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Stalking the Average Man


-The people who think I'm nuts have fulfilled their purpose in my life, and parting company
is the natural order of growth. What do you think of that belt? | She pointed toward a brown belt
with a brushed brass buckle of a steer‘s head with curved horns.
-I might wear it to a hootenanny: what you call the natural order is what a student might see
as abandoning old friends for better ones. |
-It's the truth unencumbered by how I feel—felt, because missing them isn't a loss
anymore. | She looked my way. -The Universe explained the underlying nature of my
experiences, as they apply to a specific plan for this lifetime. Along with experiencing their
world directly, I had to abandon my penchant to rationalize any event to suit my feelings, beliefs,
or desires, like my old friends still do. | She took a full breath. -The bottom line is that the
unspoken agreements that bound us are gone. What about this one? | She pointed to a narrow
black band with a nondescript, brass buckle. -The ache I still sometimes feel is from appreciation
for what they did for me. Now, all I can do is go the way of my destiny, and leave my friends
with a gift. |
-Bewildered is a gift? | I quipped.
-That's the wrapping of knowledge. What about this one? | She pointed to a medium width
reversible, brown/black belt, with a silver buckle on one side of the clasp, and gold on the other.
-That‘s good, | I said. Her son didn‘t dress flashy, and he would have a choice to suit his
pants.
Looking at other options, Bonnie said, -I catered to people's silent demands to maintain
harmony by telling myself that compromise was fairness, and when it didn't seem fair to me I
was being an altruist. Eventually, I saw victimization at the end of that road, and I broke my
unspoken agreements to shoulder the burden of other's responsibilities, because it wasn‘t doing
either of us any good. Now, friends are discovering they have to face themselves, or find
someone else to carry their baggage. In the first case, they'll unwrap the gift to discover the
source of their hurt feelings, and they'll be better off right away. In the latter, they'll present their
new friends with the opportunity to learn if, and when, to assume responsibility for their
circumstances. Either way, they grow. |
-How—, | I hesitated to sound less offensive, -how would they learn this on their own if
they didn't from K ha-li's ally? |
Bonnie examined my reflection for sarcasm. Finding none intended, she said, -Whiners use
up friends because the fine art of sucking the life out of people is never an equitable exchange.
Someone always feels they're giving more than they get, and they eventually move on to share
their misery elsewhere. In time, they wear those people out, or they're thrown away so often that
they have to consider they might be creating their own isolation. |
-Aren‘t you doing that—isolating yourself, I mean? |
-My experiences with the Universe removed me from the world of common thought in a
single act, but it‘s their lessons that‘ll cement the specifics, and make that change a permanent
gift of separation from the madness. | Reflectively she said, -Every day that I work on changing
my ways is another day I can honestly say I like who I'm becoming. It's slow, but I'm low
maintenance now. Come on. | She went inside the shop, picked up the belt, and had me put it on.
The salesman commented that Bonnie had good taste, looked for me to passively agree, and she
bought it.
As soon as we were outside the door, I said, -I‘m saying you might not think there's much
to change about yourself because you're pretty much alone now. You have no points of
reference. |
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