Clyde’s 40th Birthday “BEAR HUNT”


I just recently took Lola on her fifth birthday “Bear Hunt,” a term used for waking up, finding out you are going on an adventure, being surprised all day long, notes and clues leading you to magical locations, familiar faces, and unopened treasure. Clyde just turned 40, and he has been taking it pretty rough, his phone calls consisting of deep sighs, his hilarious self barely there, so I decided desperate acts call for desperate measures. It was time for me to kidnap my first adult for a “Bear Hunt.” We were going to walk the edge of darkness into the wilderness of 40, only to return with my best friend laughing, a fact I was determined to make happen, by any force necessary. I suddenly had a realization I was just going to have to make 40 my bitch, but how?
So, during my plotting, I got a call from my mom about this lovely single woman who casually began talking about her love obsession with bees. Are you kidding me?
First of all, Clyde is a bee keeper.
In fact, I got to be the lucky photographer of this lovely picture:

I did not know he was a bee keeper until I was in the position of transporting thousands of bees one Saturday afternoon. We met the bee man, along with his kind, one man in a “LONG LIVE THE QUEEN” t-shirt, all over the age of fifty, from the country, and I’m shocked most of them didn’t need walkers. I had originally thought I was staying in the car only to be taken by complete surprise, the damn bee man kindly offered me up a suit, Clyde laughing at me while I cursed him under my breath, giving him my best “DIE, ASSHOLE, DIE!” stare. The old people talked about the lovely blooming flowers as we came to the the hive where the instructor began smoking bees, to make them less “angry,” repeating warning signs of swarms, aggressive behavior, how to locate your Queen, a very important thing, her tail marked blue or yellow, a detail if you miss, is an instant FAIL. Clyde didn’t seem to worry about any of these details, his mission to make his own honey the driving force behind this insanity.
What kind of nut job brings thousands of bees home?
After seeing them all caged in these trays in wooden boxes, my skin felt like breaking out into hives just listening to them buzz. I suddenly realized I would have rather been transporting Cocaine. I did my breathing exercises as he chattered away about the crazy shit that bees do, the Queen, how they make her exercise, how each bee functions, how no bee is originally from America. That’s great Clyde, bees rock, but I was deep in thought over our smoker not working, which is supposed to make them drowsy, a fact that made me want to smoke myself first, just to make sure.
So, back to Bee Girl.
What kind of nut job says in passing to MY MOM the fact she has always loved bees, wants to know a bee keeper? What if Bee Girl met Clyde on a Bear Hunt? What if Bee Girl were the question and Clyde happened to be the answer? I just happened to stalk her out at my mom’s work, to find with absolute joy that she was a breath of fresh air, beautiful and very natural, her energy kind and authentic, plus she was single, around his age, without kids. I told her about a friend of mine that keeps bees, and her eyes lit up like Lola when she sees lip gloss. She was just like Clyde in her amazement over bees, very much his equal in every area, and I wondered if he knew the Honey Bee was responsible for watermelon. I tucked that fact away for later.
I was beginning to think I found the perfect girl to take back to his hive, which by the way, is a great pick up line, so the Bear Hunt took on a different life, mainly my mom and I orchestrating this crash meeting. They met in the aisle, and my mom and I left for the cafe, him not taking my “out,” too deep into discussing the African bee, and I could tell by his body language, he was in to her. Thirty minutes later he found me, and I was right. He thought she was great, felt a connection, then asked if I was ready to go. “WHAT? Clyde, if you leave, do not get her number or ask her out, she will think you are not in to her.” He tried to argue a case, but I went to the hive of the matter, bees my only resource. “The Rogue Bees, the ones that go out of the hive, the aggressive ones, are what you must be, my friend.” He groaned, threw his hands in the air, shuffled his feet nervously.
I put my drink on the table.
“I’m not leaving until you ask her out.” I put my chin in the air, and he laughed, waited for her to be done with a customer, finally writing her a note, suggesting dinner with his number, my work here finished, and we spent the rest of the day with the maturity levels of maybe a five year old. My mom said when she told Bee Girl about the Bear Hunt, she asked shyly, “They don’t really hunt bears do they?” How adorable, so content I am, that in a first attempt to find Clyde a Queen, I see how the hive only works when everyone involved plays their roles. I wanted him to be happy, feeling him finally ready to be someone’s goodnight kiss, companion, and for the first time in our journey, I saw him open to love, afraid, but most importantly, open. In the hive, he says only female bees help the Queen, the worker bees, doing all the details that allowed her to go out, mate, choosing any bee she wanted. Sigh. I want to be the Queen.
That day will come for me, but this is Clyde’s hive, not mine, and my assignment is in perfect order, the working bee, the female traveling to any length to assign, interview, and tap into all her creative resources the exact formulas that will make the hive successful.
Maybe I’m not even a worker bee. If I assigned all days of adventure and fun the name “BEAR HUNTS,” what are bears known to love more than anything else?
Honey!
If I am a bear and Clyde is a bee, well lets find him a Queen, and watch them produce some honey.
I can’t wait. I have a big empty jar with my name on it, waiting.
Happy 40th Clyde. I can’t wait to taste what you find in your year ahead, but may it be from the best pollen, and rather you mate with multiple Queens, or be chosen by your Queen at first glance, sweet or sticky, I will be around, most likely in your cupboard, knocking over jars, making a big mess, my scent always leading to great honey or really big trouble.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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