The Secret

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I am lying down on the couch with hands interlaced. I’ve been in silence for some minutes. Finally I say, “I have a profound solitude in my chest and I’m afraid of talking about it. It’s not because of the loneliness but for fear of losing my subjectivity. My words escape me, everything turning to black.”

I’m back in my childhood’s room. It’s the middle of the night I can hear the television downstairs, some black and white film my father must be watching. He’s a late sleeper and spends most of the evening in front of the screen. His presence in the living room comforts me, as though he could protect me from what happens inside of my head. The episodes are unexpected, I lose contact with reality, and I disconnect. Instants later it’s as though nothing has happened.

“I trust you,” I tell my analyst, fearful of my memories. “I have the sensation that all these years I’ve tried to hide my past, erase my memories, as though it was the best way to protect me. Now I am here and I have the same sensation I used to have with my father in the floor below. Is the floor below the unconscious?

She doesn’t answer. Instead, she says, “Was that your secret? Losing your words?” I don’t know, I think, but I don’t say a word back. “You must have been very afraid as a child.” Silence. “But now you are here.” I get up from the couch and take a few seconds to come to reality. I give her the money. She shakes my hand and I leave the office.

Short Story published InTransitions.