it’s just a teddy bear
He won it for her at a county fair. Turns out when she was young she always believed she would meet her future husband by a tilt-a-whirl. To this day the smell of cotton candy turns her on. It had been their first date and ever since she had slept with the teddy bear every night.
This was, of course, very meaningful to him.
Eventually they moved in together and then got married. Kids weren’t far behind.
Every night she slept with the worn and oft-drooled-upon bear under her head and then every morning she would put it face down on her dresser.
Bears sleep by day. At night they stay awake to chase away bad dreams.
Whenever he was the last one out of bed and it fell to him to make it, he would finish the job by propping up the teddy bear on the pillows. He knew that it was just an inanimate object, but the teddy bear just looked happier sitting there looking out at the room. He felt that she would appreciate the gesture towards her beloved bear.
And then when he went to bed later that night he would see that she had taken the bear and placed it face down on her dresser.
He asked her why and she laughed.
“It’s not a real bear, why do you care?” she asked.
“I’m not saying its real, but why not keep it on the bed? And why put it face down? You say it doesn’t matter but you move it off the bed every time I put it there” he replied.
“It’s just a teddy bear. What does it matter?” she inquired again.
No inanimate object is ever fully determined by the laws of physics and chemistry.
“If it doesn’t matter, why put it on your dresser? Face down at that” he said, feeling like they were arguing over something silly and yet very important.
“Because” she started, “That’s where I keep it.”
“But why?!” be asked a bit too sharply.
She did not answer.
“What if we compromise and you keep it on the dresser face up?” He couldn’t articulate why, but he felt for the teddy bear. The idea of sitting face down all day brought out his empathetic side.
”No” was all she said and left the room.
So he went into the garage, got a saw and cut off the teddy bear’s head.
What a vast difference there is between the barbarism that precedes culture and the barbarism that follows it.