“May I have a glass of water, Sigmund?” Klara was prone on the analytical couch, twenty silent minutes into her hour.
“Thirst symbolizes sexual desire.” Freud laid his palm on his knee and tapped the index finger as quickly as he could for a period of ten seconds. He repeated this test five times, carefully noting the number of taps.
“Never mind.” Klara swung her legs to the floor. “I’ll get it myself.”
Freud’s facial prosthesis glass was the only glass in the bathroom. Klara rinsed it and rinsed it again. Freud would consider this to be a symptom of obsessive neurosis, but to Klara it was minimal basic hygiene.
A disturbing image appeared in the mirror above the sink. The glass spontaneously flew from Klara’s hand and smashed onto the linoleum.
“Shattered glass symbolizes a broken heart.” Freud touched his nose with his thumb.
“Sigmund, will you please get that lock fixed!” Klara caught the doctor’s eye in the mirror. “And stop barging in on me!” Klara leaned over and drank directly from the tap. Thirst, unlike appetite, is not easily lost due to disturbing circumstances.
“A broken lock symbolizes insecurity.” Sometimes Freud forgot that he was making this stuff up as he went along.
“Do you have a broom?” Klara placed her hands on her hips. Freud interpreted this as a blatant act of aggression. He made a note. “Never mind,” Klara said, and crouched down to pick up the pieces. A shard pierced her fingertip. It bled. Freud made another note, this one about menarche, and smiled at his own insightfulness. The thirty operative procedures for intraoral cancer and the cumbersome prosthesis worn to replace his resected jaw and palate did not make this a pretty sight.
Klara opened the medicine cabinet looking for a Band-Aid. Instead she found a vial of white powder, unscrewed the cap, and did a line off the toilet lid.
“Um, that wasn’t cocaine, Klara. That was pure methamphetamine. Go back to the examining room immediately. I may need to tie you down.” The speed kicked in. Klara cartwheeled down the hall, through the door, and landed on the couch. Freud used leather straps to bind her in place.
Sometimes Freud wished he’d become a dentist rather than inventing psychiatry, or at least regularly flossed.
Dan Nielsen is a fulltime open-mic standup comic. His flash manuscript Flavored Water was a semi-finalist in the Rose Metal Press 2017 SHORT SHORT CHAPBOOK CONTEST. Recent FLASH in: Cheap Pop, The Collapsar, Ellipsis Zine, Brilliant Flash Fiction, and OCCULUM. Dan has a website: Preponderous, you can follow him @DanNielsenFIVES. He and Georgia Bellas are the post-minimalist art/folk band Sugar Whiskey.
Image: Baudolino via Pixabay