Stalking the Average Man
-What else do you need? |
-We get old. Security would be nice. |
-If anyone has ever had reason to feel secure it's you ... what was that look about, and don‘t
tell me nothing just streamed behind your eyes? | she said with disconcerting warmth.
-I have no idea what you‘re talking about, | I said honestly.
-You understood that you will be fine, but you can‘t justify the idea so you buried it. |
Laughing, she said, -What I‘d give to be present at that exhumation! |
We finished lunch and washed the dishes, including the corkscrew, then we went for a walk
along the rocky beach where on no apparent cue Bonnie began recounting key phases in her life.
In and of themselves there was nothing extraordinary about her experiences, maybe other than
they spanned the gamut from potato soup poverty to caviar for twelve, and back to mock chicken
sandwich lunches for three.
In a nutshell, her parents had led her through a wandering adolescence, but in spite of many
moves, Bonnie was a good student. When it came time to pony up, there was only enough money
for her brother's university education, and so went her dream of a career in marine biology. She
subsequently survived a parade of small minds and petty tyrants at various jobs, because she out-
performed her peers before she married and became a successful client entertainer for her
emotionally abusive husband. When their relationship ended, her adjustment back to the land of
single living included date rape and the financial and social discrimination society bestows upon
divorcees with children. These experiences included not qualifying for new car loan rates, or
quality rental properties, which in turn led to tradesman‘s theft for plumbing problems and auto
As she spoke her heart dispassionately, I had no doubt that she knew a lo t about suffering,
failure, and limbo-living between mans‘ sexually influenced decisions. I also believed that she
had met some truly nasty people, and I better appreciated how children can simultaneously be the
source of one's deepest worries and greatest joys. That said, the physical, mental, and emotional
traumas she had suffered couldn't have been too bad, because she had cracked wise about her life
from day one. Or maybe she had somehow gotten even?
I felt the same way about her financial circumstances. Our mans‘ society had made earning
a decent wage more difficult, but when she decided to become a writer she had borrowed money
from a long-time male friend, and she was paying less than fifty percent of true rental value
courtesy of her looks. She also owned her five-year old car, there was always food in the fridge,
and her teenagers were clean, bright, and personable, as far as I could tell when they flashed by
Overall, I viewed Bonnie's trials as distasteful necessities, and unfortunate inevitabilities of
learning self-reliance like the rest of us had to, neither of which had whizzed by her ear at 2300
feet per second, nor came with a distinctive smell that caused her to burn her clothing at the end
of a particularly memorable day. This is not to imply that her character was less than stellar, or
that the well of courage from which she drew her dignity wasn‘t deeper than most. Then she told
me that her decision to have an abortion had been agonizing, it haunted her for a long time, but
another child would have jeopardized the welfare of the first two.
Intellectually, I knew that making abortions illegal took away women's right to design their
lives in the same way that a man can, and that as neither science nor the courts could define life‘s