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Stalking Vol 2: The Bridge of Reason


I had forgotten about that: I was severely pissed at Joe for possibly provoking the guards
into using us for serious entertainment.
"I was for a moment," I admitted, "because I didn't understand our situation the y way he did.
It wasn't really dangerous."
"Why not?"
"Holding us was their job, but intimidating a source of national exposure for their cause was
assuming more authority than they had. Besides, the Iranians hadn't harmed any of the hostages
so they weren't about to hurt us." I shrugged. "Just like it was in Argentina, we were a warning to
the rest of the press corps to play nice." I sniggered, "which they all soon did." I chuckled.
Bonnie waited for my merriment to pass, which it did quickly in that vacuum.
I explained, "When we were released, a guard told us that although LeBlanc had been
carrying his camera casually, the lens had remained relatively steady pointing at a restricted
building. At the time, crews were in short supply and there were a lot of places to stake out in
case they released the hostages, so producers worked all of them for as long as they could stay
awake. The only way anyone got a break was to walk down the street carrying their cameras in a
casually steady way." I grinned.
"You spread the word about how to get arrested?" Bonnie said surprised, instead of laughing
as normal people did.
"If you carried a couple of old tapes with you, it could take six or seven hours for them to
clear a crew, who got some sleep while being paid."
"You don't think this was dangerous?"
"I just explained why it wasn't. Twice actually," I said, perplexed at the density of her
usually supple mind.
Bonnie nodded as if she finally understood me. "What was your most nerve wracking job?"
she asked me, casually.
"You know it was in El Salvador."
"You must have spent hours howling over that war," she said, levelly.
"As best as I can recall," I said, missing her point, "there was only one genuinely funny
event. These two women," I chortled, "walked into…
Rolling her eyes, Bonnie cut me off by saying, "Set up the ambiance so that I can separate a
tension guffaw brought forward, from your sense of humor today. If there is a difference," she
added.
Awkwardly, because I sensed that nothing good could come from telling this story either, I
continued my tale…
During my first hour in El Salvador, Manny Alvarez, a CBS freelancer, warned me not to
discuss politics, or my personal feelings about anything to anyone in public. The streets were full
of part-time and wannabe informers who ingratiated themselves to the military by pointing out
crews with subversive ideas. Manny leaned forward and whispered, "Interviewing guerrillas is at
the top of the list."
"Why are you whispering?" I said.
"Spooks are all over this place," he replied, pointing out two of them by way of micro- nods,
as he scratched his head."
I told Bonnie that their above average quality, but out-of-style clothing easily marked them.
"We talk shop in our rooms," Manny explained. "Running the shower isn't a bad idea."
"Just a moment," Bonnie stopped me. "Are you saying troops arrested everyone you talked
to, because they suspected they were guerrillas?"
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