It was late this past Saturday and I was tired. Not just the “Oh, let’s get to bed early” kind of tired, but the “I’m juggling all the things and coffee is now all I am made of” tired. I got home around 11:00 after a gig, fed my cat, then got ready and climbed into bed. I have that little condition that happens when you have been physically exhausted, but the moment you get into bed your brain and body goes “Hey! Here’s 12% of energy we didn’t know we had and we are feeding it to you right now!”
I wonder if this is because when you get in bed after a long day, you need that little bit of time to unwind and decompress from the day. As this is where I was, I turned on the TV and started to watch a little bit of whatever movie was on TCM. As I lay in bed watching the movie, the American remake of “M,” I hear a loud THUD from directly behind my bedroom window—which I should point out is on the second story of the house. I look over at the clock on my nightstand, it’s just after one o’clock in the morning.
This sound not only startled my sleeping cat awake, but she was sitting straight up and looking in the direction the sound came from. I got out of bed, walked to my bedroom window, opened the blinds and looked. I saw nothing. I did see something must have happened as the motion activated porch light on the back of the house was on. I left my bedroom and went out into the sunroom, where I looked and saw that the trash can had been knocked down and a bag of trash was sitting beside it. Did I think it was a bear? I did, but I also thought that since it had been windy, maybe it was some—rather amazingly—strong winds.
Because I didn’t want my trash strewn all over the neighborhood, I somewhat foolishly went to the backdoor, looked around VERY cautiously, then went outside and propped the trash back up, placing the bag back inside. I got back in my home, back in my bed, and settled in again. Nearly half an hour passed, it was close to 2:00 in the morning when I heard the same thud again. I went straight to my bedroom window and saw a shadow coming from the glow of the motion activated light.
Sure enough, lumbering out onto my driveway was a bear, a large one, full of life and carrying a bag of trash in his mouth like it was a teabag. A combination of both adrenaline and anxiety flooded my body. “Oh, I was quite possibly outside with a bear for a minute,” I thought. The bear ripped the bag open, found nothing, and moved on. I called the police to tell them I had seen a bear in the area. Then I was so fully alert I didn’t get to sleep till nearly a quarter after three.
The next afternoon I went out and cleaned up my driveway and surrounding lawn. It wasn’t too bad, but I did keep thinking that “Moderately Tolerated Writer Dies in Bear Attack” would have been quite the headline to see on all the local papers, buried towards the bottom of the front page under the news of a cow or something. But it is true to my form to look to see if things are clear and then barrel right on through. I’m just glad I wasn’t mauled, and now I get to add bear watching to my list of new hobbies. See you next week.