Stalking the Average Man
-Can‘t there be magic in fire even after its science is understood? | Her eyes glowed with a
beguiling mixture of mischief and delight.
-Maybe... if I knew what it was. |
-You are magic, | she said, covering both of my hands with hers.
Ingeniously, I maintained an endearingly stupid expression, thereby leaving it up to Bonnie
to explain her comment. Instead, she pushed back from the table and said, -It‘s strange to meet
two truly interesting men in one week, when years went by without meeting anyone. I‘ll be right
-Boggling, | I muttered, retrieving my credit card and cash tip, in case Allie didn‘t have to
Placing them on the table, I signaled for the bill that Allie put beside my payment moments
later, already calculated and closed out.
My fuzzy scrutiny of our tab revealed that Bonnie had been drinking Virgin Caesars for
most of the night. Nevertheless, when she returned Bonnie insisted on going Dutch treat by
putting cash in the leather presenter, and effectively doubling my tip for the entire bill.
I knew I was -in, | then, and said nothing about her gesture aimed at demonstrating that she
was more generous of spirit than some points in our conversation had otherwise indicated.
But it got better: upon returning with my credit card, Allisha gratefully said, -Thank you
very much Mister Alex-son, | and a subtle dip-turn of Bonnie‘s head dissipated the awkwardness
of her solo acknowledgment. Finally, when we parted company outside of the restaurant, she
kissed me gently and said, -Be sure to call me tomorrow. |
-Steel trap, | I said, tapping my temple, which she found hilarious like only the smitten can.
Overall, it was a perfect ending to a funny and challenging night.
The Bridge of Reason
The next evening, I worked a job in North Vancouver recording the recovery efforts of
firemen responding to a child‘s fall from the Capilano River bluffs.
-In the summer, | the petite paramedic said to our reporter, off the record, -high school kids
full of booze or smoke jump into the swirls, because they look deep. | Gillian pointed to an
outcropping surrounded by dead drops across the gorge. -Maybe a child losing her footing will
play on their minds a few months from now, | she lamented, searching for something redeeming in
-Appreciate the background, | Natalie said.
-No sweat, | the paramedic replied with a dismissive gesture.
Natalie signaled a thigh-high micro slash for Matt to stop his surreptitious recording, and in a
thickening silence they watched Gillian rejoin her own kind.
-I won‘t use her, | Natalie explained when she was out of earshot. -I like to get the details and
the mood on tape when the air date is… |
-Shhhit, | Matt hissed, as he saw the crown of a helmet bob over the crest of the road, from the
-New tape. Risk setting up wide and nothing else. This is a budget and bunny huggers‘ piece, |
Natalie ordered succinctly.
The risk she had acknowledged was of Matt missing the moment when the rim of the wire
Stokes basket appeared, because it offered endless -final journey | scripting possibilities. -Nothing
else, | directed him to avoid visual statements that raised an audience‘s sorrow to fear, the Catch