Burnout

From the Story Arc: Bear It Alone

Previous Story in the Arc: Odessa Revisited by Soviet Bear (Sunday, July 23, 2006)

(posted Sunday, July 23, 2006)

Life is too heavy to bear it alone.

The Soviet Bear looked up from his keyboard and clicked the submit button. His eyes were moist and he hoped the phone didn't ring because he was in no condition to speak. Real life and virtual life have an odd way of mingling and producing some very strange results.

The Old Bear was dead. Bejouled killed him. Now the Young Bear lives eternally as he always should have.

The room was dark, except for the light of the computer monitor. The whole apartment was dark. Bear never opened his blinds; a large set of windows along the east wall let in too much glare. Instead he sat in darkness. It was also easier to sit in darkness. He could mourn Old Bear in the darkness.

The telephone rings, but Bear does not pick it up. The answering machine kicks on. "I can't believe you're leaving me for her. She's a thousand miles away." It is the voice of the Ex, saddened and betrayed. "What kind of power does she have over you, that you can make life-altering decisions after just a few weeks." Click.

It was probably a slam on her end. She doesn't understand Bejouled's power. Not the electrical superheroine, but a home health aide in northeast Ohio. The glasses, the shoes, the skirts, the attitude; they're all the same. Bejouled is a person, just like the Bear. And Bejouled killed the Old Bear.

Bear sat back down at his PC and let his cursor hover over the City of Heroes shortcut, as he had dozens of times over the last week. He never clicks it, though. Instead he brings up his resume and a browser window to look for a job further east, away from here and closer to Bejouled.

The telephone rings again, but the Caller ID betrays the Ex.

"How can you throw away a year and a half?"

The Old Bear is dead.

"I know you're there. Pick up the damn phone.!"

Bejouled killed him.

"Fine. Why won't you talk to me? Go to Hell!"

Click.

So he could mourn Old Bear in the darkness.

A car with no muffler drove by and off in the distance a drunk twenty-something yelled "Wooo-hooo." It was 2 AM and Bear was still drinking coffee, working on his resume.

Bejouled killed the Old Bear, and now Young Bear can live eternally as he always should have.

Bear thought about her, electric in every way.

She made him feel alive.

Life is too heavy to bear it alone.