What’s In a Name?
This isn’t on topic, I warned you. 🙂
Some people’s handles are a bit obvious like zlee, or Will Harmon (except his real name is Marvin B. Stobiersky, of course…). But I get asked, "why Bloomfield?" Well, here is the answer, but it’s a bit of a story, sorry.
How did I become Bloomfield?
It was because of Jenny Mayweather. She didn’t give me the name exactly, but it was still because of her:
She won the spelling bee.
I remember it was in seventh grade and we had a schoolwide spelling bee. I was the one of the two finalists
(even though I really didn’t spell very well at all, and don’t to this day). The other finalist was Jenny
Mayweather. Jenny grew up to be a beautiful woman and we couldn’t believe it when she married Isaac
Menachem Abrahamson, a Kletzmer musician specializing in Bar Mitzvahs. Isaac’s mother died of grief
when he married a shiksa, but Jenny gave Isaac eight children before I lost count, so on balance, I guess it’s
all right. But that is another story.
At the time of the spelling bee, of course, I hated Jenny and her damned freckles and stupid pigtails. I
couldn’t admit that she spelled better than I did. But she did win the spelling bee. The word was "scalpel". I
spelled it "skullpale". Everybody laughed. The whole school. I was so embarrassed and humiliated, worse
than the time I had worn my sister’s skirt to kindergarten, not knowing any better. I was so angry that I
vowed revenge on Jenny Mayweather. I was going to singe her stupid pigtails off with fire. And that’s how I
got my nickname, Bloomfield.
You see, they caught me sneaking back from the spelling-bee-bonfire toward Jenny with a large burning log.
It must have looked suspicious, because they scolded me and made me go home. The next day I had to go
to see the Reverend, who was going to give me a talking-to. I’ve always known that evil thoughts attract bad
things, and I was positively stewing in evil thoughts that morning as walked down the country lane toward
the Reverend’s house.
And so they got me. It felt funny, like being lifted up and falling asleep at the same time. The space aliens
abducted me to the distant world of Gor, a brutal planet with mean warriors and pliant women. (Don’t worry,
I didn’t believe it either, at first.) The brutal world of Gor was not much better than the spelling bee and I
failed miserably. I didn’t cut it as a sex-slave, and all I was fit for was food for the priest-kings. But they had
already eaten. I was packed off again on the next slave ship and returned to Earth, not really harmed but
pretty confused. And that’s how I met Bloomfield.
The Gorean slavers got the time not quite right and they dumped me a few centuries back (during the time
of Henry VIII, as I later found out). I was picked up by this very peculiar gent in black who wasn’t at all
surprised when I told him that I had been abducted by space aliens, rejected as a sex-slave, and that I
wanted to see my mother now. He couldn’t help me much, but he was friendly and wanted me to help him.
"What do you want me to help you with?" He held up one of his long fingers and stared into my eyes: "To
turn copper into gold!" Great, I thought, this keeps getting better and better.
Anyway, I wasn’t going to see my mother soon, and Bloomfield at least fed me well. Yes, that was
Bloomfield, Master William Bloomfield. He was constantly having dreams and talking to flowers and mixing
stuff. I got used to his ways and helped him in his shop. (I never got used to the awful smell…) Actually, he
was working on a book and he made me write it down for him. Here is a part that I still remember:
The Dreame of Mr Blomefeild
Audite somnium meum quod vidi.
The Mt yeere of Christ, D L & seuen,
In the month of march, asleep as I did lye,
Late in the night, of the clocke about eleuen,
In spiritu rapt I was, soodenly into heauen;
Where I saw sittinge in most glorious maiesty
Three beholding, I adored but one in deitye:
A Spirit incircumscript with burninge heate incombustible;
Light of brightnes permanent, as fountaine of all light;
Three knit in one, with glory incomprehensible,
Which to behold I had a greate Delighte.
This trulye [to attayne] surmounted my might;
But a voice from that glorious brightnes to me saide,
"I am one god of Immeasurable maiesty: be not afraide."
As you can tell, my spelling really was horrible.
What I didn’t realize at the time is that Gorean slavers have a strict code of conduct, and displacing returned
slaves in time is considered a no-no. So eventually they came back for me. They still had the same
navigator and they missed it a bit, which is why I spent several years with Bloomfield.
On the day they came for me we had just run the Great Experiment, and I think we actually did manage to
produce some gold. A little nugget. But the forces involved are truly terrible, and the tower caught on fire. So
as I get sucked up by the Goreans, and I’m losing consciousness fast, I see below me the burning tower
and Bloomfield standing there in his black habit laughing this cackling laugh and the flames lapping higher
and higher. Poor fellow.
When I came round during the Saturday-morning cartoons I was still screaming "Bloomfield, Bloomfield!" at
the top of my lungs, because I had grown to like him, and there he was burning with his gold. My brothers
laughed and my mother was worried. My father beat me for not going to see the Reverend. Jenny
Mayweather didn’t speak to me for months.
And they all called me Bloomfield after that.