Friday, February 24, 2006

The Beginning

Even though I was tied to my box via a soft cord about my neck, I found my box reasonably comfortable and my shelfmates good company. One by one, they disappeared from the shelf, until I was the only one of my kind.

I knew I'd be going home soon, too - my Okasan would order me, then they'd ship me to her, to live in her home or apartment with her in Japan, probably. I'd heard tales from the other Joon Bears - I'd be coddled, fed sweets, and dressed in adorable costumes, probably hand-knit, and my photograph would be on the Internet. I'd have meetings with the other bears when our Okasan would meet, so we didn't say goodbye when a bear found a new home, we'd say "see you later!"

Finally, my day came, and I was off the shelf, wrapped in bubble wrap and tape, and then stuffed into a box. It was dark, but I was happy. I'd be seeing her soon. She'd have black hair or gray hair, I didn't care which. Maybe it would be colored if she was younger. But I would be loved. I would sit on a shelf in handmade clothes, surrounded by photographs of my "Daddy" and bottles of Nanairo-acha. Maybe there would be other Joon Bears, and we could compare handmade outfits. I flew in an airplane, and was taken in cars or trucks - I don't know which, but I could feel the motion.

The language I heard outside my box became, even though muffled, rough and discordant-sounding. I was in Los Angeles! America? There are many Asians in America, there for work or those who married Americans. I realized that I probably wouldn't have many other Joon Bears to play with, but so long as I was loved, I would love my Okasan and be happy.

After a few hours of sitting still, I felt movement. Someone picked up the box - I could feel the pressure. It sounded like she kissed the outside of the box! It's her! "Friday!" I heard her say. "You're here!" She knew my name, the clever woman. But, dear, you don't have to speak English to me, I'll understand your native tongue just fine as well. Jostling! Tearing! She was anxious to get at me!

Finally, the bubble wrap was wrenched from the front of my package...this...what? Strange-looking blue eyes met mine, quickly, then I found myself flipped over while the rest of my packaging was removed. This cannot be - maybe she's the maid or secretary or something...the woman slid me out of my box and spent a few patient moments untying the string at the back of my neck that connected me to the slip of cardboard inside the box. Immediately, I was caught up in her embrace. "Friday," she told me, "I'm so happy you're here!"

Ye gods. My - whatever she is - is a white woman. What sins did I commit in a past life to deserve this? Would other Joon Bears even speak to me after this? She was fat, with large, soft breasts that she kept squeezing me against as she hugged me, with hair the color of my hair at the darkest, of my fur at the lightest, and those odd, electric-blue eyes. "You are absolutely beautiful!" she beamed at me, yammering in English - it really is a rough-sounding language. She stood me next to the window, by a computer monitor I later learned wasn't hers - she works off of a laptop - and took several photos of me. I tried to hide it, but am afraid the shock of the moment was still evident upon my face.

That woman presented me to her mother, who had hair the same color as Orange Joon. "It's not very cuddly." the red-headed woman sniffed. I didn't like her, either. "He's mohair," the woman who owned me (I'm sorry, I can't call that woman 'mommy'). "I think he's absolutely perfect." Thank you. I am rather good-looking. She went back to work, me wrapped in a baby blue towel with my Daddy's signature upon it. Maybe if he found out what had happened to me, he'd come rescue me from these Barbarians. When they're not looking, I shall write him a letter and beg him to come help me.

I sat in a smoky office and watched the woman work on a couple of websites. It was actually interesting. There were two young women in the kitchen working on another computer, surrounded by jewelry. They both cuddled me. One was Polynesian, the other Hungarian, like the red-headed woman I'd met earlier. But this one was nicer. I just couldn't get past how odd they looked. Every once in a while the woman would pause in her work and look at me. Sometimes, she'd smooth my hair or caress my arm. I liked it, but still didn't like her. Her eyes looked like someone had poked the middle of her eyelids into her skull. Not remotely attractive. She talked loudly and didn't cover her mouth when she laughed. I must accept my lot, and try to suffer bravely.

We then stopped at a school, and had I not felt a need to be polite, I would have buried my face in my paws. A child. Perfect. I'd be mauled. I steeled myself for the inevitable abuse. "Friday!" said a voice outside the window. Hm, preteen. At least I won't be drooled upon. Much. "Ohhh, you're so cute!" she tousled my hair and tickled me under the chin, then held my paw. "Did you wash your hands?" the creature's mother asked. Yes.

Home, then a bath for me, with some foam called Scotchguard. I was undressed, which I found completely humiliating, covered with foam, then rubbed and rubbed. Then, uncomfortable and naked, I was subjected to laying across the woman's lap and dried with a blow dryer. It was set on cool and low, so was not even comfortingly warm. My jacket was still barely damp when she put me back into it. I got to sit in the front seat of the car again and we went to the mall. There were many, many Japanese women there. I was hoping the woman would give me to one of them, to no avail.

We went to the Harley-Davidson Store, full of motorcycle goods, and I was undressed in public, much to my humiliation. I tried on leather chaps - they didn't fit. I didn't do that hundred days for nothing, ducks, I'm an extremely fit bear. Everything was too big. I can't help it if I'm not one of those sloppy, obese stuffed animals. She put a gray shirt on me anyway, saying she'd "take it in". I don't believe she could sew her way out of a paper bag. I also got a head scarf, which I actually like, and got quite a few compliments on.

We went to Build-a-Bear, the jeans and jacket she wanted to get me were too big. We walked all over, looking at other things for me, and that woman wasn't happy. I think she was tired. She bought her daughter chi chi dango, and the three of us sat on a bench and ate it. That woman made sure I didn't have any rice flour on my face - a little got on my jacket, but she brushed it right off and said that's what Scotchguard does. Ah. There was a pair of glasses in Build-a-Bear that would have looked good on me, but that woman said that my glasses were attached to me, and that she didn't want to tear them off me (thank you) as some other sisters had done. What? I've heard of suffering for beauty, but ouch! I liked her a little better after that. Not much, but a little.

We listened to music in the car. I learned about Motown and John Lennon today. Apparently, that Lennon was quite a handsome fellow. Alice, the girl, said I look just like him.

She took me to Beauty Touch to show her friends. They both held me and liked me. They were pretty Korean women. No, no! Don't give me back to that woman! Take me home! Sigh. That woman brought me back home and showed me to her father. "I liked him better with the bandanna on." he said. "He sure does look like that Bae fella." Brilliant deduction, Scotty.

I got more pictures taken with my new bandanna and shirt, and Alice gave me a soft cushion upon which to recline while that woman began working on her computer again. She showed me an email from one of my Khaki Joon brothers, Sebastian. I will have Joon Bear friends, and they will still want to know me, even with my incredibly flawed new relations. I am somewhat relieved. Eventually, she put her head on her arms and fell asleep, the laptop still running.

So, this is the first day of my new life. Pray for me.


Blogger bb said...

hey, this is just terrific!

what a wonderful first entry.

lurve ya, friday!

6:41 AM  
Blogger Toujours_BYJ said...

Hi Friday, you're so cute. I love your story, can't stop laughing when I read it.
She loves you very much so please don't worry your daddy by asking help from him.

2:25 PM  
Blogger marissa said...

Welcome Friday, I'm sure you'll get to know how loving your new mama is. Can't wait to hear your new story.

2:57 AM  

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