Since my appointment with a psychotherapist last week, I have been making strenuous efforts to get in touch with my inner glove compartment. To be honest, I didn’t even know I had one. The psychotherapist, however, was quite sure. Her view was that only by allowing my inner glove compartment free rein could I find happiness, or, if not happiness, at least a measure of contentment with my lot. When I objected that, not being a car owner, I did not actually have an outer glove compartment, she waved her hand dismissively and said our session was at an end.
The first step, I supposed, as I made my way home, was to visualise my inner glove compartment. I found this immensely difficult to do, not having an outer one to picture in my mind’s eye. I thought about various cars I had sat in as a passenger and tried to summon up their glove compartments, but to no avail. This led me to question the pertinence of the psychotherapist’s advice, but I had a whole week to get through before I saw her again, during which time I might suffer a complete mental collapse if I did not do as I was bid. Were I to dry myself in the air of crime, as Arthur Rimbaud once recommended, I could have stolen a car and claimed it as my own, and thus gained possession of a glove compartment. But I eschew criminality in all its forms, and I have never learned to drive, so that particular avenue was not open to me.
What I did, when I got home, was to sit down at my metal tapping machine and send messages to everyone I knew who owned a car, asking them to furnish me with details of its glove compartment. The replies came in over the next couple of days, and from the details afforded to me I built up a mental picture of a sort of Ur-glove compartment. I next tried to imagine this being lodged inside me, in my brain, or my stomach, or my soul. The psychotherapist had not been specific about its location.
I thought I was getting on quite well, and was certainly showing no signs of delirium or derangement or discontent. Then I happened to mention the business to a colleague, who suggested that it was perhaps the contents of the inner glove compartment, the stuff I had crammed into it, with which I needed to get in touch. This was a revelation which necessitated a further round of metal tapping machine messages. From the responses I received I was able to draw up a lengthy list of items. Granted, this was a list of the things my car-owning acquaintances kept in their actual glove compartments, rather than the contents of my own inner one, but it gave me something to work with. And work I did, my mental cogs whirring away, greased and thrumming.
I was incapable, however, of reaching any sensible conclusions. I had a pretty good idea of the general shape and capacity of my inner glove compartment, and had filled it with a higgledy-piggledy collection of gubbins drawn from a Dictionary Of Correspondences Between The Physical And Psychical Realms by Blötzmann. Thus, for example, a spare set of car keys in the real world corresponded to a spare set of so-called “spiritual transportation hypnovehicle keys” in the kingdom of the mind, and a discarded toffee apple wrapper signified a “discarded mental wrapping, a bit sticky, and decisively crumpled”. This was all very well, but what did it mean? It wasn’t my stuff after all, but the ethereal correspondents of my acquaintances’ stuff.
It dawned on me that in order to get in touch with my inner glove compartment I was going to have to have my own real, solid, physical glove compartment after all. Then I could shove various bitty-bobs into it, remove them, lay them out neatly on the kitchen table and check each one against its corresponding item in Blötzmann. I could not afford to buy a car, which in any case would be of no use to me, but perhaps I could pick up a secondhand glove compartment, salvaged from a pranged and crushed crashed machine. But where would I put it? Presumably a glove compartment would have to be inserted into a host of some kind to truly count as a glove compartment. Otherwise it might as well be an old shoebox or a carton. How much easier things would be if my psychotherapist had told me to get in touch with my inner shoebox!
The more I thought about my inner shoebox, the more it appealed to me. Indeed, I was quite convinced that I was already in touch with it, with an intensity my psychotherapist would surely approve of. I thus consigned my inner glove compartment to oblivion, and dallied with it no more. That is probably why, before my next appointment, I suffered a complete mental collapse and was carted off to a grim bleak institution perched on a wild and windswept hillside. From my window, I look out upon a major arterial thoroughfare, along which, in both directions, cars zoom by. Each one, I know, has its own glove compartment, crammed with stuff, stuff of which I can but dream.