Stalking Vol 2: The Bridge of Reason
"But your goal isn’t to have me rejoin the world I left behind as a better person. Sorry, as a
better-off person, because I’d just be better off in the midst of the same bullshit—right?"
"This means your goal is to have me leave the world I know, apparently literally," I
chuckled, "by moving my Assemblage Point to a place where I will perceive a different set of
"Assumptions that are elements of a Stalkers’ cognition, correct: you knew that much from
working on our screenplay," she said curiously.
"I did, but I’m asking you how far away from that old world view am I, because of my
experiences since I met you?"
"How well are you doing?" she grinned.
"You began the transition long before you met me, by joining the millions of people who
perceive their world differently than they did before their personal wars." She looked at the
recreational boating activity around us; I understood this represented my original view.
"Through trauma?" I said.
"As a Stalker would see it," she said, refocusing on me, "you are literally deranged when the
Assemblage Point moves because the original position presents the version of reality that has
been hammered into you. But being deranged is neither a permanent nor definitive position." She
cleared her throat. Subduing a smile, she said, "It is a transitional state in that you have perceived
a truth that people who are still assembling your old version of the world haven’t perceived." She
touched my hand. "They may consider you unstable, because they think your combat experiences
screwed you up, when it’s your agreements with their version of the world that have gone
beyond theirs. This does not mean the experience didn’t screw you up, only that it was meant to,
so rejoining their world is as insane to you as you are to them."
"And feeling so much better for knowing this," I quipped.
"All you need is help translating your new knowledge into a workable continuity. Let’s head
toward the University," she said as we pulled alongside the Aquabus mooring on Granville
We disembarked behind a tourist couple—fanny packs and Vancouver Aquarium T-shirts,
who I then realized had been looking at us strangely for most of the crossing. I felt like checking
my fly, but the thought had no momentum: I was somehow outside, looking in at our
circumstance, and pleased to realize that Bonnie’s teaching methods had probably caused me to
focus in this way. I would have to ask her about that…
Through a thin grin, and a stabilizing breath, I said to myself, "I look crazy to my friends
because my Assemblage Point is not centered on the version of reason that theirs is. But in a
Stalker’s view, I’m less reasonable—as a good thing—because I resolved a puzzle that my
friend’s reason hasn’t dealt with, because they don’t know that war is insanity on display in real
time." I had a sudden thought. "It’s a second- hand conviction to them, which is why they say it’s
nuts, then they still go to them?"
"Good so far," Bonnie encouraged me.
"My shitty experiences became my personal landscape, and it was toxic; fear infected me,
but I don’t know what to do with it other than display it through unconscious behaviors in a place
that doesn’t understand how they are immersed in the cultural practices that gave rise to what I