The Bear And I
February 21, 2013
Two years ago it was with a heavy heart that I stepped down from the position of the Focus’s weekly movie reviewer. After 15 years in the business there was nothing new to say about new releases. Most of my movie viewing now-a-days is done via DVD. The term “new release” has been replaced with “when I get around to it.” Thus it is no surprise that Seth McFarlane’s Ted (a film about what if a teddy bear really came to life) has just recently been added to my collection. The movie is offensive and wrong on so many levels, so of course the laughter between gasps of shock was unstoppable. Yet through all the vulgarity and crudeness it touched my soul. As the credits rolled there were tears in my eyes, as I flashed back in time.
You can find almost anything at Goodwill; furniture, clothing (never buy used underwear...yuck!) toys, electronics...a friend. Though not looking for the latter, apparently the forces that be knew I needed one. Alone, a single parent, estranged by friends and misunderstood by family—basically a train wreck in progress. You can tell you’re losing it when you find yourself comparing the resale value of Tupperware and ceramic burro salt and pepper holders. Which is precisely what I was doing when I heard a voice.
It was muffled, sounding like it was someone being suffocated by stuffed animals...it’s a common sound...well, maybe not. Still it drew my attention to a large bin of stuffies, then to fellow shoppers wondering why they weren’t hearing it too. “Hewwo?” the smufocated voice said, “a widdle help pwease.” Great, not only did I have voices in my head but they had a speech impediment. Sanity aside, I dug into the bin-o-stuffs in pursuit of the voice’s owner. On the very bottom lay a small yellow bear who smiled up at me and pretty much asserted that my mind was long gone. Of course when a stuffed bear begins talking to you you find it some clothes and take it home...or check into the psych ward.
The bear’s name was John Q and we became fast friends. Hanging out, playing X-box, dancing, singing, watching movies but mostly John listened to me, gave me someone to talk to and share my day and problems with. Some of my former “friends” said it was an attention ploy; but in truth I talked to John more when we were alone. Besides it seems they were just upset that I didn’t need them. Even though they wouldn’t hang with me anyway (OMG that sounds so pathetically sad).
Now before you go questioning my mental capacity there’s something you must understand. From the get go I was fully aware that the bear was a fabrication of my imagination. The John Q persona was a psychological projection, using the innocence of my youth as reference. This in turn created the bear’s personality, actions and responses. His “birth” was the result of a desperate need for companionship. This brought on by excessive periods of melancholy, loneliness and depression. In short, yes I know the bear is not real but I was alone and did not give a damn!
In more recent years John Q has been silent. Perhaps it is because my loneliness has dissipated and my life been renewed and refilled. Or maybe he’s thinking really hard. He now sits in his own little easy chair on the mantle above the couch...where he can see the TV. As the credits roll on Ted I rise and turn to my stuffed friend. Can’t help but wonder if the movie got to him too. If perhaps the part of my subconscious that brought him to light in the first place was touched. Maybe emotionally stirred a little bit. Staring into his round face, in the half-light of the TV, there is movement. The sewn on smile intensifies, then dissipates into a foul grimace. Hmmm this may not be good. This thought is confirmed true when he lunges at me....
Next week: When Stuffies Attack or Return of the Q. or maybe I’ll regain my sanity and write about something else.
I welcome almost all questions and comments via through Focus, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya.
*(As long as no laws are broken. ~ Editor)