Liar's Kingdom (Part the Next) Wish Fulfilment
Now I am in a hole. Only Cerberus left for company and he’s still asleep.
‘I wonder if I thought about people, I could populate this whole archive with Tolstoy, Beethoven, Elvis or just anybody?’
I say this aloud, because I have an experiment to try. Cerberus jerks awake and then immediately falls asleep with an exhalation that flaps his upper lip. Any cabinet, any drawer will do. So I choose the nearest. Top drawer, nothing. Second drawer, nothing. Third drawer – well, you get the idea. I try them all. Nothing.
‘Nein, nein, nein. Dass ist nicht der weg!’
It is a man. The suit is three piece, but belongs in an early work by Evelyn Waugh, though I can’t remember too many Teutons in Decline and Fall. The man has an extremely high forehead and insufficient hair strands plastered to his pate with a pomade whose scent I can’t quite place. Like most balding people, he has a compensatory beard, more salt than pepper. He is smoking a cigar, which he waves in welcome or annoyance, I’m not sure.
‘Vish fulfillment is ze expression off suppressed dessires.’
I think I would like a cigar myself.
‘Vould you like a cigar?’ he raises his eyebrows, but they don’t venture far into that high forehead.
‘Ah, yes, actually I vo-would.’ His Germanic consonants are catching.
‘Vy did you not say?’ He explodes into the most infantile giggling.
He recovers himself and starts to explain the joke.
‘Just give me a cigar,’ I say.
‘Your theory iss correct, young man.’
He hands me a cigar and waves his smokily* at the cabinets.
He goes on. ‘Iff you internalise the vishes – I prefer dessires myself, you know- I mean do not give them expression, ze mind vill find a way to fulfil zem.’
I laugh. ‘If I have thought them, then they are expressed in concrete terms. It is nothing to do with suppression.’
‘Scheiẞe! Vot is ze point in infenting grand theories off human behaviour iff you are going to argue vith me?’
‘I’m sorry you feel that way.’
‘It iss alvays the same. I sink you haff feelings of guilt about your boyhood masturbation.’
He blows a puff of cigar smoke in my face. I return the favour.
‘What makes you think that? Are you projecting?’
‘Gott, off course not. Maybe I vos hasty. Do you sleep well? Do you haff dreams?’
‘We are not here to talk about my dreams.’
‘Ach! Zen vy are ve here?’ The spittle reaches me from a distance of three feet.
‘That is not a question for psychology to answer.’ Perhaps I don’t quite stifle a snigger.
His harrumph is heavily accented too. Off he stomps to go wherever all these apparitions, afrits or figments of my own imagination go, when I’ve exhausted their ability to help me avoid the narrative arc.
*Well it wouldn’t be “airily”, would it?