We have a game we play at work.
It’s called Questions.
It’s a very simple game.
We write questions. We put them in a pint glass. The special Questions Pint Glass. And throughout the shift, everyone answers the questions.
It’s a very simple game.
Emily reminded me that Questions is actually the child of Quizzes, a Friday lunch shift time-passer that involved writing Questions on a sheet, circulating it around the building and everyone writing their answers to share at the end of the shift.
Also a very simple game. A simple game that is more Questions than Quizzes, but we don’t need to examine that right now.
The Questions often inquire about loves lost, sexual adventures and food preferences. These are the most popular topics. Yesterday, we were strangely nostalgic.
Do you have a teddy bear?
Yes. Yes, I do. But not really. A teddy dog. His name is Furey. Furey was given to me in 1983. Furey is a small brown dog with longish ears and brown button eyes. My sister Amanda was given a teddy dog, too. A little beige one. We said they were brothers. Furey and Fluffy. I think that was the brothers name.
Furey was loved to a point of near deterioration. He had the ear yanked off him more than once, which led to kitchen surgery performed by my mother and her sewing kit. One of these surgeries gave Furey a facelift, but only on one side. Furey still looks like both a Before and an After photo; his eye is raised in speculation. Patches of fur left a trail through a life of being dragged around and loved by a little girl, and the matted remains had spun around our washing machine a few trillion times, as any mess that I got into was splashed on Furey, too.
Amanda couldn’t care less about Fluffy. Fluffy is still as soft and symmetrical as the day is long. And Amanda couldn’t care less.
She had her own little companion.
Germ was a doll with blonde curly hair and a blue dress. Germ was named Jeremy by Amanda. We don’t know why, that’s just the way it was. Amanda adored Jeremy. When Amanda was seven years old, she got sick one Christmas and it was soon found that she had Meningitis. Amanda had to stay in the hospital for over two months. It was a contagious environment. A sterile environment. A lonely environment. I wasn’t allowed to visit. My parents were there as often as they were allowed but there would inevitably come the the time that the lights would go out and my little Amanda would be by herself.
But Jeremy was there.
But in order for Jeremy to be allowed there, my mother had to sterilize him constantly. His hair matted from washing and was slowly cut shorter and shorter. Frequent bleaching drained the colour from his face and drew it to his forehead, creating an odd brown mole where the pigment had been drawn. The dress was gone. Jeremy was soon a bald, pale, nude little baby doll.
Jeremy was now Germ. And Amanda loved Germ more than ever.
I don’t know where Germ is now. Probably still kicking around my mothers house. Amanda has never been terribly sentimental about that sort of thing, but she loved that little freak of a doll so very much.
Furey has followed me to every house I’ve laid my head. When I lived with Jason, he would make a voice for Furey. Furey would do dances and give me romantic advice. Jason gave Furey a Mr. T bracelet that he has worn as a chain ever since.
Furey, I guess, is my oldest friend. I don’t think about it too often, but it is very special to decide when you are so small that you love something so lifeless so much. You give it spirit. You give it life. You give it a voice, just because you love it.