Sabrina Orah Mark

The 10 Stages of Beatrice

Stage 1. — Belonging.

In the first stage Beatrice is precisely labeled and timed. She is able to devise complex graphs, answer questions in the order that they’re asked, and construct coherent narratives without nostalgia or actual fear. There is no display of loud sobbing, nor are there visions.

Stage 2. — Happy.

Beatrice, during the second stage, believes she is alive. The possibility that she is not alive, in this stage, never enters her mind. This stage is only possible if the spectacle comes to town.

Stage 3. — Walter B.

This stage is also called “the latch stage.” It is Beatrice at her most historical and strange.

Stage 4. — Romance.

Beatrice is hunted, captured, and softly strung to a tree. In this stage words are used to intoxicate, supply, and deceive. These words are rarely interesting. Gifts are exchanged that are of no use.

Stage 5. — Dread.

Beatrice is covered in feathers and twigs. She believes she is a nest. This stage, if it occurs in winter, is also called “The Babies.”

Stage 6. — Slice.

The sixth stage often appears in Beatrice’s hand like a long instrument with a blade at the end. She will eat cake, during this stage, until she has visions.

Stage 7. — Cryptozoology.

In the seventh stage Beatrice wears a green dress with large white pockets in which to store the evidence. If this stage is mingled with the second stage, ecstasy is achieved.

Stage 8. — Crowded.

Beatrice is behind glass. In this stage Beatrice is blurred by the humans who observe her without caution.

Stage 9. — Poland.

Beatrice gathers her grandfather into her arms. She recites him from his memory. The ninth stage sounds like this: tsim tsum, tsim tsum, tsim tsum.

Stage 10. — Return.

In the final stage Beatrice watches Beatrice feed the babies with a spade.