Spontaneous Writing in a Bar

Two men I’ve never met sit down to write together over espressos. One of them is alive. The other died in the early 1930’s. Both are psychoanalysts. Somehow, I know what the writing will be about: it’s an experiment. Where they meet has the feel of a southern European bar. Everyone around them is talking, while they’re about to start writing. “Let’s make this spontaneous writing,” one of them says. “We’ll write to find each other’s mind,” the other says. It’s decided, or so they think. The writing starts. Five or ten or fifteen minutes pass. I’ve forgotten to mention: I’m in the bar with them, observing, wondering, imagining that at any moment one of them will stand up and order two more espressos. Observing is difficult. I want to participate. Then it comes to me that I am. They need your presence, something inside of me says. They can’t do this without you. You become a sort of inner reader for both of them. Each one imagines that I’m his reader. I imagine it. These two psychoanalysts, one alive, one dead, have become real to me, in my imagination. Their spontaneous appearance in my mind has led to the writing of these sentences, which remain a mystery to me, for now.

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