The Polar Bear

Once upon a time there was a polar bear. He had nowhere to live so he came to live in your head. You started to think polar bear thoughts about icyness and wilderness. You went shopping and looked at fish. At night you dreamed your skin was fur. When you got in the bath you dropped through nameless waters deeper than regret. You left the cold tap running. You flooded the house. You dived into winter with no clothes on. You sought loneliness. You wanted to see the sun rise after a night that lasted as long as all the things you have done wrong. You wanted to see the sun come up and no one to be near you. You wanted to look out over the rim of the world. But you live in the city and the rest is gone.

And all the longings and all the loss can’t bring back the dead. The most beautiful place on earth was everywhere – a raft in the wilderness of space, precarious, unlikely, our polar bear home.

-Jeanette Winterson

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