January 24th – The universe just wasn’t big enough for both of them.
It was his fault, really, for giving it the stupid name in the first place. After all, if you’re going to give something a name, then at least try to make it appropriate. Everyone knows someone who has named their cars, tried to nail personalities on to the metal bodies to make them more human, or quirky, or interesting. He didn’t have a car. What he did have was everything else.
It started innocently enough. Just after his most recent housemate had moved out, citing irreconcilable differences, he had named his fridge Joyce. It seemed a reasonable enough name for a household appliance, serving, as it did, the artistic (James, of the Ulysses variety) and the mundane (just Joyce, of the 1970s housewife variety).
With no-one around to question his naming, and no one who really cared much either way, he moved on to other objects. The television became Hercules, for unfathomable reasons; the toaster Eileen.
He continued in this vein for some time, until he started to run out of names.
It had got to the point where he had needed to keep a list, so that he didn’t lose track. In a small notebook he recorded Claudette against the telephone, and Daphne next to the coffee table. The front door he named Darren. That felt like a good name for a door. When he realised that he had named the cat-flap (a legacy, he didn’t have a cat, which would have been a natural thing to name) and the shower head Mark, he knew it was time to become a bit more abstract. So he went for nouns, prefixed with The, to make them more significant.
As a result, his laptop became The Orangery, an umbrella The Crucible. His vivarium became The Universe.
The vivarium, upon the moment of its naming, contained two iguanas, curiously named Iguana One and Iguana Two. He had owned the two creatures since they were very small, and had cared for them carefully ever since. It was shortly after the christening of The Universe, however, that he became aware of a problem. Iguana one and Iguana Two had, as all living things do, to a greater or lesser extent, grown. And they were getting too big for the tank. The Universe just wasn’t big enough for the two of them.
He had, he reasoned, three choices. Either to get rid of one of the Iguanas, (not really an option), to split them into separate vivariums (not really fair on either Iguana One or Iguana Two), or to get a bigger tank to house the pair of them, and get rid of the original The Universe.
He went for option three. The Universe Two was more than suitable for both of them.
Inspired by a prompt from here