Stalking the Average Man
Sighing with pretentious sorrow, she said, -That‘s my point: your world view has been so
severely tainted by select events that you see nothing but endless days of competing for the
survival of your self-image. |
-I don‘t understand how what I see is competing with your view. We just don‘t agree on what
lies beneath the canopy. What‘s the big deal? |
We began walking, before Bonnie said, -Disillusionment and mistrust create the cynicism
that‘s blinding you to all of this, as it is—not what lies beneath, | she waved her arm as if to sweep
the horizon free of my jaded view. -It caused you to see a clown where a free spirit was giving a
dependent creature a good life, and because you don‘t grasp how you have been conformed you
think it‘ll take too long to explain it to others. It won‘t; that‘s your burden. |
-You were talking about everyone‘s conformation. |
-To someone special, yes. |
-Special because I didn‘t see it? | I said, slowing to grasp what she meant.
-Exactly; it could be no other way. |
Bonnie chirped an emotion, and she was suddenly three strides ahead: the sounds of water
lapping at the foot of the sea wall marked off the next twenty yards, as I made up the distance
casually... I had no idea what I had done, but she obviously wanted some alone time.
Not until I was lying in bed that night did I put her apparent disappointment in me into
perspective: Bonnie was trying to convince me that I should be afraid of the way things are in our
world because, as she had stated, her characters had to be wary of where they were at all times. So
I must have created a run in the fabric of her intricate plot by responding as her audience would—
not being afraid of people having different opinions. This must have caused her to glimpse the
inevitability of having to restructure a key aspect of her story.
It was all I had to go on, but it made sense. I felt genuinely sorry for her. I knew what that was
On the morning of our fourth consecutive day together, we met outside a fashionable
bakery-cafe in West Vancouver; contagiously chipper, Bonnie began telling me about her night
of lucid dreaming. Two steps through the broad glass doors, Brandi greeted us with an
orthodontist‘s smile, and expansively declared that we could sit anywhere, before her youthful
charm collapsed at the sound of a soft chime.
I looked for a remote spot in case Bonnie felt like dancing.
Taking in the ambiance, two of the twenty- foot high walls were painted a light tan,
accented by slashes of green neon under which stood snowflake arrays of plastic tables. These
were surrounded by petals of tub chairs flaunting red slashes down the center post to a Mexican
tile floor. The impression of Christmas in Cabo San Lucas suggested that patrons should spend
freely in the name of Christ. The other walls of full- length glass provided excellent lighting for
customers to peruse the large print while wearing Ray Bans.
We headed toward a shaded spot in the back corner, ordered coffee, then to calm her I told
her about an innocuous dream I had when was twelve years old, and still remembered.
I was standing on a dirt roadway that bisected two rolling fields of calf high grass through
which masses of translucent people were slowly walking. I knew that the ones coming toward
me from my left were returning from a physical life, and the ones walking away on my right