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Bad Memories, Killed by Death Bear

While glitz and glamour epitomizes NYC, the seedy cultural underbelly that created this great city has endured a slow suppression. Yes, the streets are clean and flocks of prostitutes have been stuffed indoors, but it’s not really about the hoes and crack. There’s a darkness that’s gone missing. My hope was to find any vestige of a live cultural underground or even just crazy ape shit1 that goes on behind closed doors, to remind myself that this city has not completely broken from its past.

And so began my feeble journey. Couple weeks ago, I stumbled upon an ad, for the Death Bear. Here is what the Death Bear can do for you:

“We all have someone or something we would rather just forget. Things fall apart. Love hurts. Dreams die. But when you summon Death Bear to your door, you can be rest assured that help has come. At first you may be intimidated by his stature and color (7′ tall with a hard, black bear head, black jumpsuit, and black boots), but absorbing the memories of others is a dark art, and Death Bear must present himself appropriately for this solemn duty. Death Bear will take things from you that trigger painful memories and stow them away in his cave where they will remain forever allowing you to move on with your life. Let Death Bear help you, and absorb your pain into his cave.”

Holy shit, I thought, it’s a real life version of an “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, except it’s a bear and fucking strange. Apparently it’s considered performance art. How it works: You text him for an appointment. He prefers it to be on the weekend and in Brooklyn. You can use utilize his services as you please.

So a friend and I texted the Death Bear. We anxiously waited as he walked up the stairs to my Brooklyn apartment. When I saw him, I couldn’t decide if it would be funny or really strange. He asked me what I needed from the Death Bear and I tried to concoct a sizable love-lost story, and I ran around the apartment to find shit that I could give him to put into his cave. Unfortunately, all I came up with was empty bottles of champagne and Grey Goose (don’t judge me). He asked if I needed anything else, I said no, and offered him a drink, which he kindly refused. Then he left. I can’t say that I felt any different, but I guess for some people the act of purging one’s feelings/mementos/memories upon another can be therapeutic.2 I just hope he recycles those bottles.


  1. This reminds me of that old film, A Good Ape Shit is Hard to find.
  2. Wonder if he can help this dude.