What if Freud was right? Imagine the implications.
For starters, I’m not talking about the whole cigar = phallus thing. That one is just dead wrong. If cigars weren’t bad for your health I’d have a thick one in my mouth right this very second. That, plus a cigar worth smoking is going to cost you at least ten bucks, which is enough to buy a good book, or could feed an entire village of those starving kids you see on late night infomercials.
The thing that I’m worried about is what Freud is supposed to have said about mistakes. He claimed that there were no mistakes. You say what you really think and you do what you really want to.
As you can imagine, there are both lightweight and heavy-duty implications to a concept like this.
Lightweight: Ooops! I bought a gallon of triple fudge Heath Bar crunch ice cream; when I forgot that I was supposed to get the non-fat, sugar free, Soy vanilla. Silly me.
Heavy-Duty: Oooops! The wife and me were doing some gardening in the yard. Somehow the hedge clipper got away from me and I managed to gouge into her femoral artery. Ain’t I a goof?
I have a hard enough time taking responsibility for all my conscious actions, but if Freud was right, now I’ve got to take on everything I do and say on the sub-conscious level too? This is such a massive concept for me to try to absorb, but then I start to consider that not only am I operating on two levels, so is everyone else around me.
If we decide to climb aboard this train of thought, then the next stop down the line is the notion that, yes, we do make our own luck. Consciously, we really want that new job promotion that is about to open up, and we think we deserve it far more than Larry or Judy. Now try to imagine what’s happening in our unchecked sub-conscious?
The next day Judy has to be rushed to the hospital because a copier toner cartridge, which someone stupidly left leaning on the shelf over her cubicle, has dribbled enough toner into her coffee cup during the course of the day to make her pee blood.
And gee, Larry’s in a bit of a jam. It seems that a couple of guys from the were chatting, while doing their business at the urinal, about how Larry has so much porn on his office computer that he’s had to request a bigger hard drive from the boys in IT. This wouldn’t have been so bad if CEO of the company hadn’t been sitting in the handicapped stall, reading the Wall Street Journal, like he did every morning.
I guess if we have tight enough reigns on our waking mind, our sub-conscious can’t get too far out of control. Of course now I’m thinking about the movie Forbidden Planet, which was a mixture of Freud’s theory of Id, Ego & Superego, and Shakespeare’s The Tempest. If you haven’t seen the movie, (Forbidden Planet, not The Tempest) in short, it’s about a group of space travelers who settle down to live on a planet once inhabited by an ancient alien race, the Krell, that apparently vanished overnight. In a short time the space settlers begin to mysteriously die, torn apart my invisible monsters. As it turns out the Krell had been such an evolved (and apparently lazy) race that they had created an elaborate underground machine that was capable of attending to their every need. If a Krell was hungry for a plate of steamed Nurelian swamp root, all he had to do was wish for it and the machine below would make it appear. Things went bad, though, when said Krell went to bed for the night and dreamed that it would be really great if a monster were to kill his neighbor, and while he was at it, destroy his entire living pod, so he could have an unobstructed view of the ammonia pond.
The moral of the movie was that if you’re going to build an all-powerful machine capable of fulfilling your every wish, don’t. You’re going to regret it in a hurry.
Which brings me to 4:50 last night. No monster attacked me in my sleep, but my wife did crack me a good one on the head with her elbow. It hurt me enough to wake up and look at the clock so I could tell her what she had done and at what time it had happened.
My wife has never hit me with her elbow during the waking hours. As far as I can recall, not even once by accident. Was her subconscious pissed at me last night and decided, what the hell, why not give him a good shot to the head now? I don’t think so. I think it really was an accident.
We have six cats. Two of them sleep on the bed with us. One spends most of his time in the laundry basket on the hall landing. Another fancies the cat tree in the living room. The last two, brothers who don’t realize that they’re technically not kittens any more, divide their time between the couch and anywhere else they flop down in exhaustion.
This is WHEN they sleep. A good part of the night they participate in the cat Olympics. The events include the synchronized stair chase, two and three-cat wrassle matches, and their favorite, the bed dive. And it’s not unusual for them to incorporate the other events, like the stair chase or the cat wrassle into the bed dive event.
Each night there’s enough activity in our bed to fill a dozen installments of Penthouse Forum (although the average reader might be a tad disappointed by the content). So is it possible that the elbow I took to the head was the result of my wife getting mauled by a cat who had tunneled beneath the blanket? It is certainly possible and probably highly likely.
I think I slept better when we had a hand me down mattress and only one cat, than I do now that we have a ridiculously expensive mattress and six cats. That’s what I think.
Of course this raises the question; are cats aware of what they’re doing when they bite and scratch us, or trip us when we stumble to the bathroom in the middle of the night.