“Rise and shine.” Grizzly says, gently patting the jacket I use as blanket. He’s been driving the whole night. It’s already dawning, and we’re still on the road. Nearly over the mountains by now, the rain has stopped.
If you were wondering, Grizzly’s not a real bear. He’s ’bout 6 feet 6, hairy, one-eyed beast, with hands like paws. I call him Grizzly, for being such a log of a man. His real name is Urs. He’s from Switzerland, the land of yummy chocolate and huge mountains.
The first time we met, he hit on me. That meathead tried to convince me, that everyone going over the swiss border, gets a bar of gold, a cow and a cheese wheel. He was so persistent, I nearly bought it. Of course I googled it. And he caught me. Can you imagine how hard he laughed? Beer squirted out of his nose, he nearly choked. The laughing-coughing-fits shook him, you could have thought that barstool he was sitting on, was a live rodeo horse. Nice, huh?
“Hmmmyamorninhngrylikawulff” I yawn. Hungry. “One day you’ll transform fully. Into a big fuzzy Teddy bear, and I’ll cuddle you to death.” I sit up and rub my face into his shoulder.
“Mmm, death by cuddle? Is that a promise, sweetheart? I’ll pin you on that one.” What an impressive bedroom smile, from one ear to the other. I like it.
“Will you keep that dust on your jaw?” The clouds run before us on the road.
“Doesn’t make me look distinguished? It makes me look more serious, don’t you think?” – “You look like an old grumpy pirate…”
“Don’t you like it? One word, an it’s gone.” His index plays with one of my crimson locks. “Red? Let’s not scare them, this time. Be a nice girl. If we look like freaks, we don’t need to act like freaks.” He throws me a mischievous grin. “Smug place, smug people.”
“Darlin`… Anything for you.” I smile my brightest smile. “Imma be a good girl. You’ll see.” Outside, the mountains part and the wood pulls up its skirt. Little houses loom in the misty morning light, far away, at the end of the now opening valley. The windshield’s dirty.
“Cross your heart!” Grizzly’s laugh booms, I feel it vibrate in my guts.
We hold hands across the table, my tattoos hiding in his huge paw. He sips his coffee, and I dig in some pancakes with sirup. Even with the black eyepatch on grizzly’s face he looks so cute. Before telling me, where that eye went, he has been telling me, for month, every time a different story. Maybe Urs is a compulsive liar… That should bother me somehow, shouldn’t it?
The pancakes were good, despite of everyone staring. “Grizzly?”
“Mm?” – “Everyone’s staring…”
“Let them. We would be too, if we saw us in a mirror, wouldn’t we?” I concentrated on the syrup running from my fork. I nod and swallow. We would. Who has ever seen such a couple? Him, a one eyed man-bear, and me – almost a midget, with bright red mane and tattoos all over. We are not exactly… Common? Mundane? Ordinary? I don’t know… We are we. And there’s nothing else. For now. Nothing else.