April 19, 2018

stuff it

Cocoa sniffs using a glue spot.
When I was ten and eleven, I had a black Pound Puppy named Cocoa (a sure sign of my future predilection for very dark chocolate) that I slept with every night, held so tightly for so many years that his nose came unglued and his plush was piled.  I still have him.

Some nights, when I was trying to fall asleep and had exhausted the fantasies about my Teacher, I went through a phase wherein I would fantasize instead that Cocoa was running away from [fill in random pursuing menace] and accidentally ran right to me, and was terrified of me as well as [same random pursuing menace], but decided to trust me, and I banished [still the same random pursuing menace] and earned his enduring trust and affection and he decided to be my pet and I loved him unconditionally and comforted him and spoke soothing words.

The anthropomorphism pales next to the blatant manifestation of childlike need-meeting.  I was a bit old for that, but apparently not so old that the basic need to be trusted couldn't come through play.

Cocoa came with me on my honeymoon.  Don't fuck with my stuffed animal.

But he has been shelved for years, replaced eventually by my son's stuffed Build-A-Bear monkey, named Monkey.  (I don't know why we thought we'd be stifling his creativity by not going along with the name he gave it, as clearly there was not any.)  The making of Monkey at the Build-A-Bear store at the mall was a torment.  The workers dumbed things down to the level of their young customers (approve), asking them to make a magic wish and close their eyes and jump up and down three times to make the animal come to life, but then expected the parents to play along as well and do those things (drop dead into licks of flame, lady).  I was never so happy to give somebody at a cash register some money to make it all stop.

Monkey has always been well-loved.  But once my son moved on to seals, Monkey was up for grabs, and he became mine.  I still sleep with him.  He's never had to run away from [yet another random pursuing menace] into my arms, because he knows he's always been well-loved.  And anyway, um, it's for good sleep posture, since I'm a side-sleeper.  That's the only reason.  I swear it.

Sometimes P.J. poses Monkey in various yoga-type positions for me to find when I come home from work.  She has nothing to say on the subject of my sleeping with Monkey, because she has a head-sheep named Lambchop that she uses for shutting out light and sound.  She is going to murder me in my sleep tonight for making this disclosure.  I hope Monkey doesn't see it happen.  He will be scarred for the rest of his life.  So much blood.

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