"The impression forces itself upon one that men measure by false standards, that everyone seeks power, success, riches for himself, and admires others who attain them, while undervaluing the truly precious things in life."
- Sigmund Freud
Freud was back to white hair and beard again. My eyes were in danger of getting whip-lash.
He sighed as if almost afraid of asking, "It is time to free associate the letter M ...."
Mark Twain cried,
"Please don't say 'Mother!'
The last time this Saw-Brains talked to me of 'Mother,' I almost washed out my ears with boiling pitch!"
Twain lit his cigar.
"My own mother had a great deal of trouble with me ... but I think she enjoyed it.
Why, I remember her telling a neighbor who was fearful for me to swim in the lake, 'A boy destined to hang has no need to fear the water'."
Freud groaned, "I have no desire to hear you free associate the letter M, Twain!"
To spare both Mark and Freud, I said, "I was going to say 'Money.' It is Tax Day after all."
"By popular custom at this time of year, millions of United States citizens
pause only long enough from biting pencil stubs and fingernails to curse this
Freud shrugged, "Money is but emotional currency."
Mark gruffed, "Tell that to the pilgrim that can't pay the rent ... or his taxes."
He ground out his cigar.
"I shall never use profanity except in discussing
house rent and taxes.
Indeed, upon second thought, I will not even use it
then, for it is unchristian, inelegant, and degrading--
though to speak truly
I do not see how house rent and taxes are going to be discussed worth a
cent without it."
"The lack of money surely aggravates the flaws of society. Who knows what enough money might make of a man?"
I quoted Ophelia from Hamlet. '"We know what we are but not what we may be.'"
"Roland, sometimes you make my brain hurt."
I quoted Emily Dickinson, "The brain is wider than the sky."
Freud studied me.
"We are so made, that we can only derive intense enjoyment from a contrast and only very little from a state of things."
Mark Twain said, "Suddenly, I am very afraid. I think I understood that."
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