Stalking the Average Man
Initially, this was fun because we were speaking about me, and a time I cherished, neither
topic of which was normally a cautious affair. However, when I was speaking about narrow
attitudes, narrower streets, and a lack of parking to explain why you can't get a pizza delivered in
London, she twice interrupted to misquote simple points. Confused that she thought I might be
lying about trivial stuff—interrogation techniques, again—I tapped the corner of my mouth to
indicate she had crumbs on hers, and I said, -What‘s with the third degree this time? |
-The experiences we pay little attention to shape the ones we think are significant. Nothing
comes from nothing. | She dabbed at the corner of her mouth. -Ready to walk some of this off? |
Bonnie covered the leftovers with plastic wrap, and after a few minutes we were heading
toward John Lawson Park—a 200 meter manicured green space at the foot of 16th Street and
Argyle Avenue. During this three-block stroll, a pervasive tranquility came over me, no t the
fatigue I had previously endured; I thought this might be a reaction to my angry outburst, full
stomach, and a new business arrangement that I would handle my way if hers didn‘t pan out
Free of concern, I gazed across the inlet to the forme r naval reserve that had become
Stanley Park a hundred years earlier. Casually, I envisioned a colorfully clad septuagenarian
strategically shifting a large chess piece on a patio board, twelve feet across, while a rucksack
and sandals student frowned at a missed opportunity.
This scene transitioned into seniors, dressed all in white, lawn bowling on this perfect day
for an affair to begin at Lumberman's Arch: the woman would be tanning during her lunch break,
lose track of time, and in a hurry she would bump into the lawyer on roller blades. Eagerly at
fault, both of them would apologize, information would be exchanged, and he would call to
invite her to the Tea House… a silver/grey Mercedes drove by the front of the restaurant.
Bachir Gemayel's house exploded. Lebanon's president was dead.
I jumped—or tried to; it became a shudder.
-Gas? | Bonnie teased me.
-Sorry. Shit! | I said, embarrassed to discover that we were sitting on a park bench. Bonnie
had her arm tightly wrapped around mine as support, not in a romantic way.
-Where were you? |
-Wandering, | I said, feeling supremely stupid.
Gazing across the bay toward False Creek, with the sensitivity of experience, she said
-Speaking about a nice time in your past can unlock the door to anything in your past. The
average person stops short of walking through if it is unpleasant, because no one has explained
the benefits of taking that step. A student of their own life will cross the threshold almost every
time, because they secretly know that to face the lingering unrealized is to discover its influence
and render it harmless. This makes it available for assessment. |
-A thought caught me by surprise, is all. |
-The abstract imparts guidance on its own terms. |
-I don‘t have a clue what that means. |
-In this case, it means the thought that jolted you was a consequence of your evolutionary
energy bringing your present outlook to your attention. | With a quick squeeze of my arm, she
turned to face me. -Part of what makes people average is that we assume our thoughts happen on
a single level, as an autonomous process we more or less control, in spite of how often we are
surprised by insights. People of energy silently know there are inner resources available to them,