July 26, 2008

Beware of Bears Bearing Beers and Bolt-action

Alternate title: The right to arm bears

Suicide, it turned out, tasted not like the cold barrel of a gun but instead like an artificially sweetened malt liquor.

I lost my mind before I even walked through the gated arches of the police station. The psychological effect of the drugs was strong and my will to live free was gone. I told the dispatcher I was there to confess to crimes – I was dying from the drug and it was time to confess my wrongdoings before the final judgment.

Contrary to the popular perception of dying it was a uniformed police officer, and not St. Peter, that was taking my final deposition as I sat there facing the consequences of my choices.  For nearly fifteen minutes, the officer listened as I rambled on about various perceived wrongs I’d committed, which were primarily focused on poor choices often related to my drug and alcohol abuse. It was clear that the policeman was getting very frustrated that he’d had to deal with me at all. His attitude was that I was wasting his time. He said he needed to address something else and asked that I return to the waiting area in the lobby.

At the moment I slumped down into the chair and started to hang my head low, another police officer arrived inside, walking through the same gated arches with a black bear cub escorted in his custody. That officer turned the bear over to a booking officer and walked back out through a set of sliding glass doors that let in a glorious amount of sunlight. The soft glow of the sun, and the slow saunter back to sobriety started to elevate my mood. The gentle rays from the sun beaming down on me energized me. I realized life was worth living.

At the same moment, the booking officer took the handcuffs off the black bear cub, and instantaneously, the black bear cub let out a deafening roar and threw the booking officer to the ground with a single sweeping push. Next it circled the waiting room while loudly expelling its horrible screaming sounds from its voice box. I was fascinated and couldn’t help but stare at the bear. It soon noticed this and became aggressive towards me.

Looking right into my eyes, it roared again, and I was tharned by the gravity of the situation. The bear acted quickly and decisively to lunge towards me. I was knocked aside, but the bear managed to bite into my arm with a surprisingly weak chomping force. It didn’t even feel like it broke the skin. I was able to shake the bear off.

But the experience of defeat seemed to only galvanize the bear. Now it was distraught and seeking revenge. The bear managed to find a long rifle and picked it up between its teeth.  The bear pointed the weapon at all the people in the waiting room in a threatening manner, like it was about to execute every last one of us.

But with a thunderous boom, an officer outside blasted a 12-gauge slug shot through the sliding glass doors and into the bear’s torso. The single shot was devastating to the cub, now laying there with the rifle beside it, surrounded by a pool of its own blood.

During the ensuing confusion, I simply walked out of the station and never returned. The entire experience was so hard to deal with, it started me drinking again.

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