Couch Talk (Part IV) (Fiction during the Day)

Speaking on the psychoanalytic couch this morning felt as if I’d just drunk two or three espressos. I can’t remember how many minutes of the fifty-minute hour passed before I recounted a fantasy that had come to me the evening before, and which I wrote down before falling asleep. Caffeine is helping me to write these sentences. It’s noon, and I usually wait until after lunch to have another coffee. I’m afraid of what might happen next. Maybe I believe that a good experience can never last long. So far, today has been good to me. I needed a break from my editing, and no new work has been sent to me since I woke up. This seems a strange way for me to think, since I need the money I make from editing to live. But the last clause of the previous sentence isn’t true. I edit articles that don’t interest me in the least for my own masochistic reasons. Money isn’t a problem for me. I could spend all of my time writing sentences like the twelve before this one. Perhaps one day I will. Psychoanalysis is expensive, and for some reason deadlines seem to help me through my days. I often think I need more help with my life than I probably do. This realization came to me on the couch last week. The fantasy I told Mary this morning on her couch (I sometimes feel as if it were my own while I’m on it and struggling to speak whatever comes to me) might make a good story: I enter her consulting room, find her seated at her desk writing on a laptop, her back to me, and I look over her shoulder at what she’s creating on the screen. The few sentences that I have time to read lead me to think she’s writing fiction, based on the real work that happens in this room with people like me. I’ve become so involved in these sentences that seem to appear all at once on this screen that for a moment I forget that the image of Mary writing fiction on her laptop happened in my imagination. The fantasy ends with her turning around, realizing she didn’t hear me come in, she stands up, walks to her chair as if nothing unusual happened, and I lie down on the couch. Mary listened to my fantasy in silence this morning, and then I started to talk about something else. These sentences, and this story about this morning’s psychoanalytic session, must come to an end. Another editing project has arrived in my email inbox. Maybe I’ll imagine myself on Mary’s couch, with this laptop, writing fiction of my own, while I edit someone else’s words.


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