For those of you not following me on Twitter, I’ve had an amazing time during April (and part of May) which explains the radio silence here and elsewhere. Here’s my attempt to explain it all in one fell swoop though I suspect more news will come out as time goes on.
First, and honestly the most wonderful and exciting, after two months of being lost, Bryson Bear was returned to me twice over this past month.
He first returned via eBay where, once we had identified him as of the Wuzzy clan (many thanks to Doug of Doug’s Bears for his help in communicating with GUND to identify him), an identical “new” Bryson was located in Glasgow, Scotland (as some of you pointed out — many thanks to all of you too!).
My mom purchased him for me since it was important that Bryson came from her as you probably guessed from the LOST post, The new Bryson flew across the ocean, braving volcanic ash and the U.S. Postal Service to arrive with much fan fair and packing in a large-ish cardboard box.
I was naturally very glad to see him — he was clearly the right bear with the right intelligent expression. But as my Doctor Who friends will know, like the new incarnations of the Doctor, while I knew the bear I was looking at was Bryson, because he very much felt like Bryson, he also very much wasn’t Bryson. There was, however a difference. I could hardly remember Bryson ever looking so new. Bryson yes, but not yet my Bryson.
Still, he snuggled close in the night and talked to me in a comforting fashion as Bryson always has. And I needed Bryson and a great deal of comforting because my life had become insanely stressful — more so than I’d ever experienced. You see, I found out in mid April I had to finish and defend my dissertation before the term ended the second week in May. If I didn’t, there was a good chance I might not get to finish at all. I wasn’t sure if I could do it (in fact, I was pretty sure I couldn’t) but after ten-plus years of graduate school, I couldn’t quit without giving it a try.
So, I dropped out of life in order to cope and do what needed to be done — Paul handled all things social, phone, email and Twitter related. I just worked. I worked at my university job and I worked on my dissertation, ultimately writing more than one hundred pages in less than four weeks. Given that ten pages a week is my normal “working very productively” speed this is pretty amazing. It was actually liberating though, as said, very stressful. I don’t ever want to experience it again.
Less than two weeks ago, five days before my defense, I was writing my final chapter (or “coda” as my chair called i)t and I got a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize. Though I hadn’t been taking calls from anyone, I took this one for some reason. The call was from LAX Marriott’s housekeeping supervisor. She believed had found my bear.
The picture I had sent to everyone at Marriott (or so it seemed) had worked. He had been recognized, even though, as I was told, his “timeline” was off. More than two months after he had been lost, my original Bryson had been found at another hotel, having been sent there from the laundry.
Or that was the story that made sense to the hotel housekeepers. I had my own which involved travel across both time and space, but either way, his being found and returned was a very good omen. Someone a week from her defense is looking for omens.
Anyway, Paul went and claimed the Bryson the next day as I prepared to print out my dissertation and give it to my committee. The distraction of knowing he was coming home kept me calm enough to compile the document (well, almost). So Paul brought him home, leaving me so overwhelmed I couldn’t stop crying.
Part of me was a bit worried about new Bryson. Naturally he was insecure, because still having his tags his tags on some 15 years after he was made, he seemed a bit worried he was about to be put up on the shelf again now that Bryson 1 was returned. I reassured him that there was always room in the bed for another bear and he and Bryson 1 shared a Coke and seemed to become friends. That said, Paul did point out that the Doctor never gets along very well with his other selves.
What I Think Happened
It seems clear to me that somehow, during Gallifrey, Bryson did have the opportunity to travel in the Tardis. It being a time machine, I’m sure he figured he’d be back in literally no time and never be missed from the bed. In the manner of time travel though, the Tardis brought him back a month late. By then, the sheets had been through the laundry many times and were far from our room. He ended up at the wrong hotel and it took him a while to both figure out what happened and make his presence known.
Thank goodness Maria recognized him from the picture. Of course he felt terrible for having abandoned and worried me. Just make sure you always take pictures of the ones you love best.
He’s back now, living a quiet life among The Animals of the Bed. But there’s an extra twinkle in his eyes. You can tell he’s had an adventure.
Oh, and my defense went well. A few revisions and I’ll be a Dr. Mija. Imagine that.