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Loss IV

I have a teddy bear. I know. I’m an adult, right? I have this bear. A ratty old thing. I think an aunty bought it for me at one point. Before I can remember. It’s knitted, made of wool, it’s got straggly arms, brown eyes and a little green knitted belt. I’ve had this bear for a very long time. Though don’t ask me how many times it’s been washed. When I was little my mum used to steal it off me, put it in the washer. Now I’m in charge it’s been a while since it’s been wet. It never used to smell right afterwards. Boyfriends came and boyfriends went, usually going a bit faster if they poked fun at the bear thing. I once dated a guy who had a security blanket. It smelt a bit weird. But the bear, yes. It has a name. It’s called ‘superted’. I’m not crazy, I don’t talk to it, that’s just it’s name. And it sits in the crook of my arm when I sleep, there’s a bit, just between my arm and my right breast. If it doesn’t sit there when I sleep it feels weird. Empty. My husband puts up with it. Sometimes I dream that I have two. Bears, not husbands. Those dreams are always distressing, because I don’t know which one is real, or how to divide my attention. You know, in that weird kind of dream logic. And then sometimes, I have these nightmares. Maybe my nightmares should be about losing my health, or the kids, or my husband cheating on me. But they’re not. They all revolve around this horrible moment when I find out my bear has been damaged or eaten or stolen or dissolved or torn beyond repair. And I feel everything fall away then. I have no anchor. And I wake up, and I can’t even find tears, it’s not like that. It’s like something from the very heart of me has gone, just for a moment. Like how my right arm feels when I have to sleep without it.

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