The clown with the red nose, fake lips and purple strap-on, was a no-show.., party over.., and he already been paid.., they say he came well-recommended..,

But that was yesterday.

Today I’m thinking about yesterday; then yesterday’s, yesterday.., and while sitting on a park bench just inside the neighborhood woods of Chula Vista - which aren’t really woods at all; just a front for a toxic-waste dump; but, you know, it's quiet; I pulled out an apple to eat, when this big-ass grizzly bear appears from the tree line..,

I say “Damn!!” and the bear; bears-down; and fixes his focus on me..,

About to freak, I’ve never seen this large a carnivores creature outside a carnival cage, or T.V. screen.., ain’t no Gentle Ben, that's for sure.., I’ve heard the rumors and believe the stories; just never thought it would happen to me. I know I must keep my cool. Then I remember, they say animals can sense your thoughts.., they know what you’re thinking.., know when you’re scared, and that scares them - makes 'em mad; which scares you even more; which makes them even madder, which..,

So I’m trying to control my thoughts.., be cool..,

“Good boy.., nice bear.., solidarity with your oppressed brothers - and sisters - in the circus.., man that’s fucked up.., had an uncle who was a carney..,”


.., in the presence of such an infamous man-eater.., people-eater..,

I don’t really feel it; too terrified, bout to shit my pants, I know I’m not selling it; when big bad Baloo starts approaching.., slowly and purposely, like stalking prey, and I don’t know if it’s the apple or me; so I throw the Red Delicious to him, process of elimination, certified organic and it’s bio-degradable; but Grizzly don’t give a damn about the apple; so I worry how that act would be/could be interpreted.., did I throw the apple to him, or at him, a sign of aggression or just semantics..,

I feel it’s time to get the hell out of there.., they say these ferocious beasts will tear you limb-from-limb; just to hear you scream. I slowly stand and casually step, one foot in front the other, like I got all day.., don’t wanna make any sudden moves, not yet anyway.., looking for something loud to bang.., these monstrous brutes apparently have a problem with loud noise.., a couple of trash can lids; play ‘em like brass-band cymbals; Smokey ain’t going to like that shit.., but all the trash cans in this park are plastic.., a dying and deadly enterprise..,

Yogi is still steady my way and I pick up a little speed, snort it but it does me no good.., the bear stops and stands, towering on hind legs.., twelve feet tall.., fifteen feet tall.., over a thousand pounds.., I go weak in the knees as he raises a heavy claw, and motions in a manner consistent with authority.

I stop because I’m taught to behave.., and then the bear, doesn't charge, like they say, but instead starts to speak to me.., it starts talking; going on and on about something he seems very excited about.., emphasizing with paw gestures, facial expressions..., chilling animated anticipation..,

"Muchas cabras.., Cabras locas.., Muy cabras locas!!" He cried like I'm
supposed to understand what the fuck.

He’s going on and on but I don’t get it. The bear is speaking to me, in Spanish!

I don't know Spanish. Why should I? I'm not in Spain..,

“No comprende!” I shout.

But he's not listening, don’t even slow down. And when he, finally, pauses for a breath of air.., dude was spitting it out fast, could be doing commercial disclaimers for pharmaceuticals on Telemundo..,

“Fuck you..,” I tell him.

“Speak English.” I says.

“Habla english, man! This is the fucking United States of America, San Diego, for shits’ sake.., tax-payer’s money..,

“How long you been here, anyways.., You can’t learn to speak English..,
Bullshit!” I says.

The bear drops back down on all fours, turns his back to me; starts off, but then to pause, takes a last look back..,

“Bendejo.” I think he said.

And heads back towards the trees.

Getting a good look at the business end, my racing heart slows with each step, as the undoubtedly, undocumented - illegal - grizzly bear; lumbers back into the woods..,

And now out of sight.., I take a deep breath; hold it; then exhale.., the calm envelops..,


A stampede of illiterate goats; runaway escapees from a local ranch known for abuse; storm the clearing.

Don’t remember the rest.., been in the hospital for weeks.., therapy for months to come..,

The clown came by.., And, they say, I might walk again.

© 2019 Martin "Marty" Quinn