Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Saving Teddy

Was over at the old apartment this past weekend (don't ask), and was horrified to discover I had completely left behind an old, dear friend of mine when I moved into the new place.

People, meet Teddy. Teddy, people:

Don't be fooled by that winsome smile; those brown
beanie eyes hold the wisdom of ages.

Teddy and I go way back, you see? Each of us boys were given our own special companion upon completing the arduous journey of being born into this cruel, cold, and, let's not forget, hungry world. Since I was the precious first born baby boy, I guess I justified having a bear as my friend. My brothers each received a ducky and a star-shaped thingy when it was their time. We never did figure out what that star-shaped thingy was. He was weird.

No one puts Teddy in the corner. Except for me.

But, yes, there I am at about 8 months old or so. Mom and I lived out of Grandma's house at the time, and my playpen was set up right smack dab in the middle of the living room. You can see Teddy in the back there with his bib up. Funny thing is, I never went to bed with Teddy. I was the kid who didn't like to have things near him while he slumbered. On the rare chance Teddy crept into bed with me, he invariably wound up in the corner of my room by morning, upside down and with a look of bewildered hurt on his little furry face. With the rising of the sun, however, my temperament mellowed and Teddy and I were the best of friends for the rest of that day.

Around the time I officially entered Big Boy Mode, Teddy and I had a falling out. Don't know what the disagreement was about after all this time. Perhaps I caught him moonlighting with my baby brother, Eddie. The cad! Whatever the cause, I didn't see Teddy again for many long years. Sure, once in a rare day he would turn up whenever my family went through a major spring cleaning fit or similar furniture moving event, and he and I would get to reminiscing about old times. And behind the awkward eye contact and forced smiles we would think about what went wrong with us, and how we might say what we really wanted to say to each other, and all would be well and back to normal again. But then the Nintendo would call to make sure I wasn't getting myself into trouble, and we would make our sad, albeit hasty, goodbyes.

Last I heard, Teddy had been spotted in a bad part of town, seemingly run down on his luck. This was many years ago, in fact. To be honest, I thought Teddy had left this world by now. That is until three Christmases ago, when my sister discovered his whereabouts and brought him in from out of the streets. And unbeknownst to myself.  She gave him a scrub and a place to sleep, and in no time the little guy was back to his old self. Sis presented him to me that Christmas, and we've been together again ever since.

Until I lost him again. Tsk, tsk. Lucky for me, Teddy is the forgiving type. He understood I was going through a very tough time, and tried to give me some space while I sorted things out. He's so thoughtful like that!

The only pipe he smokes now is with a jacket and slippers.

Alas, we are reunited one more time. Teddy's at my new place now, and I must say he really likes it here. There he is checking out a book from my collection before he settles in for the night. Just like old times all over again.

Good to have you back, old chum! You are and forever will be, truly, a boy's best friend.


Yvonne said...

What a sweet, sweet story! I'm glad you and Teddy were able to reunite! Now you have someone (local)who will care for you. :)

This story made me smile, and because of that, you get a pass on the "...was over at the old apartment this past weekend" remark ---for now. ;)

ps-you were such a cute baby!!!

Kim Kasch said...

Cute story :D

My daughter always had a Teddy - she didn't play with dolls but would dress Ted in all sorts of handsome clothing;D and basketball shoes.

Rodney said...

You're lucky, man. In a town like NYC, most people never find lost friends again.

To be honest, I never had a childhood friendship like Teddy & yourself. I was never in this world long enough. As far back as I could remember, I've always had my nose buried in books and using them as the portals to other worlds that few people know they truly are. I wonder if I missed out on something there.

I'm glad you and Teddy reconnected. It's good to have someone there who has witnessed the entirety of your life. They can give you perspective no one else can. Hopefully, you two won't lose each other again.

Cin said...

What a lovely story. You are such a good writer and I hope you will put pen to paper soon and use your gift. Happy to know that you reunited with Teddy and he will be watching over you now. :) I don't have any toys left over from my childhood mainly because my father liked to get rid of all the "clutter" around the house. Oh what I would give to see my old Cabbage Patch again, but unfortunately I don't even have a strand of her cornsilk hair to remind me of our time together. My children, however, do have toys like Teddy. My older child loves her Ernie doll and it pains me to imagine the day when she will give up Ernie to follow some "big girl" pursuits. My younger daughter has a baby doll she named Baby. Baby and my younger daughter have a very volatile relationship, sometimes Baby is in the naughty corner for weeks! LOL.

David Batista said...

Glad you all liked the story of Teddy and I. Like Pooh Bear, he's all stuffed with fluff ... but I love him. It's good to have tangible things which link so directly to one's early childhood.

And Cin -- that's one funny story about your youngest! I think her own children one day are going to be very disciplined. LOL! :)

Ashe Hunt said...

Great story! I've been planning to write a similar one about my little childhood friend Cool Pups for the last few months. Once again you've beat me to the written punch. ;-) I'll get to it soon. Hopefully. Teddy seems cool. He didn't attack me last time I was over so I guess he'll introduce himself the next time I come over. Maybe I'll bring Cool and they can talk shop about protecting little boys.

David Batista said...

T -- that would be ... well, cool! :)

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