#255: The Bear Who Stayed In At Night

I keep thinking about who lives in my room now
now that I’m gone
and let’s say we ignore
all the insects and spiders
ants and bugs
rats and mice perhaps
and the odd million bacteria
that might come and go
on mouldy plates
that my mother brought up
to try to drag me away from the computer
online messaging
and interactive gaming.
I keep thinking about how empty it is
and how lonely James is
because I couldn’t bring him
I don’t think many would be impressed
if I’d brought my cuddly bear
to university
and let him share my bed
in my tiny little room
in the bowels of student accommodation
that is the basement floor
because you don’t bring your furry friend
to the biggest and best party in the world
to the biggest celebration of your teenage life
it’s no place for a bear
it’s a place for a warrior
with an iron stomach
and a quick recovery rate
and enough money in his wallet
to buy a bacon roll
on the journey home
This is no place for a bear
who’s afraid of the dark
and needs to be tucked in at night.

he’s always been so quiet and shy
and patient with me when I cried
which is awkward

embarrassing
so it’s lucky he doesn’t talk back
or have anything to say
but just in case he thought
about letting anything slip
I took him out of the suitcase
before I put it in the car boot
so I could start afresh
without my friend
who holds so many of my tears and stories
about girls who ignore me
and teachers who annoy me
James heard it all
but now he can listen to
is the television from the living room
and my stepdad in the shower.

My mother promised
she’d look in on him at night
because she knew I couldn’t be with him
like before
as I was every night
she said she’s apologise
for his eviction from my suitcase
and that she’d explain
that he just wasn’t really required anymore
because you can’t bring your hairy bear
to university

he moaned about me
taking up too much of the bed
now he’s got the whole lot
he can spread himself out
over the sheets
and get a better night’s rest
and I can sleep better too
without him whispering sweet nothings
in my ear
and moaning about the lack of space
due to my ever developing stature.

All in all
I just don’t think he’d like it here
because he likes staying in
and now I have to go out
and socialise
and make nice
with people who might end up
being my friends
It just doesn’t sound like James’s cup of tea
because he used to stay in at night with me
and I don’t think he’ll want to go out
because he wouldn’t like me to bring home someone
and share our bed with them
he just wouldn’t like it
he doesn’t want to see me like that
so that’s why he stays at home
so my mum can tuck him in
and tell him everything going to be all right.

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