The Life & Demise of a Teddy Bear

One Eyed Ted. Owner: Gerry Ryan. Source:

Illustration photo. One Eyed Ted. Owner: Gerry Ryan. Source:

I remember having a teddy bear when I was a kid. He must have led some kind of double life: while I was sleeping he must have been roaming the streets, going from bar to bar, endlessly drifting the streets. I assume he was abusing alcohol and probably also other, stronger, illegal, substances, because he was quite smelly towards the end. At the end he smelled like an old teddy bear that’s been around the block quite a few times. Like a junkie that’s been going too long without a proper bath and change of clothes (which, by the way, he never changed).

Oh, old teddy. Why did he live such a double life?
What led to his destruction?

Cute and cuddly during daytime and evenings, wild and disruptive at nights. How did he end up that way? I suspect that he also had a violent personality, or perhaps it was just self-defence? I’d like to think that he was not the type of teddy that started a fight, but I vaguely remember a couple of episodes with my older brother where they were fighting. Perhaps those episodes with violence at home planted the seeds of his nightly adventures on a downward spiral of negativity, violence and substance abuse?

In one of the bar fights he lost an ear and on another occasion he almost lost his eye. I remember that it was hanging down on his cheek, I desperately tried to push it back in place, but it wouldn’t sit. Luckily my mother took him to the teddy hospital where they stitched him up. He never looked the same again and he lost some of his charm, his personality also slowly changed, because as time passed by, he no longer had that soothing, comforting feeling that he once used to have. Or, at least I couldn’t feel it.
Sometimes I think about how he could end up like that: he came from a loving and caring home, he enjoyed all the benefits of a good teddy, but my dad neglected him and he had a few fights with my older brother. Sure, I was also angry at him at times, but we always became friends again. My older sister once abducted him into her room, but loud vocal protest (by a family member that shall remain anonymous – but I think you can all guess who..) made sure that Mr. Teddy were quickly returned.

Several years of living a double life took its toll on Mr Teddy. I’ve already mentioned that his body odour wasn’t the kindest to the nostrils. He looked old for his age, the eye that they once fixed at the teddy hospital started looking like it had some sort of sickness to it – it turned pale (perhaps cataract?), and it was obvious that life was slowly ebbing out. He had lost his once animate and lively spirit. To put it poetically I guess you can say that his seams began to burst.

Then one day our ways parted. I’m not sure exactly when, but we slowly drifted apart and we had been drifting apart for quite some time. I needed to go on with my life and I guess Teddy needed some sort of closure in his, so we decided to end it on a friendly note.
Friends come and friends go, but I will always remember Teddy.

P.S. The teddy bear in the photo is not mine, it’s just used as an illustration. Unfortunately I have no photos of Teddy.

Photo Credit: Mark Nixon. “One Eyed Ted.” Owner: Gerry Ryan.
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