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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.
Maybe.
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.
 
 
 
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