abby called me tinkerbell. i called her snow white. for my sweet sixteen she got me a three foot tall chocolate brown teddybear. he was named bill for the junior varsity football player abby was in love with. i spent the next 12 years sleeping wrapped around (or at least snuggled near) bill, much to the chagrin of many boyfriends.
when james and i fell in love ten years ago bill finally took a back seat, but he's never far away. lately i've taken propping him at the corner between bed and windowseat when i'm awake, and to sleeping with him in the gap between my bedtime and james'. bill has been a companion of my life, sleep, dreams, my friend and comfort for twenty-two years.
last night in sniffing around to see where the cat pee smell in the bedroom was coming from i discovered it was bill's belly. the wash is not an adventure that bill loves, but he's been through it before and there was no other way to save him. i doused him with enzyme cleaner and popped him in the washing machine.
this morning i opened the lid and found bill's familiar furry exterior flattened and mashed amidst drifts of orange foam.
something in him let go.
some inanimate objects serve our existence more deeply than most humans. bill was like this for me.
long live bill the bear! may he be happy, may he be free.