Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Bear is Dead

On the weekend I spent some happy hours op-shopping in Tenterfield, birthplace of our nation and Peter Allen. They now have a motor inn named after him so it seems they have come to terms with his sexuality. Anyway, after discovering a pair of lovely old cardigans in beige and green, I realised that next to them, my old mauve fake fur coat was looking a bit shabby. I remembered our precious time spent together.

We first met in a mini-skip outside a church in Paddington in the early 1990s. The poor coat had been left for dead. Being one of those pathetic individuals who cannot help but peer into dumpsters before walking past them, often with arms full of loot, I claimed the sorry pelt as my own. After a few careful repairs and a bath in wonder soap it was fully returned to service for another chance at life. O happy day.

Now, some have said that it resembled an old bear who went into the forest to die. This is rather a generous description perhaps. Others would postulate that it had been mauled by dingoes, pecked by galahs and buried in a scrub turkey mound during the wet season circa 1991 - back before the pace of climate change stepped up and we still had wet seasons. Whatever the case, the name of the jacket was coined : "the (Paddington) Bear". For like its English namesake, the Bear was not without a certain charm and it seemed to go with all of my other clothes. Which certainly says something about my wardrobe.
It is true that the Bear and I shared the best of what life has to offer. Together we traveled far and wide- New York, London, Prague, Dubrovnik, Montenegro, Naples, Canberra. Weddings, parties, banquets, the Bear was there. Life was never so much fun if I left the bear behind.

I remember when its lining disintegrated. Sometimes when I put it on, my hand came out of unexpected openings or disappeared into strange places like it had found a portal to Narnia. This was beginning to cause problems in our relationship and I noticed that my friends started to avoid me when I would wear the Bear. Status Anxiety won out. Yes, we've been through alot together. But now it is time to move on. It is a quality of life issue for the Bear. Not just myself. So this morning I began the ritual to prepare the Bear for burial. His beautiful mauve eyelike plastic buttons, strangely situated on the outside of each frontal pocket were harvested for memento mori. And the 'Up the Creek without a paddle' resident brooch unpinned for the final time. I usually cut up my old clothes for household rags but that does not seem right somehow for the Bear. Does anyone have any ideas for a fitting farewell? Maybe a winter solstice fire ritual. Or do I find him another mini-skip to turn the tale full circle?


Lilli&Tom said...

Bec, I'm always asking outrageous favours from you, it might be my turn to do something in return...

How would you like Bear to become a real live teddy bear?

it seem you already have the eyes!

let me know
yours, The Dolly Doctor xxx

Rebecca-the-Wrecker said...

Dear Dolly Doctor
omigod- what a wonderful and obvious idea- starting at me in the face, somewhat like a starebear! The Bear has been saved from the gallows yet again! Together in its reincarnation we could continue our fabulous adventures! I even have a name- Coatie!!! I will make sure you are adequately renumerated of course.

Lilli&Tom said...

Dear Wrecker,
what a silly thing to say. This Dolly Doctor isn't coming to your house in the morning with the bill, bill, bill.

Maybe I'll just ask for some handy tips instead:)

always yours,
The Dolly Doctor:)

Susie said...

Well I was going to suggest bear be somehow transformed into bearable/wearable pieces, but I see a much better solution is already in place. Perhaps you will just have to make some jewels for Coatie instead.

BlackLion said...

Dear Rebecca the wrecker
I also have a frend called the bear. He is Gilbert and if you say his name with a funny french accent you start to understand how it happened. You cannot call him bear , the same way you canot call our head of state Queen. It needs a THE. Anyway my friend the Bear is also old and warn out and we don't quite know what to do with him either. Do you have any advice ??

Rebecca-the-Wrecker said...

dear black lion
I think reincarnation is an option for all forms of life. Mind you it is very difficult for me to part with the Bear in his previous state. I still have not passed his remains onto the Dolly Doctor although I have washed him in preparation (dolly doctor was perturbed that I failed to use a fabric softener and used the drip dry method instead of gentle towel massage on the fabric. But then I am a heathen). so every time I look around in desperation for a jacket to wear, I am tempted to inexpertly raise the bear from the dead like Willow did with Buffy the vampire slayer. And we all know that had mixed outcomes. So I guess my advice is to bring in the experts!