Monday, August 22, 2005

Fete the Returning Explorer

So The Great Bear returned from his 12-month exodus in Central America this week, and Saturday night was the Home Coming Bash. The events leading to The Great Bear’s wayward sojourn are both lamentable and somewhat tragically amusing. Assess for yourself: Upon hearing his girlfriend was due to start studying in Santiago, The Great Bear planned an almighty 6-month journey which would take him from a starting point in deepest Mexico through the juxtaposed destitution and beauty of Central America, and then down into South America and Columbia, across the jutting serrated teeth of the Andes along the west coast through Ecuador and Peru, and finally onto Santiago town into the arms of his beloved. So what happens a month into The Great Bear’s trek? He gets a Dear John letter, of course. Oh how I felt for him. And then cackled maliciously. And then felt again. I am a good friend overall.

But after a brief well deserved mope, he got back into the swing of things and by all accounts spent a rewarding year kicking back in the likes of Belize and Guatemala, teaching in a crazy school and experiencing one of those twists of fate which led to him being reunited with a former beloved (no, a different one), that of his American sweetheart from his time as Great American-College-Boy Bear. And now he’s back and penniless in Crap Town. If you know Crap Town, enough said. If you don’t… Hmmm. Let’s just say it’s quite like Central America, but smells more like damp gym socks than coffee. *

The Great Bear’s house had been the trusty party-house through the sixth form years, and its return as a venue was most welcome, and by and large the same old faces were there, engaging in the same old behaviour. True to form, after a promising start to my partying, I managed to spectacularly crash and burn.
"It’s because I hardly slept last night," a whiny voice in my head reasoned.
"It’s because you drank too much too quick you moron," my sterner voice berated me.

---------- The Otter, The Me, The Bear

I had managed to collar The Great Bear ahead of my impressive slur-sway-collapse party trick, and bent his ear about the American situation.
"The Rocky Mountains to Crap Town; it’s a hefty distance. Are you not a bit apprehensive about whether this thing can work?" I devil’s advocated.
"Well, of course. But the most important thing is that somehow I’ve got another chance at something special, and these things don’t come up too often in life," he told me. "Yes it’s improbable. Yes it’s going to be difficult. But the priority is how I feel about her, and the rest are just minor hurdles in comparison. It’s more important to give it a go regardless of the risks, than to give up for no other reason than because it wouldn’t be the easiest relationship out there."
Hmmm. Wise words I thought. The Great Bear is right. Being a pragmatist and being a realist don’t have to be the same things. Something that’s not straightforward isn’t the same thing as something that’s impossible. Good on him.

Shortly after the deep and meaningful, there is a distinct lack in black box material, up until 9am and a wretched hangover. My journey from underneath The Great Bear's bed – where I awoke – to the kitchen could best be described as a one man waltz. More realistically described as a still-drunk-stagger, but nevermind. In the kitchen, I encountered The Otter, having a brew.
"Suspect I may have been a little tipsy last night," I coyfully confided.
"Yes," He said pensively.
"?" I asked.
"I was trying to talk to you about important stuff," The Otter spake, "girl stuff."
"Oh yes? Was I particularly insightful?"
"You began snoring."
"I see."
I rose to leave, but The Otter barked an order for me to remain where I was.
"Sit down, and drink coffee. If you try driving in that state, I'll shop you myself."
Good old Otter.

*Crap Town Tourist Board - feel free to adopt that slogan. It's on me.


Lanette said...

The Great Bear is wise. The Great WISE Bear. I wish him all the luck in the world with his American girl. I know distance can be tricky, and one can be so unsure of a relationship that is separated by it, but I think, ultimately, he's right...what matters is how you feel for the other person. The rest is just details. Strong feelings can withstand a great deal, I believe. I wish nothing but the best to this boy and this girl.

Brighteyes said...

you are wickedly clever!

Curly said...

It's kind of re-assuring that a mate can be away for all that time and upon return, resumes normal play.

That's a hell of a trip though, what a warrior!

emaleejayne said...

Hey wait!
I'm an American girl, and I'm much closer!


Love those cute boy pictures!

OldHorsetailSnake said...

I like the picture. You are still a tousle-headed little boy. What are you going to be when you grow up, other than a fine friend?

Shane said...

You look like... bear bait.

Huw said...

Lanette - What lovely sentiments: I couldn't agree more. I shall pass them on.

Brighteyes - Thankyou. I am sure you are wonderful in many ways too.

Curly - I too was glad that for all his mind expanding experiences, The Great Bear was still more than happy to revert to excessive boozing to have a good time.

emaleejayne - Of course! You're right! We ARE cute!

Ol' Hoss - I have long been of the opinion that deep down inside I am still 14, and shouldn't have to concern myself with all this grown-up stuff. I'm glad you can see it too.

Shane - I was savagely mauled shortly after that picture was taken.

Claire said...

Why is it you blokes always try to have the deep & meaningfuls when you're totally wasted?!

I'm starting to feel glad I've never been to 'crap town' after looking at that website...have driven past but not into...phew!

Jona said...

Love the picture, and good luck to The Bear and his girl!