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Opinion: I Would Trade All Prior Romantic Relationships for a Friendship With a Grizzly Bear

At 38 and in a somewhat intentional bachelorhood after powerful, romantic relationships that ended slowly and grimly to send me to a therapist’s couch, I think I’m starting to see a small beam of clarity. I see now that love is fleeting and painful and compounds into routine and resentments. So with some intentional thinking, maybe I can cash in these memories because I’m CERTAINLY not using them. So to the universe I say, let’s take these chips and trade them straight up for a friendship with a Grizzly bear.

This is such an easy trade. Like, let’s take that time one girlfriend convinced me to move to New York City following a year of a long-distance relationship only to find out my first day in town that I was the other guy to her actual five-year relationship. Let’s take those 18 months that followed, listening to Dirty Work by Steely Dan on a loop and not eating. Let’s replace that with a 1200 lb grunting apex predator knocking on my screen door where we go off looking for pies cooling on window sills.

By the way, what do you think of the name “Mr. President”? It’s fun, right? Think of all the fun things you could say.
“Mr. President! Where did you get that deer carcass?”
“Mr. President! When has mauling solved anything?”
“I’m sorry. I’m all out of pork kidneys Mr. President”
Come to think of it, let’s give this boy a tie. After all, he’s the president.

Of course, I understand the inherent risks of such a friendship. After all, grizzly bears are wild creatures, unpredictable in their actions and instincts. They can turn on a dime. But you know who else acts like that? Partners with CPTSD. And last I checked, bears don’t drink in the shower after their mother calls.

I can see Mr. President so clearly now. We’re seated next to each other by a river, smelling the sweet grass and salt. Zen silence and a chilling breeze. He’s holding his salmon. I have my hot coffee. Neither of us wondering when the other shoe is going to drop. Neither of us asking the other “Is this enough? Am I enough?” Just the sound of the river passing by. And the deep snuffles of the bear, trying to find the next picnic to maul.