose it, and now it is their
time." She stepped to the log, brushed the top of its worn surface, and sat down. I did the same.
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