is one dream I often have, a pale, colorless memory of a time long gone. Pooh, reaching
out, morose, I smile, entreating: Pooh, promise me you wont forget about me,
ever. Not even when Im a hundred. He promises. Then, looking into his eyes, I
ask whatever happens, you will understand, wont you?. Understand
what? he asks, and I am unable to reply. For, as a six year old, I had no grasp of
the enormity of what I was asking. And now, dreaming, so many years later, I know that no
one, let alone a toy bear, could have ever kept that promise.
I am not yet a hundred, but I know that no one else remembers the boy I once was. A part
of that boy had died that day upon leaving the enchanted forest the rest of him had
died eleven years later, the year when everything changed, when I had first killed a man.
He stood in front of me, paralyzed with fear, the din of battle surrounding us, and I shot
him in the head. Under no instructions, feelings of real malice. I had no idea why I had
done it, except that the color of his uniform indicated that he was the enemy. Above,
scavenger birds were already circling, darkening the sky.
When the war was over, I did not return home. Reaching everywhere were armies, recruiters
demanding survivors. I traveled around the world, fighting where I could, for whomever
offered the greatest rewards. Never caring what the cause was, usually not bothering to
ask. Those that offered me the most, I called master. The next month, when the tables
turned, I called them enemy. I had forgotten all about the young boy I once was, the
friends I once had. I had forgotten what a friend was.
Soon, I could no longer tell one army apart from the other. The colors of flags and
uniforms all faded and vanished, mingling into each other. Slowly, howling angry defiance,
only war survived. For me, caught forever in the shadows, not even black and white had any
meaning any more.
It was not that I was happy with my lifestyle. Each night, every morning, I expected
salvation. But I met no saviors, only enemies, and I treated them no differently than I
had treated that first one years before.
Eventually, I grew to be quite wealthy, and the risk started outweighing the benefit. No
longer a young man, I sought to return to my country of birth, and try to rebuild the sort
of life I was supposed to have. I had moved here, to this Estate, hoping to attain some
peace, living my life in whatever comfort my ill-gotten gains could afford me. Not knowing
If I could ever succeed.
Not expecting much, every second I suffered. It was then that I realized that I had a
nemesis. A true enemy, not one assigned to me by a stack of crumpled bills. Similar to
Poes Raven, he had come to remind me of that which I had forgotten, and could
nevermore attain. I knew who he was, and why he had come. He had come because he promised
to remember me, promised to follow me anywhere. Promised to understand. He had come to
remind me that wherever I go, whatever happens to me on the way, in that enchanted place
on the top of the Forest a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.
And I do not know if I can face this knowledge.
October 19--, Wednesday