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Stalking the Average Man

-Don‘t be too hard on yourself, | she said, putting the story away. -It took Teyo two years
to understand it. |
-Uh huh. | You’ve got another week.
Chapter 15
The Crafty Wraith
The next day, I crossed the First Narrows Bridge through a mist of misery—the fine fog that
forces bikers to wipe their faceplate every few seconds—to meet Bonnie at the café near her
home. Neither of us had brought pages from our books, so our conversation was affably
mundane talking about our early work experiences as the sky gradually lightened. When the first
rays in four gray days poked through, we paid our bill and doubled up on the motorcycle to
celebrate our parole in Stanley Park.
Walking within the casual quiet of our own thoughts, as had become our way to enter the
park, Bonnie said, -Can you tell me why you‘re opposed to my metaphysical principles? |
Unable to deny her claim, I saw no point in delaying. -I don‘t think coincidences or
suddenly knowing things are evidence of God at work or the devil at play. There's an explanation
for everything. |
-I agree, but you haven‘t told me what you have against it. |
-I think the metaphysical world takes our focus away from things we could actually do to
improve any of this. | I waved a lazy hand, almost smacking Bonnie in the face as she appeared
in front of me like an ebony panther leaping from a cave on a moonless night.
Dauntingly impassable, her luminous eyes conveyed unassailable assurance in her
advantage as I bumped into her, and she said, -What have you done for humanity lately? |
Stunned by the raw power of her challenge, I stepped back awkwardly and said, -What are
you talking about? |
-Your objections to the premises in my book are based on their apparent impracticality to
the ignorant, poor, and the downtrodden. I'm asking what you are doing about it. |
Her challenge was petty, but the residual intensity of her inquisition intimidated me, so I
was curt when I replied, -I support a foster child, | as I stepped around her.
-I didn‘t know that, | she said, turning to walk beside me. -Nothing else? |
-I‘m one person. |
-Some individuals have changed the world. |
My gut told me to apologize, for what I was not sure, but the notion that a single person
could cause significant change on anything other than a nuclear scale was too supercilious to
leave alone.
-After how many died paving the way for them? |
-That would depend on what are you referring to, | she said, clearly setting a trap because
there‘s rarely a perfect example of anything.
Cautiously, I said, -I‘m saying that it's not reasonable to harp on the way things are, and
expect the millions of people who made them that way to change, particularly when the people
who try to change anything get a street named after them. |
-You think the ratio is one in a million? |
"Now you‘re playing with me: I think there are lots of people who don't mind making futile
gestures, but ninety-nine percent of them tire of their defeats and settle for less. I think the one in
a million has to be a fanatic, | I said, saving her the trouble of asking, -who adopts the tactics of
the enemy, and justifies them with good intentions. |