Oh wait, you probably meant figuratively, right?
Whenever I use that phrase I am normally referring to a few loved ones I’ve met who’ve pretty much taken over all of my life during the period following my meeting them. I guess it’s when you get that instant chemical click and become like age old friends. I can think of two obvious examples without trying too hard.
I guess what it feels like is to be kind of intertwined with someone. Your lives become connected, but in a cosy, comfortable way. Funnily enough I don’t think I’ve ever used that term to describe a ‘relationship’ I’ve been in. It only seems relevant for friendships. Perhaps because I have so many of those cosy connotations.
Because there’s a darker meaning to the term. The idea that someone is under control.
When I say it, I almost always say ‘living it each other’s pockets.’ This creates an Escher like impossible recurring pattern of both being enclosed within each other. That’s where the cosiness started.
But in fact, the turn of phrase (how do you turn a phrase) normally occurs as ‘being in another person’t pocket’.
Like in the question.
Then there’s an implication of control. Dominance. Submission.
When I think of that my first thought is political cartoons about Bush and Blair. The ‘national embarrassment’ of being the USA’s obedient puppy (whilst still convinced of the ‘special relationship’ – both in each other’s pockets -despite the fact that the US is clearly the only one of us with a jacket big enough to be the one with the pocket).
But I find that hard to relate to. In fact, I am disappointed enough with modern political ideology to not get too emotional about that kind of thing, at least partly because ‘national embarrassment’ equates to once-removed nationalism, a thing I have no time for (except during the cricket and the olympics, obv).
The other image that rapidly comes to mind is closer to the realistic approach, whilst being many miles away.
I imagine what it must be like to be a Pokémon.
Not realistic, but I see myself cramped up in a tiny red and white ball, unable to escape or even live until my friendly, adorable master lets me free.
To do battle.
With someone just as cute as I am.
I often worry about the exploitation of Pokémon.
So apparently, despite the actual examples I think of, I like it in other people’s pockets. It’s kinda what I’m looking for in a relationship/friendship. Being cosily wrapped up comfortably in someone. Sharing space, growing with each other, possibly in an impossible Escher tessellation.
Pockets’d be comfortable if you could fit in them. Like giant’s pockets, or if you’re a borrower.
So yeah. The answer is that I like it in there.
The cosiness outweighs the negativity.
Which is how I like things, really.
But I don’t want to think about the political ramifications of that decision.
Illustration by Anna-Kaisa