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Stalking the Average Man

Sorting cash from my pocket, I said, -I doubt that anyone will spend the kind of time I have
doing you a favor, let alone be trained to agree with you, but you‘re beyond clever and I wish
you the best of luck; your screenplay will take up way too much time. |
-How long did you say it takes to get a grant? |
-Forever if you have to explain the elements of your story before you tell it, assuming there
really is one. | I put ten dollars on the table to cover my seven-dollar tab; I wasn‘t sticking around
for the change. I slid out of my seat, but as I stood Bonnie grabbed my sleeve.
Making a show of subserviently squinting into the sunlight, she offered me her other hand.
-Fifty percent of everything across the board, and we work every day that we can to get the
training scenes done? I‘m not that far away. Really, | she pleaded playfully, -you‘ve done much
more for me than you know. |
Looking at her breasts, on the way up to her face, I formulated a plan that suited my prickly
mood. -Done, | I said. A few grand was about right for filling out one of those goddamned forms.
-Let‘s celebrate at my house, | Bonnie said, standing.
-Wow—two things in a row we agree on, | I jested weakly.
-Now you know that anything is possible, | she said lightly.
Ten minutes later, we turned into the short gravel driveway of a million dollar, beachfront
property, and I briefly thought that anything really could be possible.
Under the right conditions.
Chapter 11
The Message and the Messenger
Keeping my feelings about her alleged poor financial status in check, I asked Bonnie for a
tour of the house as a circuitous way of getting a truer picture. I followed her first into the
living/dining room, where she absently nodded toward the back wall—a landscape painting of a
winding country road, bordered by broad- leafed trees that ran between two open fields of grass,
hung there. I assumed it was by someone important, and although I knew nothing about art, I
turned to look at it again before we left the room.
Otherwise during our trek through the double suite, five-bedroom, three bathroom home,
she did not refer to her financial status, so I was little wiser by the time we sat down to a
ploughman's lunch.
-I had these all of the time in England. Filling and cheap, | I said, taking in the details of the
open living/dining area, -which still wouldn't explain how you manage this place. |
-My rent is probably less than Ed pays for his apartment, | she said, crunching on a pickle.
Abruptly leaning forward with unaccountable intensity, she said, -I was about to close a deal on
a townhouse in North Vancouver when I hurt my back. | She quickly chewed and swallowed.
-Workman's Comp wouldn't cover the mortgage, so I withdrew the offer. The next day, I met the
man who was in charge of renting properties the county had expropriated to extend the park from
the pier to the sea wall. | She waved half a pickle from north to west, across the room. -Getting
this place convinced me that it was time to write my book so I quit working full time, and sold a
share of my novel to a good friend. Your injuries at Goodbye, | she said, poking the green nub at
me, -led you to writing. | She took a final bite, and uncharacteristically said around her food,
-Tell me about why you moved to England; I cut you off—sorry. |
-That was four days ago, | I replied, amused.
-I‘m still interested, | she said evenly.