BY “ROGER” THE BLACK BEAR
If you must know, I’m having trouble with my wife. No, that's not fair: I'm having trouble with my life. It’s been one of those weeks, and, I don’t know, things just got to me. I was reading the paper this morning, looking out the window — we reside near Valley Green, actually, there may no longer be a “we” and “I” may no longer reside there — and, well, I can’t say exactly. It was just another wordless breakfast over another ripped-open white plastic Glad kitchen trash bag, and I… I was licking out a half-eaten GoGurt and something just came over me. I couldn’t do it anymore.
What is “it,” you rightly ask? You know, the whole thing: I couldn’t go through another year, hibernating for half and acting like I’m happy the other half, trapped in a loveless marriage where I can’t even maul someone on account of my “low T.” They say, “Oh, Roger, none of us in the breed do that anymore,” like that means something, as if the low bar set by my peers means anything anymore. I can’t go through another high season, wasting my days behind the railroad tracks, trudging through the back woods, through the piles of dead leaves mixed with Herr’s potato chip bags and discarded plastic soda bottles. I couldn’t, if we’re being frank here, go through another summer acting like I gave a fuck about Wawa Hoagiefest. So I just got up and left.
That was where the trouble began. I got lost on my way to Devil’s Pool, where when I was a young cub, I used to smoke pot and listen to Metallica with a group of Delco kids who’d taken me in and promised not to tell anyone about me. (This ended late one summer when they decided they were “Satanists” and tried to “sacrifice” me.) Anyway, I wanted to go back there. I didn’t think I’d see any of the old crew — though surely, if I did, I’d imagine they’d apologize, having some distance from the situation now — but that wasn’t what I was looking for. I wanted to go back to the site of place where I’d once truly felt alive, wild, and open to any possibility.
As I said, I got lost. And then I just kind of lost it. Next thing I knew, I was out on the hiking trail, I was in the middle of the creek taking a massive shit (this is, after all, what bears do: we shit, in the woods), and someone spotted me, and now it’s all this. I’ve already probably shared more with you than you’d ever want to know, but the point of all this is one that I feel it is very important for me to make:
I didn’t mean to scare anyone. I didn’t mean to frighten anyone. I’m going to take a long hard look at myself, and I want you to know, I want you all to know: I know that it is time for a change.