Thursday, December 23, 2021

Microstory 1784: Little Bear

There are a few things you would expect to find in a cabin in the middle of the woods, especially in an area that experiences very cold temperatures. The place is small, and you can tell as much from the outside, so you wouldn’t expect it to be a comfortable glamping getaway with multiple rooms, or even electricity. The logs are rotting slightly, and the porch swing has one broken chain, leaving it dangling against the floor awkwardly. I would have bet on a few essentials once I stepped inside, like a wooden table with wooden chairs; a bed that’s low to the ground, or even just a cot; an old black metal stove thing that I feel like Benjamin Franklin invented? None of that is here. None of what’s in here makes any damn sense, and if I would leave if it weren’t freezing out there. It doesn’t look dangerous, just bizarre. The first thing I notice is the arcade game. Besides a novelty table lamp in the shape of an elephant that’s hanging on the wall, the game machine is the only thing that’s giving off any significant amount of light. I don’t recognize the name of it, but that’s no surprise. I’m too young, and not hip enough to know anything about the history. Bear Bonds could have been the most popular game in the 80s, for all I know. Anyway, the screen isn’t the only thing producing light. The whole thing has what look like Christmas lights strewn about, except they’re built into the paneling, so I think that’s just how it comes. Next to it is one of those Japanese toilets with a touch screen, and probably a bidet, and I’m sure it talks to you. I can’t tell if it’s connected to the plumbing, but on the other side of it is the real bathroom. There’s a metal prison sink, and one of those space-age shower pods from the 1970s that I saw on a funny picture website once. There’s no toilet in there at all, so maybe he just likes to spread out more. I best not think about it. There are plenty of other weird things in here.

There seems to be no closet, but there’s a rack on casters. He has one three piece suit on it. It looks really nice, like maybe it was tailored by an expensive professional who only serves an average of one client a month. That wouldn’t seem so weird, maybe this guy is a stock broker who comes here to unwind. Except the rest of the rack is occupied by hanging fish, a few of which are still flopping on their hooks a little bit. How are they still alive in the least? I also swear to God that the suit was on one end of the rack, but now it’s spontaneously moved to the right. I kind of hope that didn’t happen, and I’m suffering from exposure delirium. That is a fancy platter of rotten strawberries, right there on the floor. Next to it is a ship in the bottle without the bottle. The way it’s staged, it’s like a child was eating the fruit, and playing with the ship, but they haven’t been back in a long time, and the man never cleaned it up. There is no dining table, and no chairs whatsoever, nor a bed. The curtains are made of Latin language newspapers. I don’t mean they’re taped on the glass to prevent snipers on the roof of the next building over from spotting the bank robbers. He carefully glued the pages together, and hung them up on the rod. I suppose that’s one way to reuse, reduce, and recycle. A mail cart has been upturned near the corner. A whole encyclopedia collection is stacked on top of it. I don’t know why he didn’t just put them inside the cart, but it’s not what matters. That’s not the strangest thing. Hiding behind that cart, I finally notice a baby bear. It’s sitting up and peeking out from behind the books. When it sees me see it, it comes out of the shadows, and smiles at me. Then it holds out its hand like it wants me to shake it.

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