Last night she dreamt of a bear
It was standing there
With no intention to scare
Just a bear, standing there.
She googled the meaning of bears in dreams but didn't come up with anything satisfactory. The internet doesn't tell us that we dream of persons or animals only because we see photos of them while surfing on it. She often dreams of social media friends because they are so active in this virtual world, not because they are her real friends. Omnipresent in front of her eyes, with their posts and their profile pictures.
But this bear now?
In her life there have been two men like bears. And she's no Goldilocks.
One of the men was hairy and chubby, the likeness to a bear was striking. But he was sweet like a teddy bear.
The other one didn't look like a teddy bear at all. Perhaps his whiteness of skin and his cold heart would qualify him for the role of a polar bear.
Did the bear in her dream tell her it was time for an awakening of the soul by bringing memories of those two to the surface?
The two men-bears did once scratch her heart with their claws. Even the kind teddy bear left his mark on her tender heart.
The other one took some pleasure out of it, she believes. To think of him makes her stop in her tracks, her blood freezes in her veins like that day at the zoo when she heard a real bear roar.
The second man bear attacked her when she least expected it. He attacked what little innocence was still left inside her. He devoured her like a bear of the Apalachian trail would devour people hiking there.
One of the first things she remembers from her childhood is the gypsy man who would pass under the balcony of her house on a Sunday morning dragging a bear from a chain and asking for money. The next Sunday he would be accompanied by a monkey. And the next again by the sad looking bear. And so on. Of course she felt pity for the animals but especially in regard to the bear, she also felt good that she was up on the balcony where this big creature could not reach her. Even in chains it looked terrifying. She was so small and the bear seemed like a monster.
Whatever happened to this gypsy and to his animals? The times have changed and no one would dream of capturing such animals today and drag them in chains in the center of a European city. Animals have rights and many societies protect them.
No one protected her from the bear men. No one had warned her that they had claws. She had to fend for herself. She was so small and they seemed like monsters. And yet she was no Goldilocks.
Last night she dreamt of a bear.
Just a bear, standing there.
(Writtten for an authors' meeting in Leipzig, published on, 14.02.20)