Stories

Virtual Coffee


by Andre


The idea that was in my thoughts this morning on the train was to send an SMS to my favourite colleague at her home where she was recovering from a hip operation. I was planning to send her a virtual coffee - a picture of a cup, because I used to drink coffee with her twice a week at the coffee corner. This was meant as a sign of support for her during her recovery period.


When I got to work, the coffee machine at the back of the office, where I can adjust the quantity of coffee I needed, didn’t deliver the ordered coffee. There were no more carton cups. In the kitchenette I picked up two plastic cups to get my coffee. When I reached the machine it was on « out of service » status, so I took the two plastic cups to the other machine near my desk.


As everything was all right, I got from this machine a coffee in the carton cup and put it on the table with the plastic cups, to take the needed SMS photo. There was a funny coincidence: the cups, one in cardboard, the others in plastic, appeared to me as a symbolism of twin-ness;


The survivor (i.e. the warm coffee in the carton cup); The vanishing twin (the empty cup in white plastic as an angel, gone and abstract).


My missing colleague could also be seen as the missing female twin I have had, for she had disappeared from our shared office. There has always been in me traces of this event, in a subtle and poetical manner but it’s now concrete. It is as if once again the world has symbolised to me, in an organised ballet of coincidences, the story of my twin. From a Sherlock Holmes point of view, some supplementary evidence was being added to the VTS file as extra information.


This was not the only fact of the day. The same morning a few hours before, a dream was in my head when I awoke. I could remember a part of it. For weeks my night pictures had been rare but suddenly parts of the dream were accessible. As a rescuer, I was dragging a woman, relatively small, light, just the same silhouette as an old female friend Lionelle. She didn’t weigh anything.


Her head was on my left side and I was holding her in my arms. On the pavement there was a pool where I had to walk with water up to the knees. I was on my way to a kind of large bus terminal, underground, huge as a cave. The name was named after a place of my childhood the name of a huge city pool. Only some images were still in my head, but there seemed to me something meaningful about the story of the woman in my night dreams. For some months, in my dreams, a woman was near me, as an unknown figure in my intimate presence, she had now a name and was in my arms, unconscious.


There was clearly this morning a meeting with a masculine and feminine element. They were first distant but now close; they had met coming in conjunction. The target place was symbolic by the name that designated a pool and the image of the cave. I was reading this in my imagination as the symbol of the mother earth and the womb space.


My twin part of me has been for a long time distant from my consciousness. Now I was invited to give her back to her destiny. I was dragging her in the place were we were living together in the past - the part of her in me. I was dragging her to the womb; me the survivor, to mourn her, to separate from her, back to my sole destiny.


Was this intense activity coming from my reading of D.W.Winnicott on the first day of the month when this process started? Were those night images reactivated by my second reading last Monday of the chapter V from his book? In any case I learned from him the concept, clearly, from one of his clinical patients who spoke of it during a session of his therapy, that there was dissociation in him between a male element and a feminine element. I was deeply impressed. A female element was talking to the psychoanalyst, and with no doubt the speaker was a man.


From this I was conscious that it could be also the same for me - that a feminine part in me was acting, speaking her own thoughts perhaps, some kind of a “female squatter”, in other words, was acting in me. She was searching for a psychic existence that she was unable to continue as her body was vanishing, so she surviving in me.


What I was going through was a memory work; quietly different from psychoanalysis and from the theory he was explaining in Chapter V. This was of another kind: some kind of a fairy tale or a fantasy - a therapeutic fantasy.


These happenings have given form once again to the VTS theory, and confirms for me my search of the last few months. I have been double-structured - my real part and my virtual part. The chapter from his book, Playing and Reality, brought to me a filter and interesting items to get out of this situation.


Images and coincidences had done the rest and had brought me a sense of more unity.