Teddy Bears

monsters By Gordon Hopps

          It was Pride and I was sitting in a bar with a large group of friends when a sleuth of lovely bears; weighty, beardy and dressed in leather, walked past and inspired I just happened to ask to anyone who was listening; “Who still has their childhood teddy bear?”romantic teddy-bears

One of the guys who passed stopped and replied that most bears still have bears and lovingly treasure them. I happened to mention that he wasn’t the only one as I also still had my own sitting on a shelf in my study at home. Now this may surprise you but it’s actually in my bedroom but I felt too embarrassed to admit that little fact. The bear said he wouldn’t dream of keeping his anywhere but in the bedroom where, when he falls asleep, it is there to protect him. He explained to the group that as a child his parents had told him that when he goes to sleep, his teddy would be there to look out for him, fight off any monsters and prevent bad dreams. Even now at his age, early thirties, he wouldn’t like to spend a night without being under teddy’s watchful eye.monsters crop

Slowly it emerged that quite a few of our gay number still had their bears and wouldn’t part with them even for the best shag in the world. Well, in truth, it was only one person who admitted to that particular thing, the rest of us decided that it all depended… and we left it at that.

It would appear that teddy bears, our bears, are perhaps the only thing we cling to from our childhood. We cling to a memory of that sweet fluffy creature that saw us through every moment of our young life. It offered friendship, comfort, safety and to some protection, when the adult world seemed really gross and scary. We sucked on it as a baby, we hugged it as a toddler and we travelled with it as we grew up – a journey simply wasn’t worth taking unless our best friend, our teddy, was right alongside us.leather

We then got down to discussing our individual teddies; our childish names for them, how big or small they were, the fur which had disappeared over the years, the repairs that had been made, the clothes we sometimes dressed them in (and some still had them wearing the same outfit) and all the trials we’d gone through with him or her. It was never an ‘it’, it was never an inanimate object, it had a name, it was real and he or she was our best friend.

One of our group laughingly suggested that ‘one fine day’ we should hold a teddy bears picnic and bring all out furry friends to meet each other. We all joked about the idea. We all pretended it was a great idea but not really what grown men should be engaging in. However, the thought has hit some deep spot in so many people’s psyche that it now looks like we will be taking to a wood shortly and having a picnic surrounded by our most intimate and loyal friends.

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