Did you know I have hairy legs that are as soft as a bear? In the summer heat I’d let my grizzly self walk the streets bare, and when sitting in the sun drinking fine lemonade, a girl came up to me, and stroked my hair, the hair down there. A little further, right, that hair, the hair that felt like a bear. Don’t you worry, they asked first, with a polite ‘May I?’ and a further explanation of ‘I mean, if you don’t mind.’ It had been a while since someone had done such a thing, at least fourteen years, to think it happened again in broad daylight!
‘The hairs on your legs is so soft, I could stroke it for days.’ Is the first thing she said after stroking my hairy bears, and it was also the first nice thing I’d heard in days, no, weeks. I wondered if this is how dogs felt day to day.
‘Thank you.’ I mumbled, this whole situation was strange, but also lovely. Her legs looked so smooth and shiny, but I didn’t dare return the favour, I wasn’t a renegade like her. ‘What’s your name?’
‘Meet me again in this same place in a week and I’ll tell you. I’ll rub my cheeks against your two bears, it will keep me going, trust me.’ And with that, the mysterious lover of bears walked away, and I was in love.
In prep for our next meeting I started to brush my fine hairs everyday. My parents were impressed, it had been a while since I’d taken such good care of myself. But maybe I brushed them too much, for on the day before we were due to be reunited, my little leg hairs had started to become tangled, and these knots were too intricate, too tough to untangle. It hurt to even try it, and so instead I plucked the bad clumps out. Ouch, what a sting.
‘Oh dear. Son, you can’t just pull them out, don’t treat everything like your inheritance.’ My parents were slumped in a corner, grimacing every time I plucked.
I looked at all the clumps in my hands, tiny coils of darkness, the pubic kind. They would just have to do.
On the day of our second meeting, I had my shortest shorts on, thigh high, she spotted me a mile away. Sitting down, even before I could say ‘hi’, she had her cheeks atop my knees, rubbing against them for only a moment.
‘Do you hate me, is that it? What have you done to yourself?’
‘What’s wrong? They’re well groomed.’
‘These bears are dead, a massacre.’ She stood up and rubbed her face with spit, storming off to leave me with my patchy tangled mess. I looked down at my legs that were once a soft as a bear, now they were merely legs of tangled hair. I tried to cover them with my hands, but that doesn’t protect you from a grizzled old bear.
A writer of objects brought to life, in hopes of understanding himself and others. Joe regularly updates his blog at channelstatic.wordpress.com, and has recently written about his own personal struggles due to his disability for a SICK AF feature at clarrisaexplainsfa.com.