Winnie's Karmic Last Dance
Winnie came home from a grueling day at the factory, stitching eyes on stuffed dolls. He tossed his keys on the counter, kicked off his boots, yawned a bit, then hit the bottle and sat down on the sofa. "Christ in a hand-basket, what rotten, rotten day," he said to himself. He took a swig from the bottle, Old Grand Dad--it had a hint of honey that he liked. As he sat there contemplating the day's end, the bottle dipped lower and lower. There was still about an hour of sunlight left in the day so he thought he better not waste it. He eased himself from the soft cushion then stood up, bottle in hand, and walked into the bedroom to change into some normal clothing.
As he undressed, he thought about how wonderful it felt to strip the factory from his yellow skin. He tossed the work clothes to the floor then kicked them into the hamper. He reached into a drawer and put on a shirt, pants, fresh socks and underwear, took another long swig from the bottle, slipped on comfortable shoes, then tarried out the door to the bar. He thought he might try his luck with the ladies tonight, the air felt different tonight.
As he walked, he thought about the old Hundred Acre Wood. He missed that place. It was home for a great many years, now developed into condominiums and a resort for rich capitalistic sloths. Winnie aimlessly kicked a stone that hopped and tottered into the air ricocheting off a lamppost then slamming into a car door. No body noticed. Winnie felt alone tonight. He thought about his dismal friend Eeyore, how Christopher Robin sold him to a dog-food market. Christopher Robin turned into a right bastard after all. The money went straight to his brain like all the rest. Winnie discovered his dear friend Piglet in the middle of the Hundred Acre Wood, roasted on the spit, picked clean to the bone--a treat for the construction crew. The honey tree chopped down for firewood and bees exterminated with Raid. A dozer crushed Rabbit so the workers cooked him in the pot for a stew. Kanga and Roo skedaddled to the mountains, never again seen or heard from by any one. Tigger bounced the hell out of there and has been in and out of rehab, and to top it off, Winnie discovered there was no such thing as a Heffalump. Everything was just one big joke after another as Chris lined his pockets with cash while everyone else barely scraped the barrel.
As he approached the bar, the sun faded into the darkened abysmal sky. Winnie pushed the memories of a time once grand to the edge of his mind and slogged through the front door. "Hey there Winnie," the barkeep said. "Hey Hal," Winnie said moping to the stool. "What'll it be?" Hal asked. "Gimme a beer and bourbon, Hal. It's been a long day." Hal scurried along getting the order. He set it front of the worn out bear. "Jesus, buddy," Hal said. "You look dead to the world." Winnie sighed then downed the bourbon with a swig of beer. "Yeah, it's a living." Hal nodded. "Right, right. That's all you can do is chug along and get along, aye buddy." Winnie nodded in agreement. He sipped his beer. "The world is not a kind place, Hal," Winnie said. "It only seems that way, some of the time." Hal wiped the counter. "I hear ya, buddy. I hear ya," he said walking off to take an order. Winnie took a good pull from the bottle. He began to feel a little better. The juice flowed through his veins.
A woman entered the bar and sat down next to the battered yellow bear. She stank of cigarettes and mouthwash but she looked alright. Winnie gave her the eye but she did not see him. Hal arrived to take her order. "I'll have a whiskey-sour," she said. "No problem," Hal said. He left to get the drink. As he placed it front of the lady Winnie told him to put it on his tab. Hal nodded. The lady said thank you. Winnie ordered a few more rounds then got up from the stool to put a quarter in the jukebox. He went back to his seat. "What's your name," the lady asked. "Winnie. Winnie the Pooh," the old bear said. "Really?" said the lady in astonishment. "I had no idea." "Thanks for that," Winnie said. "What's your name?" The lady giggled and playfully swatted his shoulder. "I'm Estelle," she said. "Nice to meet you Estelle." "You too," she said.
The time went on and the two hit if off. Soon it was last call. Winnie and Estelle had their last then walked out of the bar pleasantly bombed with the rest of the early morning ahead of them. They went back to Winnie's one-bedroom palace and talked, drank, then screwed themselves to sleep. It was the first time Estelle had ever slept with a bear and she enjoy the experience. Winnie called into work the following morning and they rode each other until chaffed and raw. Life seemed a little better with a woman around the place. Winnie had something else to do when he returned from the factory and she always made him some kind of honey-based food; muffins, pies, honey roasted chicken...no pork, bad memories. After awhile, the Hundred Acre Wood began to fade from thought, until one day Winnie caught the evening news:
"A massive fire took place early yesterday morning, almost wiping out entire C Robin Estates, formerly known as Hundred Acre Wood, owned by entrepreneur Christopher Robin. It appears however, that Christopher Robin was arrested later this afternoon on arson suspicions. It appears that he may have set the fire in hopes to cash in on the billion-dollar insurance claim. Apparently, Mister Robin had gambled away all of his money and what he had left was tied up in assets...."
"Well," thought Winnie. "It serves him right, the greedy bastard. Piglet would have been pleased."
Winnie jumped from his seat, cracked the top on a new bottle of Old Grand Dad and celebrated, toasted and ate wildly at the delightful news. He then banged Estelle with a monstrous bear-bang laughing and smiling all the way. He exerted and pushed, slammed and thrust to climax then collapsed on top of her, dead. The old heart took its last beat but he died with a smile. Estelle shoved the yellow bear to the side, gave him a pat on the tummy, kissed his cute black nose, gathered her things together, then dialed the police. "Winnie the Pooh is dead," she told them over the phone. "Oh, okay, ma'am. And Tigger's not in rehab, and Peter Pan never made it with Wendy. Call me when you're serious," the operator said hanging up the phone. Estelle put the phone on the receiver, collected her stuff, looted what money she could find, then dialed the police one last time. "Hello," said the operator. "Yes," Estelle said. "I would like to report a noise disturbance at Apartment 16B W 53rd Street." "Yes ma'am. I will send an officer over there directly. Thank you," the operator said. Estelle went into the bedroom with the smiling, naked dead bear, cranked the stereo to the loudest volume possible, the left the apartment, leaving the door open behind her.