Since the dawn of humankind, certainly, no later than when we started praying to Gods (Sun, Moon, Stars, and so on), we have given these things names. 300,000 years later, more or less, there is nothing on Earth for which there isn’t some assigned name. I’m reminded of the lengthy Exchange between Bubba and Forrest Gump as Bubba tells Forrest all of the meal possibilities for shrimp, and I can’t help but laugh at the universal Obsession we humans have with naming all manner of things alive, dead, inanimate, and even invisible.
With this in mind, anyone who judges me for writing a story about a bed named Beatrice can, well, go perform a physical impossibility on themselves.
I have written elsewhere that I had been told in the hospital I could not live alone unsupervised, and, me being me, all this advice accomplished was to inspire me to prove them wrong. It took a while, but soon enough, I was making plans to move into the apartment I now call home.
I acknowledge that each of us has priorities unique to our particular lives and lifestyles, so, what I might consider a top priority, others might not give a second thought. In my case, it was all about the bed, convincing myself that as long as I had a new bed, I could live without every other thing in the universe. Except for food, of course.
My daughter had bought her son a new bed a year or two prior to my being in the market for a new one of my own. I had tested his bed out and decided there was no better bed that had ever been made in the history of bed making; laugh all you want, that bed is the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on, and no other bed would do. And the day that bed arrived, like a fat kid on Halloween night anxiously awaiting permission to dive into the bag of goods, I couldn’t climb into my new bed fast enough.
It was everything I had hoped for and everything I imagined, and I swear that despite this being an inanimate object, I’m as sure as I can be that my new bed wrapped herself around me and pulled me into some amazing vortex of nocturnal Bliss. Aware, however, that I would be mocked into Oblivion for saying as much out loud, I kept all this to myself until a week or so later when my oldest granddaughter came for a visit that had already been planned in advance to extend for several days. I mean, I always give up my bed to the grandkids, happily taking up residence on the futon, because I happen to still believe chivalry is not dead. In the case of this particular visit, my ulterior motive was my need for a second opinion on my belief about the new bed.
I woke up first that next morning, got up and started coffee, and peeked in on her long enough to recognize that nocturnal Bliss I had experienced myself firsthand. I gathered Daisy and my thermos, and we settled ourselves in our usual Coffee Spot for our regular morning routine, and when I came back about 45 minutes later, that girl hadn’t moved an inch. I ain’t gonna lie… Vindication washes down incredibly well with a strong cup of coffee.
When she finally did get her lazy ass out of bed, I asked her how she slept and whether or not I had overhyped the bed or if it was everything I have promised her it would be. The condition of her bedhead told me everything I needed to know, but I never saw her answer coming; she said, “I’m glistening.”
Retelling this story now makes me laugh every bit as hard as I did the moment she said it. And while she was taking her shower to get ready for our planned day ahead, it occurred to me that maybe this bed needed to have a name. I didn’t even bother to try to come up with a few for her to choose from, I simply asked her to give the bed a name, and without even thinking about it, she said that the bed needs to be named Beatrice. When I asked her where the hell that came from, she said she literally had no idea… It just popped into her head, and that simply had to be the bed’s name.
The few days prior to my writing this entry, I have been sicker than at any other time in the past several years; Covid, apparently, had finally found me. For the record, I can’t say I’m a fan; I have been in the loving Vortex and firm embrace of Beatrice, taking turns between shivering and sweating, more than I have been upright. I am reminded of what a good decision I made all those years ago, Vindicated for giving her a name so I could, in my delirium, express my love, appreciation, and gratitude for giving me so much comfort and solace. I love her, and her name is Beatrice.