Day 218 – Freudian Sleep

Inspiration by Alex

Word count: 794

George had not been sleeping well since the accident. He had snapped some muscle in his lower back, causing him excruciating pain when he lay on certain sides. The doctors had scanned him, probed him, massaged him and finally sent him home with a few boxes of painkillers and some sleeping tablets. The latter of the tablets consistently failed to work, however, and the early hours of the morning were soon becoming his new best friend.

They were comforting. The familiar weak blue sky, the speckle of stars and the calm whirling winds, occasional rain pit-pattering on the window pane: the hours past the witching hour were calming, soothing on George’s shoulders, even though he would toss and turn throughout them to get back to his restful slumber. George lived alone and had no girlfriend, which at least meant his uneasy night habits disturbed no one but himself. Frequently he would get out of bed and make himself some food, pour himself a glass of refreshing milk or wrap himself in warmer blankets just to fall back into sleep. These tricks rarely worked and he would often be still lying awake until seven in the morning, after having only one or two hours of sleep. Despite his back injury, he still needed to work and such a sleep pattern could not be tolerated.

This particular evening, George woke to a shadow looming over him. At first he had surmised that he had left the lamp on, but it was still switched off. Instead, the light was coming from a glowing little emblem of ethereal fire. It crackled and hissed exactly like a real fire, save for the fact that it was sitting nice and contently on his bedroom chair.

George’s immediate thoughts were that he was still dreaming. But from out of the flames a small man grew and adjusted his pose so that he sat quite nicely on the chair, with no sign of the burning fire beneath him. George stared back at him, half expecting to wake up any moment now. The man returned his simple gaze and coughed to clear his throat.

“Hello,” the man said to George. “Well today?”
George hesitated – should he speak to dream monsters?
“You should not think that you are dreaming. It would be awfully detrimental to your recovery if you did.”
“Who – who are you?”
“Freud and a good friend.”
“Wh-what are you?”
“Apparition, ghost… take your pick. I do not need words to describe myself.”

George was wary about all this: why would Sigmund Freud appear before him? Had he gone mad?

“You’ve not gone mad, you’ve just got a few things that need sorting out. Your mother. You haven’t called her in months. Your sister, she got married last spring. You never replied to the invite. Your clingy ex girlfriend gave birth to a baby girl three days ago.”

“What does all this mean?”

“It means there’s something wrong in your life. Something you need to change.”

“Like what?”
“Your accident. How many months ago now was that?”

“Eight.”

“Exactly, so why are you still recuperating?”

“Because I’m still in pain.”

“Where, your back? Or somewhere else? Somewhere deeper?”

George searched himself for an answer, “Just my back?”

“So you’re not at all bothered by the fact that you don’t like women getting to close to you and that you barely see your family? This solitary existence is fine for you?”

George shook his head, “Women just get serious so quickly.”

“That may be the case, but there’s something else isn’t there?”

“Like what?”

“Like the fact that women getting close to you reminds your of your smothering mother, too controlling to let you do anything and too paranoid to set you free?”

“What, uh, no? Not at all! I just don’t like clingy women! They go too fast! I like my space!”

“Call your mother. Talk to her. Listen. Then you’ll understand. Then you’ll be free.”

Freud disappeared into the darkness suddenly and George was once more on his own. He was not sure what to think. It could have been a dream, it could easily have not been a dream though. But the next day he did call his mother and he did speak to his sister and they spoke for hours and hours and hours and weeks later they did meet up and they did enjoy each other’s company and they did resolve some issues. George’s back ache eased slightly and then, when he was out searching for alternative sleeping tablets, he bumped into a gorgeous brunette woman who wanted a relationship as much as he did.

They are now married. The painkillers ran their course. The sleeping pills are in the top shelf of the bathroom cabinet.

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~ by S.G. Mark on May 12, 2012.

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