S FREUD: "A man like me cannot live without a hobby-horse, a consuming passion — in Schiller's words a tyrant. I have found my tyrant, and in his service I know no limits. My tyrant is psychology. it has always been my distant, beckoning goal and now since I have hit upon the neuroses, it has come so much the nearer.
§ Letter to William Fless (1895), as quoted in Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences Vol 3-4 (1967) p. 159
( Speaking of neuroses, these images that pop up in my os space
kind of startle & ((secondarily)) insinuate a certain sexual tone into my writing...as i offer you now... you have seen this, maybe, goodness gracious...gives a guy notions...):
I got up from my nap and felt the urge to call Rena. I musn’t, I told myself. I cannot appear needy on top of :my hopeless financial & employment situation…working in my 85 yr. old father’s high school!....as a “sub”….it would be a death knell to our relationship.
We screwed our brains out last night, but awoke with a bad taste in our soul, both of us. I have no idea what hers is. Mine is the usual. Male dependence anxiety. Hating and loving the object of my desire:a live, breathing, multidimensional female soul. Not fair to do to her. Make her what I want her to be.
What do I want her to be? This is where it gets Freudian, to my astonished embarrassment. I thought that old Vienesse beard was overthrown long ago…not so…his thoughts turn out to be rough hard eternal stuff that every boy in the civilized world has to deal with...
I wanted to discuss Freud with her. She is a psychologist at my dad’s school, so I assume she must have studied him, though not as hard as me. I read the New Introductory Lectures when I was in prison for dui for four months. I lived breathed ate and shat Freud. I counseled the boys in the Big House with my knowledge. I even grew a beard. It was unsuccessful, ultimately, so I had to sheer it off. In my mother’s bathroom, first day I got out.
Dad stumbled in, with Joseph, our 14 yr old lab/Doberman mix. Both of them were out of breath. Dad was a baby about it, Joseph simply went to his water dish, got hydrated, and collapsed in a thump on the kitchen floor.
Dad composed himself and got camera-friendly..'Never forget, the world is a stage, son, " he'd said many times...
“I am outta breath, Jim!” Dad said, sitting down on Mom’s rocking chair, and creaking the wood with his 200 lb mass. If he broke it, he’d pay, as they say. “I walked that damn dog for miles! Now I gotta go to the high school. Big meeting this afternoon, did your mother tell you?” Dad was huffing an puffing in an exaggerated way, to my eye. Maybe not though. Who the hell can tell, with my Dad, still a consummate actor, using his dementia as simply another ‘role’. There is a reason he has been principal for 40 years..his gravitas, his charisma, his solid understanding of reality and how to manipulate it.
“Dad, “ I said, “Have a nice shower, get cleaned up good for later. Watch some tv if you wanna.”
“what’s on?” he perked up.
“Sabrina the teenage witch!” His latest obsession, after Beverly Hills 90210, and of course all the Baywatches. He loved these shows because they (except for Baywatch, which has the next best thing: a beach setting) have a high school setting. Also pretty gals…
“Oh good. Good . Good girl.”
He went off to the bathroom, and I took a huge breath and let it out to becalm me, and called Rena..
“Hi” she said.
“Hey. You gonna be at the meeting this afternoon?” I used my professional professorial voice on her.
“Bullying..shit…what are we gonna do?” I entreated.
“ The bullies are athletes, good ones, and the victim is a kid who wears a big red t shirt saying ‘atheism rules’ and has a powerhouse lawyer mom who wants money cuz the kid got ambushed in the bathroom,” she said casually.
“Yeah, them is the facts…”
“Yeah..so what is your dad thinking? How will he handle it?”
I confessed to her what I was up to. Why not? Life is dramatic, full of crises. I love them, myself, personally:the only time I feel alive. Has got my ass jailed. Worth it? I don’t know..
“I’m gonna get him high before the meeting,” I said, as if I had said, “ I am going to prepare him well with in depth intuition into the issue,” which is pretty much what I meant. It would be damn interesting to get old George high. All it will take is a pinchfull of pot in his beloved pipe, and his command to me:
“Jim, I think it is time for a ‘smoke break’”
Wherein we go out on the porch and pass the symbolic peace pipe, a guy thing.
“Ok, just make sure he doesn’t reek of pot at the meeting….uh…”she said…
“MM?” I said, with feigned disinterest.
“Is all yours, sweet girl, if you want it. Just ask…” I was plotting and scheming..I was my father’s son, finally…