Understand, my commitment to cozy transcends conditions; I will cozy in pleather jeans on a hardwood floor when the moment calls. But it is undeniably better when you’re dressed to decompress.
Over the seasons, the sharper contents of my dresser have been sloughed off and churned over in favor of more softness. Inside the drawers, my cozy clothes are the tactile equivalent of bacon drawing me toward the kitchen. When I need soothing I ask, how will this cuddle? How will this tangent my angles?
Like a lot of people, I have a spot on the sofa. Sit down. Grab a book, it says. Opening the book is optional. Just the weight of it helps my shoulders unglue from my ears, and I’m on my way. The belly I didn’t know was clenched becomes a soft pool, and I remember back floats.
Curl and unfurl like a cat. Soft-pedal my claws into the cushions. I am a well-loved dog, 7 minutes away from running in my sleep. I am a crescent moon, drawing in the snuggle-curious as they rub their eyes.
I occupy the corner chaise of the sofa so regally that my memory holds my place in the dented cushion when I rise. Occasional visitors to my spot scoot over wordlessly upon my return. When I am up and working in the kitchen, or at my desk, they see the residual cozy on my breath like warm steam against the cold purpose of the day’s agenda; they come to me as a medium, an apothecary of comfort for bonked heads and hurt feelings.
Zadie comes to me at the table where I type, 3 1/2 years new to this planet and its thick stew of stimuli. Two fingers from one hand are in her mouth, and two fingers from the other rub her opposite ear. She has no more hands left to self-soothe and has followed the scent of cozy to the warm spot under my elbow. My busy fingers come to rest and I look down into her big grey eyes. She says nothing and doesn’t need to.
Are you having a snuggle emergency?
I ask, a family phrase we adopted during the pandemic that I plan to overuse for non-emergencies for the rest of my life. Her eyes grow impossibly larger and she nods, turning and walking toward my spot on the couch without looking over her shoulder.