Saturday, September 9, 2006


When I leave, will my ego leave as well? When I lift my ass up off of this stool, will he do the same? Will he follow me outside, across the parking lot, and onwards, home? No. Not my ego. My ego is apparently bigger than I am. That’s what she told me.

“You’re such an asshole!” Sara shrieked.

“So, you’re not going to go out with me next weekend?” I asked.

“I heard about you and the others!” she cried. “You make me feel special, you lead me on, and then I find out you’re flirting with practically every girl in the program—”

“But none are as pretty as you,” I lied.

My ego. He’s bigger and can hold more alcohol, so he decides to hang around a little while longer. Discord, here, while the flawless reflection looks back through the mirror at its flawed origination. It’s the personification of Lacan’s Ideal-Ego and Ego-Ideal; the Beautiful Me sits politely at the bar making witty conversation with strangers while scoffing at the Ugly Me tramping around the room bumming cigarets, leering at the girlfriends of other guys, and getting into fights. Stirring up all kinds of—

“You all right, there, Marty?” the bartender asks.

“Yeah,” I say through gritted teeth.

“Look a little dazed, that’s all.”

“Naw,” I say, “I’m fine. Thinking about work tomorrow. Another day at the pulpit, you know how it is.”

The bartender laughs and sets up another gin and tonic, the first sip of which nips my parched lips and the rest of which bites at the back of my arid throat, the tonic’s bubbles like a pack of rabid dogs.

Work tomorrow. I sneer. Work. Another day in that infernal hall. Another day at that rotten lectern. Another day preaching lies to the masses. If I’d have known then what I know now, that life in the belly of this dead and bloated institution would be so depressing, I never would have bought those lies all that time ago. Could have broken the cycle. Would have been one less echo in the—

I spot a student across the bar. What’s her name? Millie? Camille? Emily, I think. Cute little thing. Grad student, right? Philosophy? I can’t remember now. These days, they all seem to run together. Our eyes meet, she smiles, and is suddenly on her way over.

“Professor Wilkins?” she asks, beaming.

“The one and only,” I smile, my eyes momentarily dipping down to her cleavage.

“You want another drink?”

“Does a philosopher value opacity?”

She laughs, sits down on the stool next to me, and orders two gin and tonics from the bartender.

My eyes drift lower, down to her denim mini, down to her creamy white thighs. By now, I’ve lost track of which Me sits on this stool, and a hand finds itself on the small of her back. I’m leaning in, close, and filling her ear with disingenuous compliments, really laying it on thick.

“Are you familiar with Lacan’s Graph of Desire?” I ask.

“Vaguely,” she says. “But I’m sure you could fill in the gaps – in my understanding of it, I mean.”

“Of course,” I chuckle, “I’d be glad to. Say, what are you doing next weekend?”

No comments:

Post a Comment