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             “Damn, not again!”

            “Huh?”

            “I can't believe this!  I've been dumped again . . .”

            Superego gave a long, piercing stare at His companion, certain that the warning He had given Ego not long ago was going to go unheeded.  Stay away from her.  Remember, no more chances!  Yet even now, Ego paced the pavement outside His car, staring up at the stars while holding a cell phone in His hand.  Only moments before, Ego had sent the text message to her, hoping for a response, yet as the minutes grew longer, Ego began to see everything clearly.  And what He saw deflated His hopes, like the sudden release of air from a child's balloon as the remnants scatter haphazardly across the room, shards of some popped dream built upon nothing but air.

            “Call her.” piped in an all too familiar voice.  “You want her?  Then call her again.”

            “Oh please, Id,” responded Superego, “you're not helping the situation any.”

            To this reprisal, Id threw up his arms, pacing the ground not far behind Ego.  Id stopped a moment and turned toward Superego, His voice trembling with mixed emotions.  “I wasn't talkin' to you, Superego.  I was talking to Ego.  Stay outta this!”

            Superego, however, asserting His needs, was not about to be shushed quite so easily.  “It's not you he needs right not, it's me.  You've done nothing but get him into trouble.”

            “Bah!  If it weren't for me He'd never'a taken the chance in the first place.  He'd still be livin'

believin' he was ‘happy’ when I wasn't bein' fulfilled at all.”

            Superego turned to Id, unable to let the retort go.  “But it's you who got him into this in the first place.  You – with your 'you love her,' 'you want her,' 'grab your chance now or you will always wonder what would have happened had you not taken the risk.'”

            “I don't talk like that!”

            “Maybe not,” confessed Superego, “but the message is the same.” 

            “Would you two stop!” cried Ego.  “You're not helping me at all here.  I have to think”

            Turning, then, toward Ego, Superego sighed in sympathy for His partner, understanding, perhaps, better than any of them what the true cost of this ordeal was going to be.  “Ego, you never would have been in this situation had you but listened to me.”  Then, more tenderly, He added, “Admit it.  You knew it was wrong to believe-”

            “But I love her,” Ego responded, his voice low and filled with emotion.

            “Do you?”

            “Of course I do.”

            “-or does Id love her?”

            Ego pondered that thought momentarily, stopping his pacing and leaning against his car.  But after awhile, Ego dismissed the thought entirely.  “No.  I loved her.  It was love.”

            “Then you gotta tell her!” Id suddenly interjected, seeing his opportunity to undermine Superego's rationale.  “You gotta say the words.  Just drive into Omaha right now and tell her!”

            Ego shook his head.  He knew Id’s advice was no good.  “I don't even know where she lives.”

            “Sure you do!  She told you once.  Drive around 'til you find her car, and then tell her.”

            Ego tossed Id a caustic glare before turning back to his inward thoughts.  “No . . . that would never work.  It's a large area.  I'd be driving for hours with no luck.  Besides, what would I do if I even found her car? I don't know which apartment she lives in-”

            “Knock on the doors, stupid!” Id responded impulsively.

            “At this time of night?”  He turned, suddenly, and gave Id a push, the latter wounded by the slight.  A few moments passed before Ego spoke again, shaking his head in disgust.  “That's crazy.  It would never work.”

            “That,” interjected Superego, all too conscious of the price of following Id's impulsive will, “is certainly not good advice.

            “And what do you know of ‘advice?’” Id retorted.  “All you ever do is contemplate crap like the universe and meaning.  What has that shit ever got you?  Huh?  I’ll tell you what it got us: loneliness.”

            “It’s brought us peace of mind,” Superego responded, “and a way to live our life in a universe with no god, no purpose through which external forces place upon-“

            “For Christ’s sake, shut up!” Ego yelled.  “I can’t think when you both do this to me.”

            For a while, silence soothed the mind of the man.  He pulled out another cigarillo – his fourth one in less than an hour – lit it, and breathed deeply, letting the strong scent burn his lungs and purge his head of the clutter.  The first puff was always the most enjoyable, and though He had been smoking more than He ever had before, the feeling gave Him a sense of clarity and calm, if only for a few moments.  Time passed as Ego peered at the clear night sky, the stars glittering eerily overhead like the celestial dome of Pandemonium, beauty and chaos merged into one.  His internal feelings felt much the same, twinkling brightly from within though illuminating little in the dark abyss of His soul.

            “Call her.”

            Id’s voice did little to soothe as well, bringing to consciousness all that Ego had hoped to rid Himself of.  If only He could sort through His feelings, Ego thought, then He might be able to calm the storm of hurt, bitterness, and anxiety that crashed upon the shores of his consciousness like a tidal wave.  He began pacing again, reaching for the black, three ring notebook that sat on the passenger seat of his car.  The cover was worn and faded along the edges, and inside, the pages were more than half-filled with scribblings even the most highly trained antiquarian would be hard pressed to decipher.  Most of the writings within had been composed in the dark of night, sitting outside, all alone.

            Removing the dull pencil from the wiring binding, Ego began to write, the words flowing haphazardly at first, then more smoothly, more fluidly as the time went by.  When He wrote, it was only then that the tides of emotion and unconscious desire calmed, amalgamating into one.  When He wrote, it was all of Him writing.

            After some time, reading and rereading what He had inscribed on the sheet of paper after getting into his car and turning on the dome light, Ego set the notebook down, closing His eyes.  Slowly, Id and Superego awakened, providing no peace for the emotionally and physically weary man.

            “Text her,” Id whispered insidiously.  “She wants to hear from you.”

            “If she wanted you,” Superego reminded him, “she would have sent an SMS to you.”

            Ego lit up another smoke, watching in silence as the breeze wafted the dark grey cloud away to the north.  He was tired, exhausted, but sleep was always long in arriving during these times of isolation and rejection, His dreams dark and disturbing.  He didn’t wish to dream of her, either, but He was powerless over these images that were at once so soothing yet so empty, too.  To dream of what would never be was a torment worse than the agony of staying awake. 

            Sitting in the car, now, the dome light turned off, Ego laid back in His seat and smoked again and again until His pack was nearly empty.  Soon, even the voices in his head subsided, the bitter warring of words - call her, leave her be, tell her, you’ve said all there is to say – diminishing until there was nothing but silence. 

            All was silent . . .

            . . . but for the dreams that promised everything, then vanished like the air in some silly child’s balloon as the morning light pierced the dark night’s haze, sharp as a needle.

            Pop.

           

           

Id – libido, instinctive energy, pleasure principle, impulse wishing

Ego – (the self, the individual aware of himself); derived from the id, experiences through senses, consciously controls impulses

Superego – controls at unconscious level the id's impulses, unconscious

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