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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Writing Prompt: Your Lover's Pillow

By Marilyn Friedman

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One Day ClassesMulti Week Classes:
Writing Retreats:
  • Writing Pad Ojai Retreat (Mar. 25 - 27 at a gorgeous ecosanctuary with award-winning author Thaisa Frank, NPR's Alex Cohen, and Writing Pad's Marilyn Friedman)
Writing Prompt: I took this one from Judy Reeves' fantastic book, A Writer's Book of Days: "Write about your lover's pillow." Here is my adaptation: make a list of 3 lovers that you or your character has had (or lovers who you or your character has desired). Pick one and write about that lover's pillow. Make sure to include some kind of sensory detail in your piece (smell, sound, touch). Write for 10 minutes and then post the results on the comments of this blog!

Comment on this blog! Write about your lover's pillow. You could win a free class for your story or poem.


Carol Wyatt said...

Steve's Pillow:

It isn't one pillow, but 3 or 4.
In various positions squished against one another to make a giant sculpture next to his head.

You would think that he wouldn't care what kind or how fluffy the pillows were. He takes two at a time and folds them up under one arm, then grabs one or two more that he uses to prop up his head into a painful 90 degree angle.
Each pillow must be soft, but not too soft. It is OK to have one pillow in a plain cotton case, but the others must be inside flannel cases, or combed cotton.
The color doesn't matter, so he will have various shades of white pillow cases mixed together.

I do not like the pillow sculpture that takes up three quarters of the bed. His pillows creep slowly into my face and ears, the points of the cases poking me in the middle of the night. I am slowly pushed closer to the edge of the bed and wake up each morning between his pillows and a cliff of empty space. When I ask him why he needs so many pillows, he replies, "I can't sleep with only one pillow. I don't know how people do that!"

He is annoyed by my question. I am annoyed by the non answer. It is as if he wants the bed to himself and uses the pillows to get what he wants. HE isn't pushing me off the bed, the PILLOWS are. He has no control over the mass of pillows.

As the years have progressed, the number of pillows has increased. He sleeps in awkward positions so he can feel each pillow tight against his head or chest. Sometimes I remind him that I am in the same bed and he can squeeze me if he would like. I am pillowy too.
But, there is something infantile about his pillows that remind him of simpler times. When he wakes up in the morning he is refreshed and able to put on serious clothes and deal with the intense workday.

I am exhausted. I am defending my territory every night waking up every 1 or 2 hours. But,....
While I am home during the day, I take his pillows and throw them on the floor. All but one pillow remains....
My pillow. Just for me. No one to push me off the bed, just a bed and my pillow.

Taleia said...

Like the season, the pillows changed.

Winter brought softness - like the Snuggle bear- I cuddled up upon them taking his place. So squishy. So soft. Cotton-clothed, I'd mold each of them into their perfect position. He shared, while gently stroking my hair into their predestined place. So sweet. I'd sniff it in, sensing a hint of the powder fresh baby scent. I'd grin. And then we'd lay.

Then spring time, he'd get creative. Reforming the rolling hills into twin peaks, the pillows slowly rose. I could always feels the change. Squishy became smooth. Soft turned firm. My head longed for the comfort, but he always craved the change. He'd pat his hand on the pillows, taunting me to rethink my game. I'd shake my head no, yet once again, we'd lay.

By summer, things always got a little high. Pillows would toss and turn constantly dripping from the heat. No more dressings, just bare-skin and then sweaty hair, steadily moving my face away from the wet surface. Sticky. Salty, I could taste it at the corners of my mouth. Frustrated and irritated, I'd wish to climb the hills again, but instead I'd ascend up the huge, hard mountains nestled on the bed. With a cramp in my neck, I'd rest my head. And we'd lay ...

... until the fall. Then like before, the pillows would change and I'd descend unto a flatter - more favorable position. My fluffy friends were back, again. Snuggled up, I'd smile. He'd sigh. On the pillows, I'd turn my face to rest one cheek, as I slowly morphed from joyful to elated grinning from ear to ear. One more turn, and again,a switch to the other cheek. I'd rest, then onto the chin. He winced. "Sweety, your chin is digging into my chest," he'd say. And then we'd lay with him on his back, and me on his chest - his pillows. My pillows.

Anonymous said...

When I make the bed, I'm careful to keep my pillow on my side, his on his. I hope the cleaner does the same. My pillow is stained. I tend to drool when I sleep, which results in yellow spots of varying sizes on my pillows. I have some sort of nasal block, I don't know, and it results in an open mouth when I sleep and -- drool. I've had this my whole life and while I wouldn't really want to share it (the sight or fact of it) with strangers, I'm at peace with it. Maybe the way some of us come to be at peace with our own ticks. My guy's pillows, while maybe still white, get this smell - a really bad smell - a smell he doesn't go to bed with, but one his head has when he wakes up. I try to keep keep a sort of invisible boundary between his side of the bed and mine. I'm convinced that his side of the bed is stinkier than mine. I hope the cleaner knows it's not my side. I'm fine with her knowing I drool. I just don't want her to think I emit that smell. But I love him. Smelly or not. It just happened, and I'm at peace with that. I just try to keep a line between his stinky side and my yellow side of the bed.