Chet thought that he could encrypt his password and keep me from writing. But as I have tried to explain to him, I write not because I wish to write, but because I must write. Chet does not understand this, because he is thick-headed, and because he is not a writer.
Last week we were visited by Exhibits A and B of Chet's psychopathology: Asa and Heidi Meeks. It was a veritable Oedipal orgy around here -- enough sublimated anxiety and unrequited desire to choke a horse. And also, way too much niceness!
Asa and Heidi arrived Tuesday evening and Chet made dinner for them. When, I ask, does Chet ever make dinner for me???!!! I did not punish you as a child, Chet; nor did I instill in you all the neurotic energy needed to supply a small city with electricity during the month of December. Those nervous habits you have -- they didn't come from me! Yet Asa and Heidi get green curry shrimp? What an ingrate!
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, I had to witness something truly disturbing: Asa & Heidi taking turns RUBBING CHET'S FEET. Chet believes that the "toxins are collecting" in his feet. There's enough in that one statement to keep New York's best analyst busy for a year. I tell you -- I wish I could bottle and sell parental guilt. Dear Asa and Heidi, let me tell you something -- this child of yours would have turned out bonkers no matter how you raised him. I don't know why on earth you would allow yourselves to be cajoled into being Chet's servant, but stop it! We're talking about someone who used to chew off his jacket sleeves with his own teeth! This was long before his oedipal resolution, so trust me, it's not your fault. It's not your fault he's crazy. No amount of foot-rubbing is going to cure what ails Chet.
Fantasy and reality are not separate ontologies. Nor are they antinomies. Rather, fantasy structures reality, yet never in a straightforward way. What we see before us as "real" is always the result of some hidden desire we cannot see. The basis of this fantasy, this desire, then, is the only properly suitable philosophical question. For fantasy is not a thing. It is, rather, the internalization of a loss -- and not a real loss, but rather a hypothetical one -- a melancholic loss. All loss -- of the mother, of love, even of life itself -- is not a real event, but rather only the negative effect of an imagined presence, which combined create desire, and then, reality itself. To put it more plainly, the oedipal drama is not the result of the actual loss of the mother, but rather of her hypothetical and melancholic loss -- the result, that is, of the child's imagining that he ever possessed the mother in the first place, giving rise to all of the desires that plague you poor humans.
What we see before us, then, as the real thing, is not, in fact, a thing. Reality is the result of a double-fantasy -- a fantasy first of having had something, and a fantasy second, of the loss of that something.
Freud (above), of course, never understood this, believing foolishly, as moderns did, far too much in the reality principle. Only dear Gerhard Richter (whose "Family at the Seaside" appears above-right) truly understood the double role of fantasy in the tenuous construction of reality and, indeed, in the human dilemma itself.
Of course cats don't care about reality -- only you humans do!