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A Connection with the Inanimate

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

According to Merriam-Webster, pillows are "a support for the head of a reclining person". To me though, they're a lot more than that. My pillow is the only thing I can freely talk to. My attachment to the 20x26 inch, cotton-stuffed piece of cloth is both surprising and comforting. It knows all about me, it knows secrets about me that I can't tell anyone because I'm too scared to be judged. I suppose all of us have them, right? The unresponsive entity that provides comfort and safety like nothing else could.

Until recently, I believed I was the only individual who spoke to inanimate objects like a "crazy" person. I spoke to a few of my friends about this and surprisingly, I'm not the only one. These objects include walls, trees, cars, instruments, and even stationery. Now, I don't mean to say we're too focused on the materialistic aspects of life. What I'm saying is that objects could be comforting despite them not being sentient beings.

Growing up, I had a little corner in my house where the angle of the walls made me feel safe. I sat there and shared my thoughts with the walls right from the age of five to fifteen. Slowly, the connection to an inanimate object transitioned from the walls to my pillow.

It's a common truth that one does not share everything about themselves with another person. It's quite funny really, we say that we're close to people and express our love for them. But what defines this "closeness"?

As individuals, we have a constant need to fit into each of the social groups we're a part of. Be it a group of friends, a class of students, or even our own families. We conform to what's expected of that group and what's deemed "normal" and "right" in that group. Sometimes, we have so many different identities in front of various sets of people that we tend to forget who we really are.

I feel that this pressure to be normal is what leads to the attachment to an inanimate object. You see, we can be anyone in front of them. There's no fear of judgment and no fear of an unpleasant response that we don't want to hear. They listen to us and it's in a way, a safe space. Sometimes, I feel like my pillow is the perfect example of a confidante. Are you attached to an object as well?

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