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CHAPTER TWENTY TWO.
Following their latest screening session, she’d been mulling his story of traveling India on foot.
His disclosure of having had a traveling companion was of special interest, particularly his reference to their polar opposite outcomes.
She had a theory. Was he open to hearing it?
___ No; he’d pass
___Yes; he’d proceed, with caution 😉
___She’d tell him anyway / did she EVER stop?
He’d declared his intention: the desire to experience India, one step at a time. He’d shared this with his close companion. Perhaps he had been inspiring to him/her, speaking eagerly of the possibilities as he’d imagined them.
Suppose his companion was captivated by the idea of such adventure. Suppose this captivation was enhanced by anticipating his joyful company. Consequently, his companion might have mirrored his eagerness with an equally eager show of enthusiasm.
But, the pilgrimage was his, alone.
And, because he had so personalized the experience, he’d made ongoing decisions which reflected such intention. This was inherently noble. She wasn’t arguing.
Yes; the decisions – where to go on a given day, what to search for, or not, what to value in the search……his.
At first, perhaps following him and his motivations was entertaining, exciting, satisfying for the companion. And, maybe, after awhile, the interests/needs of the companion occasionally came into conflict with the intent of the pilgrimage. Maybe when to make a rest stop, or whether now had been a good time to eat, or how much the temperature affected stamina……
…and, then, the “very dangerous” situations.
Most of these needs might have been pushed down, on the part of his companion, until several had accumulated. At that point, perhaps the companion’s attitude had begun to shift. Perhaps he’d noticed this shift, somewhat belatedly and, addressing it, the exchanges between the two of them escalating rapidly…..
….climaxing in a philosophical discussion, or a heated argument, or both in either order. But, for him, an episode both blindsiding and emotionally draining. In short: had he been sure that his companion was totally on board with the original idea, the opposite having unfolded instead?
She wasn’t at all sure it would be her place to propose any of this to him.
Looking on, from this [ very great ] distance, ridiculously easy for her to judge.
Yet, she wondered if, had his companion gone solo, or been the initiator of the experience, would each have a far different story to tell?
And, had all of this already occurred to him, in retrospect?
And, is that why, from the outset, he’d urged that she experience all the wonders to be seen, heard, and felt in the world by taking her own, solitary journey?
Her paradigms had changed radically since coming of age. Cognitive dissonance was still her modus operandi. One therapist had said: “ Given everything you’ve been through, you should be totally fucked up.”
Speaking of the latter, lest anyone wonder, she’d been born involuntary, with a surplus of sensory receptors. Screen on, oh thou naked and unashamed, she thought finally. He was closing in on her.
© 3/29/16 Ruth Ann Scanzillo All rights those of the author, whose name appears above this line. Thank you for your respect.