On Things of Comfort

Cherubic Calves

When I was a kid, I had a teddy bear who didn’t really have a name until he got old and stinky. Then he earned his name: Stinky Teddy. I loved Stinky Teddy. I wouldn’t let him washed because his smell was one of the things that I found comforting. I would carry him everywhere. I would pluck on his fur while I was sucking my thumb (yes, I was a thumbsucker) and roll the plucked fur into tiny furballs. After years, Stinky Teddy finally turned pretty much bald and he must’ve been so stinky that my mum had to come up with this story about Stinky Teddy being dead. I trusted my mum, as I always had, so we arranged a little funeral for him. I put Stinky Teddy on a chair for my brother and myself to carry to the backyard, Stinky Teddy’s final resting place. I don’t remember getting a replacement for Stinky Teddy. If I did, I guess I just didn’t love it as much as I loved Stinky Teddy because I have no memories of it. I did find myself a replacement for Stinky Teddy years later, but in another form.

It was moving day. We were moving from the house without electricity to the house where I grew up. I was lying on my parents bed with my mum, waiting for the movers to come and pick up the bed, when I made an epic discovery. I discovered how highly pluckable the blanket on my parents bed was! Of course I had to ask my mum for it. That was how the blanket became Stinky Teddy’s official replacement. From then on, I would suck my thumb while plucking the soft cotton off the blanket to roll into tiny furballs. You wouldn’t believe how comforting it was. Soon the blanket earned its name: the Sucker. I kept the Sucker for many years until it became ragged and disintegrated and I had to unwillingly threw it away. My mum gave me another blanket to replace it but sadly, it wasn’t as pluckable as the Sucker so I didn’t care much about it. By then I was already in high school and had quit sucking my thumb for years. But that’s not the end of the Sucker.

One day, my mum and I went to a department store, and guess what I saw? A stack of brand new blankets that looked exactly like the good, old Sucker! I felt like I was in heaven. I told my mum about it and she was more than happy to buy one for me. And so the plucking continued. I loved the Sucker Junior just as much as I loved the old one, if not more. It was my faithful companion. It comforted me when I was feeling depressed. It was the only thing in my life that didn’t change after my mum died. I even promised the silly blanket that I would take it with me wherever I go. I didn’t keep my promise. I left it in Indonesia when I went to Canada four years ago. It might sound crazy but I feel kind of guilty about it. I also miss it a lot. I miss the comfort it gave me. It was the kind of comfort I used to feel when I was a kid. A simple, uncomplicated kind of comfort. I really hope my family back home hasn’t thrown Sucker Junior away just so that I can fulfill my promise and bring it to Canada with me someday.

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3 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I had a pillow, too, and I often had to strangle my younger brother who had illusions that it was his. It was the softest, cuddliest pillow in the world, and a poignant reminder of my childhood nights.

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