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The International Writers Magazine: Life of the Party - From Our Archives

Freud in the Fridge - Part One
Guy Edwards

It was the morning after the house warming party in my new flat that I found a book on the interpretation of dreams by Sigmund Freud on a shelf in the fridge. That was the same party that I met the Marxist chemist, wearing an oversized dark blue beret, who had argued convincingly that Marx had stolen his ideas on communism from organic chemistry.

It seemed to be such an amazing original idea that I promised to explore the idea further and perhaps to co-write something along those lines with him. The chemist’s name was Ethan Solidago, which was a pretty weird sort of name but nevertheless seemed to suit his appearance of a hardened South American revolutionary.

He said that he preferred to be called by his nickname which was Soli. Later during the night I caught sight of Soli through in the crowded living room and he sure had a strange way of dancing - it was like he was being electrocuted by 10,000 volts; his arms and legs moving jerky and fast all over the place. At one point I saw that he was surrounded by amazed onlookers but that didn’t seem to have bothered him one bit and he carried on dancing, regardless.
I bumped into Soli in the kitchen as well and saw that he was mixing his drinks into a foul looking cocktail that he called a Screaming Sinatra, that I ‘m sure gave off the faintest whiff of lavender furniture polish. He asked me if I wanted to try one but I declined the offer, saying that I was a confirmed beer drinker anyway.

The Sloop sisters; Jean and Urma, had brought over their record collection for the party and insisted playing everything at full volume – except that is, anything slow by Otis Reading or Percy Sledge when they had turned the volume down a little to suit the slow and smoochy paired-up dancing. Unfortunately one of my new neighbours turned out to be a retired inspector of police and the party was busted around 1.30 a.m., by four of the meanest coppers I’ve ever seen. They had barged their way in through the half open front door as ‘Fire’ by crazy Arthur Brown, was being played for what have been the fiftieth time and advised me in no uncertain terms to turn the music down or spend the remainder of the night in a police cell.

As it didn’t really seem much of a choice, I began clearing everybody out of the flat. It wasn’t as difficult as you might think as it seemed once the music stopped and the lights went on the party died a near instant death anyway. In any case, I didn’t want to spend a night in a police cell as I had heard that they are usually as cold and as disgusting as the prisoners’ breakfasts from police canteens.

Urma Sloop offered to stay behind for a while to help me tidy up the worst of the party mess, although it was way after 3 am before I eventually got into bed. The party, I suppose, had been partially successful as before the raid it had really started to swing. I had made a couple of new friends – the freaky chemist guy with the beret and a girl who looked a bit like Joan Baez who had introduced herself as friend of someone called Freddie who owned a Boutique in the High Street.

I had managed to get a couple of dances with the Baez look-alike during the night, although I think she had someone else on her mind as she kept her eyes closed the whole of the time and insisted on holding onto my right hand, keeping it above her waist. Before she left though, she passed me her phone number on a crumpled bank note written in smudged red lipstick and asked me to ring her in the week if I wanted to spend it with her. For the sake of good relations I thought that I would have to apologise to the ex-policeman, but I didn’t get the chance for another month when I bumped into him in the hallway.

The book on interpreting dreams in the fridge was a real mystery to me. I couldn’t decide if it had been a deliberate thing to place it neatly on top of a half eaten sandwich or if someone had actually left it in there by mistake. I knew that Freud had said that there was no such things as accidents – therefore, I thought, some weirdo at the party, probably someone like that Freddie from the Boutique, had put it there to make a subliminal statement about their repressed sexuality or some other neurotic complex that Boutique owners might develop.

Any symbolic significance about the book in the fridge was lost amongst the Vodka fuelled steam hammers that were trying to breakout through the inside of my skull and I was badly in need of a couple of aspirin and a long hot bath before even thinking about attempting to clear up the rest of the party things.

I still had the bitter after taste of the aspirin dregs in my mouth as I climbed into the bath. Usually I used the privacy of a long hot bath to think deeply about things – like the way my life was heading off in a direction all of its own just now or why the Sloop sisters insisted on looking after me as though I was their kid brother. I was twenty four and a half years old, had a degree in the history of art from a good red brick university, was fluent in German and had parents who believed that my years spent studying had been a total waste of time. Moving away and getting a place of my own had been the first important step of my big life plan to gain some independence, for as long as I could remember there was always someone in authority telling me what to do in some form or another and I had just about had enough of it.

I had picked up the book on dreams from on top of the fridge and took it with me into the bathroom to read. After getting into the bath I sank back under the hot soothing water and started to flick through index at the back of the book to see if I might find an explanation for the dream I had had where I was falling over the edge of a steep gothic roof. To my complete surprise I came across a section in the book entitled ‘The Chemist’s Dream’. It was about a chemist patient of Freud who was regularly experiencing a dream where he would be incorrectly mixing chemicals into reagent that was, according to Freud, masking his addiction to masturbation.

I was now absolutely convinced that the Soli bloke must have been responsible for putting the book in the fridge. I had easily came to this conclusion, as for a start off,he was a chemist and also with his strange appearance and wild dancing style he most probably had the same addiction as Freud’s chemist patient, as girls could not get anywhere near him once he got going. Why he could possibly have wanted to put it my fridge I couldn’t even begin to guess at.

The following Thursday I plucked up the courage to call the number on the bank note. A man answered which made it really awkward for me as I didn’t even know the girls name. I explained to him that I had met a girl who looked like Joan Baez at my house warming party last week and that she had given me this number. ‘Oh’, he said, ‘you mean Diane – sorry she’s out at the moment. Want to leave her a message?’ I mumbled that I would call her back sometime over the weekend and rang off. Something though had bothered me about the call. It was the voice of the man, I was sure that I recognised it from somewhere. It came to me the next day… it was the voice of Soli.

© Guy Edwardes
October 2008
pevsner3 at

Shades of Psychedelia
Guy Edwards

It is often said that if you can remember the 1960’s you probably weren’t there. This I suppose means that for some, the whole or part of the decade was lost in a blur of drugs, promiscuity, pop music and peace demonstrations.

Freud in the Fridge
Guy Edwards living in the 60's

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