Stalking the Average Man
-Usually, it‘s about circumstance, | I explained. | Robbie and Rob are off duty names.
Leblanc kind of addresses the legend, but face to face, and R.J. is a code: he can‘t see anything to
his right when we‘re shooting, so if I see something he needs to know about, I call him R.J., and
he does whatever I say without asking me why. |
-There‘s a lot more to you than you‘ve shown in this place, | Kat purred provocatively.
Sadly, this is all I remember about my last truly naïve night on the planet. The morning
shoot in New York was also lost to a thumping, dehydration blur that mercifully gave way to an
antihistamine- induced coma during the late afternoon flight to the place I would earn the right to
call Salvador in press clubs around the world. And in the wee hours, hope the flashbacks would
be in black and white...
I thought the profanity worked in the context of a scene that implied terrible things past, and
to soon come again, but I questioned the wisdom of offering a sexploit in the first material
Bonnie might read so I didn‘t print it. Show and tell could wait; we had gotten along too well for
it to matter much.
Finished writing for the day, I went for a three kilometer shuffle I would euphemistically call
jogging until it was true, then I took a shower as a rare cloudless blue outside of my window
bowed to a tawny dusk. Still half an hour early for our appointment, I walked four blocks down
Pendrell Street and across Denman to the English Bay Café where I expected a double dram of
Scottish bog would add sparkle to my personality. I was still dull from the night before.
-Waiting for someone, | I said to the hostess, nodding toward the back bar.
-Aren‘t we all, | she replied laconically, as I passed her by.
With a quick glance back, I saw her sardonic grin abruptly change to fright, and I barely
managed to sidestep a striking woman in a sea-green summer dress. Quickly regaining my balance,
I assembled my boyishly crooked smile to apologize, when she exclaimed, -You must be John! |
thereby announcing our circumstance to the entire dining area.
Figuratively off balance, the spontaneous cleverness that having no tact had forced me to
develop over the years abandoned me like sincerity in a confessional, and I tardily squawked, -You
must be Bonnie! | I sounded like an elderly parrot on Valium.
Laughing as if I had intended to be funny, Bonnie tugged on my sleeve leading us to a table as
if we were a couple playing a familiar game.
Soon seated with drinks on the way, our exchange of approval pleasantries flowed like the
patter of old friends meeting after years apart, including finishing each other‘s sentences and
chuckling at the same unspoken ideas. Ironically, I was thinking this was too good to be true, just
as our phone call had been, when she made me think I might be right: Bonnie interrupted my lead
line about travelling to England, as a prelude to a battle tale, to say she had made a decision that
had irrevocably altered her life, as well.
I hadn‘t said anything like that, but I couldn‘t deny that it was true; I dutifully asked her what
-Oh—I‘m sorry; it‘s too soon for that, | she said sheepishly. Suddenly pitching forward, with
misplaced ardor she asked, -Why did you go to England? Why did you leave, for that matter? |