So it was that Young Lover lived with a gent she called Bear, real name George or Henry or some such, Young Lover didn’t concern herself with such trivia. When they kissed he wasn’t anyone but Bear. It was a name and a description. Bear was huge wine cask of a man. He was a great mass of unruly hair and beard flowing like runaway smoke. His trmendous hands wrapped around Young Thing and with anyone else she might have been afraid, but with Bear she felt nothing but security, plain and simple.
The winter of ‘83 Young Lover and Bear shacked up in a trailer by Lake Onawanda, they screwed by day and drank rotgut scotch by night. They lived like life was about to be outlawed. Plenty of booze, plenty of dope, plenty of soul. Young Lover couldn’t help thinking Not bad for a girl just turned eighteen. This is a decent way to spend her precious time.
The night Bear died Young Lover was sipping malt liquor and watching a rerun of the Beverly Hillbillies on television. Bear had half a thousand hits of grade-A acid in his shirt pocket and one still stuck to the underside of his tongue. He was dream-driving, floating through a hallucinogen haze. There was the purple glowing moon and the stars that spelled arcane messages across orange heavens. He cranked the steering wheel for a better view. The truck fishtailed and flew, with splendid grace, through a guardrail.
Bear entered the waiting arms of a gully three hundred feet deep.
Young Lover collapsed on the couch and laughed.
I just love that Jethro she said and glanced around instinctively for Bear to either agree or disagree.