We all start with one. One is the basic, one is more than enough. Until someone asks you why you only have one. Until that one person you had over one night argues with you about how having only one makes you a potential sociopath. They also point out that it makes them quite uncomfortable.
You question yourself then: maybe one is, in fact, too little. You think of yourself as a kid, and realise you always had more. How’s that you ended up with this? So you go to the shop, or look in Amazon or whatever online store you can think of. You finally buy another one. But when you try it…you just don’t like it that much. Not as much as you like the one you already have. You bought it, though, so you keep it, and you use it for emergencies (that is, when someone comes over and you want to pretend you have more than one).
But then you start getting annoyed by it. If it’s not nice, then why do you have it? Shouldn’t you get a new one? A better one? Yes, you don’t have to put up with something you don’t like. So you get another one: this time you make a smarter decision and you try lots of different ones first until you finally find the perfect one. You take it home with you and try it as soon as you get there: it is fucking heaven on earth. You use it in different ways, even with the one you didn’t like that much. How’s that you didn’t know about this before? Why did you keep yourself from such pleasure and happiness?
Once you have three, you reach a point of no return. You start thinking about colours and sizes, different arrangements and layouts, and you start rotating them as well. Why use one all the time when you can use a different one every night? You pile them up but never store them, no, you would never do such a thing. They’ve become a necessity: you have to feel them, see them, touch them.
That’s how you end up one day with 12 pillows in your bed. You constantly clarify to your friends that you do not sleep with all of them (although you have tried, we’ve all tried). You spend some time arranging them, mostly in the mornings, but you enjoy seeing them displayed all over your bed and room to be honest. They even make the floor seem comfortable enough to sleep on it. But the truth is, you sleep with at least 6 of them most of the time.
Nobody says anything to you at this point. You can’t even remember how it used to be, to have only one pillow. It doesn’t make sense in your head anymore. Although some nights, when you push half of them to the floor with your hands while trying to make some space for you on your bed, you look back and think about that time when you would contentedly lie in there with your head almost flat against the mattress, nothing beneath it except your own thoughts and that one pillow, the one you still prefer over the rest when it comes to resting your head for a quick power nap.
It’s on those nights that you contemplate the possibility of going full Along Came Polly and stabbing those 11 extra pillows you have (or donating them, honestly a much better option), because that’s what Jennifer Aniston did with Ben Stiller and he seemed really happy about it, happier than you are right now pushing pillows off the bed. But you easily overcome that feeling when you realise you would be destroying around £400 worth of pillows, and fall asleep hugging your best friends without any regrets.
Siham Lee is a Chilean writer living in Glasgow. She’s currently doing a Mlitt in Creative Writing while writing short stories to keep herself alive and mentally stable in the midst of working on her first novel. The rest of the time she’s either rewatching Brooklyn 99 for the ninth time or eating all the cookies in the house.