Stalking the Average Man
-Are you asking or telling? | she grinned.
-I‘m telling you that immediately after you said something set my self- interest aside, I
recalled you saying teachers lend energy, so students can experience specific events. I also had
the illogical sense that after we part company, today‘s demonstration will become like 1969.
Tittering, Bonnie said, -You are becoming an excellent surrogate. |
-Or I‘m losing it. |
Bonnie occasionally tittered for no apparent reason until we arrived at her car outside of
Ed‘s apartment block. Giving me a quick hug, she said, -If you practice clarity by stopping to
assess what you‘re about to say, one hugely humbling insight you‘ll arrive at will be how much
you‘ve been missing. See you on Sunday. | She got in her car and drove away.
Unexpectedly exhausted by the mental trek she had taken me on, six days away from her
didn‘t seem like such a bad thing after all. Josh could take the strain for a while.
The Language of Chaos
During the week that Bonnie was away, I honed sample scenes from memories of her print
chapters, jogged in the afternoon, and in the evenings made a game of assessing what I was
about to say to Ed. Not all of the time, mind you, but enough that by Wednesday my halting
manner caused him to call me to the Avalon, to ease my apparent stress over my screenplay
deadline. I didn‘t tell him that I had finished it, because he would want to read it, and that wasn‘t
ever going to happen with anyone I knew: trying to incorporate the ringing chord of mystery
with my altered design of suspense that culminated in Tom‘s practical solution had gutted both.
The measured ingredients of my psychological soufflé had become instant pudding.
Ironically, as the postal clerk weighed it for shipping I realized that Bonnie had been bang-
on at our first meeting: my deadline hadn‘t been too close to make subtle changes, if only I had
faith in the process leading me to where it wanted to go. I saw that destination too late to do
anything about it. As it was, choosing the expedient way pretty much defined the story‘s
underlying nature—written in a hurry for the money.
During that liquid therapy session, I explained the flat tire scene in my book to Tom, and
said that I intended to bring the sniper forward to make him an immediate threat to Ely.
However, I wasn‘t sure how to explain why he didn‘t shoot any of us, when Ely was never quite
in his sights. It was not that this was likely, only that his indecision created a hole in the scene
that needed filling.
Tom shrugged and said, -Didn‘t the guy who sold you his tire help the infidel? |
I had one of those Zen moments wherein things become clear around corners: the farce of
good and evil would show when the stranger didn‘t make it around the next corner, and there
was poetic justice attached to his blatant profiteering. The scene would also further establish that
there were no safe places to work, thereby silencing Bonnie‘s appeal for me to include ethereal
influences in my life and book: these would have undermined my portrayal of the capriciousness
of warfare when the sniper, highly conflicted by moral ambiguity, fired the round that tore
through Ely and into R.J…
Boom-boom taking a shower in a glass box drew my attention away, and as the warm mists
revealed other women apparently in need of public cleansing I mentally relocated the sniper in
chapters where the paths of Ely and Robbie literally crossed. Between dancers, I idly tuned into