Sophie Guan & Christy Yu

The first time he sees the pillow, he falls in love. 

He was at home earlier that morning, staring at an open fridge that was blowing cold, cold air in his face; the thing about milk was that it stinks after expiration, much like him after a few weeks of questionable sanitation; it makes people wonder if he had, indeed, expired, like the milk in his fridge whose power cord is currently being severed off by him in a moment of ecstatic fantasy; he has a thing against fridges: they hum with an enormous attitude into the morning and into the night; it makes people question their sanity and whether refrigerators realize the consequences of their detrimental disruption to societal peace. 

The thing about peace is that it was perfect, so perfect that it is perfectly unattainable; it’s perfect, like the dreams that he spends most of his day dreaming about as he dozed off at work, idling sharpening, breaking, and sharpening pencils; the boss told him to sharpen as many pencils as he can for the staff meeting so he decides to sharpen all of them and by the time he finished, the meeting and the next meeting are already over. 

The thing about work is that it opposes everything he supports and therefore is the only thing he wants to spend the rest of his life doing because doing what one doesn’t like to do is a challenge that all men must face; after all, who would want to be on a beach sunbathing for that moment of fleeting, unsatisfying peace? Why would one need something as frivolous as entertainment when they can contribute so unmeaningfully and one-sidedly to a society that will leave them behind? The ultimate triumph of one day leaving the society behind is something that all men either fear or desire and there is no in-between. 

The thing about men is that men must all contribute to society or they won’t be men anymore; men not in a society become animals and uncivilized, as coined by the men in society; it is absolutely essential that men be men and animals be animals; men can show animals love, live with animals, and create a family with animals, but they can never act like animals because doing so is an atrocity; the act of all men becomes a sum and individuals, like integral of certain points, do not exist; the effort of one man—or two or three or four—is naught, much like his brain right now. Empty. Filled with pieces of information he isn’t ready to regurgitate on the spot but perhaps will in the coming morning when he will be presenting.

The thing about mornings is that he doesn’t wake up on time. He has fallen in love with a pillow.