I have a bear. A teddy bear. He is small, around 5” when he stands up and raises his arms above his head.
But most of the time he sits, usually on my bedside table. It’s comforting to know he’s there. Especially at night.
I haven’t had him very long, maybe a couple of years. I don’t remember my bear from childhood. I imagine I had one but that was a long time ago.
I don’t know why I decided to buy him. Maybe it was a whim or perhaps something more deep-seated; my subconscious telling me there was a need for him to be with me. Maybe I just had need of a companion.
“Bears need people. People need bears.”
He arrived in a well-padded cardboard envelope and I remember thinking that I hoped his journey from the warehouse – bear-house? – wasn’t too traumatic. I realised at that point that I was already thinking of him as a person and why shouldn’t I?
Since I have had him, I haven’t had actual conversations with him, out loud I mean. rather, non-verbal communication has clearly passed between us. He may be my inner voice that had a different form before he arrived, I really don’t know. I do know that his presence is comforting.
He has also been on travels with me, quietly stowed away, not making his presence known to others, just there for me.
This may all sound quite mad, eccentric and frankly disturbing in some people’s eyes. The way I see it, it is those people who have the problem, certainly not me or him. And my research has shown that there are many adult men who have a bear, their childhood one or one acquired later in life.
“You really don’t have to be young to find a friend in a teddy bear.”
“It is astonishing, really, how many thoroughly mature, well-adjusted grown-ups harbour a teddy bear–which is perhaps why they are thoroughly mature and well-adjusted.” –Joseph Lempa
As it happens, he’s sitting now on my desk as I’m writing this. I think he approves.