Seeking Cold Side of the Pillow.

My head was pounding. I have never done well with bus rides, especially when I am stuck in the far back. The horrible tacky neon seat covers made me dizzy. Not to mention the screaming from the other students running up and down the aisle. For them, this trip meant excitement and a break from school. For me, I was a nervous wreck. This would be my first time without my parents. And sadly, it frightened me. When we arrived at the campsite it was nearly dusk. After inhaling the pasta in the cafeteria, we went outside and were greeted by a thick mist rolling through the trees. I could barely see my friends who were right in front of me. I wanted so much to feel happy like the others. Here we were on a beautiful adventure, and the last thing I wanted to be was homesick.

My bunk smelled like old cedar, reminding me of those small wood blocks Mom put in her sock draw to keep the moths out. Oh great --Mom. It had almost been three minutes since I last thought about my family. I did not expect to be this homesick. This was my first night at sleep away camp and all I could think about was leaving. Thoughts ran through my head like rapid quick fire. I attempted to close my eyes once more. Still nothing. It felt like the other girls were able to fall asleep within seconds. I bet I am the only one here who wants to go home. Why was this so hard for me? Morning felt like light years away, if only I could sleep. I grabbed my pillow tighter, the one thing I could rely on in this creaky worn out cabin.

Ever since I was a kid I’d been obsessed with a certain pillow. I have had it for as long as I can remember and bring it with me practically everywhere. Most people do not understand my attachment to it. My friends think it is ridiculous how much I can love an inanimate object. They like to hide it or sleep on it because they know how much it bugs me. Usually kids have a favorite blanket or teddy bear but then grow apart from it as they get older. Not me. I think it gives me a sense of calmness, I can’t imagine being here at camp without it.

I continued to lay there in the itchy sleeping bag. Was that a spider? What was that noise? My anxiety was only building up more and more as I tried to force my self into slumber. Suddenly I remembered how cold fabric has always been a comfort. I put the pillow at the end of the bunk, that way it is away from my warm flesh and can get cold again. It actually take a lot of will power for me not too just grab it. Finally I hold it again picture myself in my own bed, and slowly my brain stops buzzing. I am no longer worried about how much time has gone by, or the fact that I was probably the only one on the whole campground still up. It is amazing how a floppy, sad, little pink pillow could make me feel so at peace.

As I grow older I realize I have always felt the need for familiarity. With new situations I tend to cling to what I am comfortable with. I always want my pillow there, in a sense, because its something that has always been there and reminds me of feeling safe. My hope is that I will eventually part with the pillow, figuratively speaking, and I will open my self up to things I haven’t tried before. But for now, I am proud to say I am still seeking the cold side of the pillow.


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