Let’s Be Frank: The Diary of a Divorced Gay Dad
It started off like any other night – mundane, chillaxed, peaceful. Briggs was at my house asleep in his bed while I was enthralled with my latest Nintendo obsession – “Yoshi’s Wooly World.” It’s a delightfully saturated Mario spin-off that combines an epic adventure game with Grandma’s knitting bag. I was blissfully bouncing through the fabric forests when suddenly I heard a thunderous BANG outside the window directly behind me. I paused for a moment, and had to decide whether or not to investigate it. Awful scenarios poured into my head like liquid terror, so I grabbed an insanely huge knife and carefully teetered onto my terrace. Initially, I saw nothing and was relieved. Visions of “Yoshi’s Wooly World” bounced into my head as I stepped back inside. But then I heard something that sent chills down my spine – a mean, hungry growl. And it came from a colossal black bear making a catastrophic scene with my trash cans.
It was pitch ass black because I had repeatedly forgotten to tell my handyman to replace the motion lights. I could barely make out its silhouette, but I gathered it was 30 feet away and easily twice my size. I was slightly elevated, but still in what I considered “the danger zone,” so I did what any white-blooded American would do: I tried to get a video of it. Juggling a giant butcher knife and an iPhone 6+ is no easy feat, especially when you are shaking uncontrollably for fear of your life. Somehow, I managed to get the flash working and was doing my best to zoom in on the beast before he noticed me. Luckily, the leftover Chinese takeout had him extremely occupied, and up to that point, I remained stealthy. Underneath me, I felt some leaves rustling and I knew my luck was out. In slow motion, the bear stopped what he was doing, turned around, and stared directly at me. I saw Lo Mein noodles hanging off his gargantuan paws, two crazy black eyes, and I panicked. I dashed inside my house, locked the door, and turned off all of the lights. I was safe. But then I realized my phone was still outside.
Without looking, I threw open the door, grabbed my phone, and then went into my son’s room and located the bear from his window. It was my job to keep him safe and I was racking my brain who to call at 1AM to report a bear sighting. When I was married, I would have never left my bed. My ex-husband would have eagerly confronted the bear and probably used some fabulous Boy Scout trick to shoo him away. But now it was up to me, and I had to think quickly because I didn’t want my son to wake up and lose his mind. I decided to shoot another video, which turned out to be a brilliant choice. I carefully opened the screen window, and shone my flash down on the bear, who was now a full story underneath me. He spotted me again, but this time, this time, he was bothered by the flash. I quickly turned off the video and opened the powerful flashlight app. Yes, THIS was the app that was going to save me and my baby from this menace. Like a lighthouse beacon, I pointed my iPhone right at his face, he freaked the hell out and scurried across the street like a coward. I smiled with pride, turned around to my sleeping kid, and gave him a big ole bear hug.
The next morning, I delighted in telling him the entire story, and how Daddy saved the day by using his brain (kinda). He laughed hysterically and told his whole 1st Grade class about the bear who ate our trash. When we went outside, it looked like Hurricane Sandy hit the side of my house, and every takeout bag was grossly displayed for my neighbors to view. We picked up the trash together, and I promised him that he would never have to worry about bears again. Every night since, I anticipate the bear’s return, but this time around he will be greeted with those motion lights. From now on, if a bear comes to my house, it will be by invitation only ;).
*No bears were harmed in the telling of this story
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