In the Eye of the Lapsus by Natalie Wülfing 


This practicing analyst is still an analysand. So it figures that my subscription to the unconscious has not yet been cancelled.

A recent session in my analysis ended on me saying that I have the idea that I stay on the side of the S1, looking to S2 as if it is on the other side of a bridge that crosses a hole. My symptoms regard this subjective position, and they manifest in a difficulty with speaking, a speech impediment of sorts, that knots the unreliability of knowledge. In my session I said “I am always standing there before a hole, the one between S1 and S2”. Cut.

On my way home, which involves travelling on the Parisian metro and RER to the airport Charles de Gaulle, I lose my metro ticket during the journey on the train, on which I constantly check my coat pockets. I incessantly check the contents of my pockets, which probably led to the ticket falling out. At the barriers of the exit at CdG, I notice that I have no ticket and I have to use a new one, to get through the barriers. Now I am on the shuttle to Terminal 1 and begin to look for my plane ticket, which I find and place in my pocket to present at the entrance to the departure gates. I keep checking my pockets for this plane ticket, even after locating it and placing it there, and after several checks, this plane ticket is now lost too. I cannot find it anymore, it is not in my pockets and not in my hand bag.

Now I remember that I have the same plane ticket on my phone app, which I look for. I find it, but because I do not like the phone tickets because they are difficult to keep on the screen while the airport staff scan them, I go to the desk to ask for a printed ticket. They give me a new ticket. I present it at the escalator to the gates. Then, at the security check, the ticket is asked for again, and I look for it, and cannot find it. I look everywhere and it is gone. But, I remember I still have the phone ticket. I bring this ticket up on the phone and give it to the security staff person. He has to scan it, and he tries, but it does not work. An error comes up each time. I have for some time now not stopped laughing. I have never been so completely taken up in a lapsus. I am in the eye of the bungled act, the Fehlhandlung, I am the blunder itself.

So I look again for this paper plane ticket that I had been given just 10 minutes ago, and already lost again. It must still be somewhere. And I find it amongst papers in my hand bag. Saved. So I hand it to the man and it works. I am holding my ticket and I am in the departure gate. Now I check my phone to see if I can find out why the phone ticket did not work. I bring it up and I see it is an old ticket, one from a month ago. It is the same ticket I had shown to the lady at the airline desk where I had asked for a new paper ticket. She had not looked at it as she only wanted to see my passport to look for the booking.

I give up, I am laughing, I am defeated, utterly devoid of any support, of any reliable access to the other side of knowledge, I am flailing, having fallen into the hole I had evoked in my analysis, and which I had desperately tried to paper over, in my attempt to hold on to the (paper) contents of my pockets.