Like a foamy, flaccid force of nature, she came tumbling into my life. No discernable shape, fluffy, mildly offensive. But somehow, some way—like a tapeworm—she burrowed herself deep into my existence. I know she'll be mine forever. She is indispensible, an irreplaceable part of my world. 2012 has been a big year for me, an important year, and I honestly don't know how I could have gotten through it without my Lollipop Chainsaw Juliet Starling Japanese Hug Pillow.
I'll never forget the day she arrived, the forced laughter, the disbelief. At the time I worked in the same office as two talented female writers, Tracey Lien and Elly Hart. I remember how weird it felt—the veiled sexism, the pillow in the centre of our pod that was there to be literally objectified. I wanted nothing to do with Juliet back then. She was a reminder, an awkward centrepiece. Tracey scoffed at her presence. I did too.
Juliet: nothing but a silly joke. A promotional tool, direct from Warner Bros. 'Write about my video game,' she said, 'give me your attention', she asked, pleading. But there Juliet sat, ignored. Until that one day, that one fateful day... when I got a really, really sore back.
Thank you Juliet, you were there for me, the whole time—just waiting, weren't you? Waiting for that day to arrive, that day when your true function in life would become apparent. On that day, with my really sore back, you solved my problem. You healed me, physically. And you changed me. You changed me forever.
But that was just the beginning...
Dakimakura: from the Japanese 'Daki', to cling, and 'makura', which means 'pillow'. How did you find your way into my world? You've rescued me from so many tricky situations. Changed me. Helped me evolve. Allowed me to face the challenges of everyday life with a smile on my face and a song in my heart.
In June, I needed support. I needed your support. I planned to undergo an insane experiment—the polyphasic sleep experiment. For the month of June I intended to sleep for a total of two hour a day, 20 minutes every four hours. This meant I would have to sleep in the office.
I stumbled in, buggered, clutching a foam mattress and a sleeping bag. In my exhaustion I had forgotten one all important piece of the puzzle—a pillow upon which to rest my tired noggin. Juliet, once again, You were there for me.
For those six days, during office hours, you were my sleepy sanctuary. Twice a day, for 20 minutes at a time, I would rest my head in your flaccid embrace. If it wasn't for you, god knows what I would have done, how I would have slept.
What would I have done without you, my precious Dakimakura. In my time of need I clung to you, my Japanese love pillow.
I have many trinkets on my desk—video game t-shirts I will never wear, sad plushies in search of a home. My desk is a wasteland. But, you Juliet, filled a purpose, you plugged a gap in my gaping existence.
Nowadays, I wake up next to you. This is our life. Together.
Being pregnant is hard. I'm not pregnant, but my wife is. There's back pain, the heartburn, the morning sickness. You knew, didn't you Juliet. You knew. One day, I know not how, you appeared on my bed. Ready to comfort, ready and willing to help my wife through this difficult time in her life.
She couldn't sleep, she couldn't get comfortable. She needed something soft, supportive. Something to ease the pain and get her through this traumatic period in her life. She needed something, Juliet. She needed you.
We share a bed now Juliet, you help my wife get to sleep while I doze. You prop her up when turns on her back. You do what needs to be done, no matter what.
I thank you Juliet. My wife thanks you. My unborn son thanks you.
Juliet, you were there for me—you exploded into my life, and it hasn't been the same since. Your soft foam, your comforting embrace, I can't imagine how life would have been without you. My poor back, my weary head resting directly on the carpet. The friction, the slight discomfort—unbearable.
If it wasn't for you, Juliet, I would have had to go Spotlight. I would have had to actually buy an extra pillow. 15 minutes of my life, lost to history, lost to Westfield, lost to expensive parking and the crowds. Lost forever in the sands of time, dripping away like so many lost seconds,
You Juliet, are my saviour. My shining scantily clad white knight. You are my armour. You are my sweet embrace.
Thank you Juliet. For everything.
This story originally appeared on Kotaku Australia.