Hello! Let me explain a few things first, so that you'll understand this one-shot and how it came to be. One day, my friend and fellow writer (kriitikko on this site aka Otto) and I were joking about how it would be like if Freud got the chance to analyse someone like Erik, the Phantom. I think Freud would be thrilled! I don't think Otto actually believed me when I said that I would really write this parody, but here it is!
So, this is basically a humorous (hopefully) attempt at how it would be like if the Phantom had a therapy session with Dr. Freud. It involves Leroux's characters, with elements of Kay. Let me tell you at this point that Kay's book was really fantastic to read, but what I did not like (only one thing) is included in this parody. Also, this is a bit of parody of Dr. Freud himself. The truth is, he was a great pcychologist, but some of his ideas can be used in a joke. For example, to simplify, Freud saw sex in everything. (I dreamt about sharks one day and, according to Freud's dream analysis, I'm afraid of genitals. LOOOOL!) To give you an idea.
WARNING: I mention sex and sex-related words and activities. You are warned, so if you think this may offends you, do not read this. It's nothing serious, but I still like to warn you in advance.
DISCLAIMER: I'm not Leroux, Kay or Freud.
ENJOY! Thank you, Otto, for inspiring me with this idea without even knowing how it would affect me!;)
The Phantom and Dr. Freud
Christine Daaé was awarded after her great performance as Faust's enchanting Marguerite with a peculiar gift – peculiar to an outsider, but it was the most splendid of gifts to this dear, young ingénue with the voice of an angel. The fact was that her Angel of Music introduced himself to her! Christine was in heaven at first, but soon she realized that her Angel of Music was, in fact, no angel (possibly with wings and a halo, dressed in white, glittering robes) or a spirit of sorts (perhaps still, possibly, with wings and a halo, for such was her imagination); her "Angel of Music" was a man, just as she was a woman – therefore, a human being, without wings or any other special powers that pertain to creatures such as angels are.
Needless to say, Christine was infuriated by this grave deception. She chastised the man, she told him, in her anger, that she saw nothing angelic about him, although his voice was beautiful. She recognized him as, I quote, "a creature that is malicious, volatile, dangerous and somewhat bitter, yet also brilliant and pitiful." Erik liked her praise of him. (He took it as praise. At least, the last part could be described as praise.) She was shocked when he told her that he was the Phantom of the Opera, but to friends he was simply Erik (and he did not exactly have friends galore, so he truly wished to be called Erik for a change, other than the Opera Ghost and such, although he liked that special attention). He had only one request: that she stay with him for five days and practice music with him, for he loved her ever so dearly and he told her such a pretty, romantic speech that her innocent heart melted and she said she would stay, but only for five days, mind you. During that time, they mostly sang. Things were going quite well for them while he played Othello on his majestic pipe organ and she sang the wonderful arias, but there was one problem: Erik did not venture out much and that showed in several ways that made Christine feel either embarrassed, awkward or frightened.
For example, Christine always ate her meals alone while Erik sat on the other side of the table, observing her with his eyes through the round slits of his peculiar mask. Why did he wear a mask, and why did he observe her so intently? At such moments, Christine felt all of the above stated emotions. One day, he wanted to show her his bedroom. She blushed, and he did too, under his mask. He surely did not mean to show her his bedroom for that purpose! How embarrassing…Still, he showed the room to her, which he really should not have done, for the bedroom turned out to look like a death chamber. Instead of a bed, there was a coffin. Christine was all a-tremble. They both felt so awkward after this event that not even the beautiful music from Faust could erase the unpleasant feelings from their souls. Erik thought to himself, You fool! Not a way to court my angel… Christine's thoughts were just as simple and direct, but had a slightly different tone to them. What a weird, morbid and unhealthy man! What have I gotten myself into? To sleep in a coffin! Does he imagine himself to be a vampire? Oh my! I need to ask him if I could see his canines…In fact, I do not wish to know! He needs therapy, that much is certain.
However, the more Christine looked at Erik, the more she began to fear that he might, indeed, be a vampire, in which case she was in grave, grave danger. She had evidence: Erik lived below ground in a cave, he wore a cape that billowed like a bat's wings, he wore a mask to hide his true identity, and most importantly, he slept in a coffin in a room that looked like a tomb. On the last day of her staying under his roof, or rather, in his home, for the house did not really have a roof, Christine could not take the suspense anymore. She was certain that he was hiding his vampire face and canines under the mask, so she, out of curiosity and despair, pulled the mask from his face when he was enraptured by the music he was playing and he least expected her gesture. She knew immediately that he was not a vampire, for during his screams she had the chance to observe his canines, but oh dear, he was hideous and he was truly violent towards her. He made her touch his deformed face and he spoke strange, dreadful things to her, towering above her shivering form like a winged beast. (Still not an angel, though.) He threatened Christine that she would have to stay with him forever and ever, for none who saw his face could leave his presence alive. As he could never kill his beautiful, beloved angel, she would have to stay with him and be his living bride.
Contrary to general belief, Christine was aghast and shocked, but not scared to death and hysterical. She pushed Erik from herself, trying to avoid his burning yellow eyes and distorted face (she did care a great deal about aesthetics, so you may still believe her to be a trifle vain), and she demanded sternly,
"Erik, if we are to spend the rest of our lives together, you must see a therapist! Or else, you shall never see me again. Do you wish to marry me or not?"
Erik was taken aback. Firstly, because she actually considered living with him (when in truth, his words were an empty threat coming from a very angry and very desperate man). Secondly, because no one had ever demanded anything from him, especially not something like this. As he remained silent in his shock, Christine continued, "I heard Raoul say," oh yes, she dared say this accursed name in front of Erik, making the man search for his Punjab lasso with his eyes, "that the noted Dr. Sigmund Freud is in Paris. He is a superb therapist, very intellectual and intelligent, and he may help you. For the truth is, Erik, you need professional psychological help."
Erik was insulted. "And why, pray, should you believe this?" he asked grimly, his hands akimbo, his voice betraying the emotions of his insulted pride. He snatched the mask from Christine's hands with a guilty gesture, covered his face with it and proceeded to glare at his guest, or better said, Erik mused, his future wife.
Christine enumerated a number of very substantial reasons to him, for example, his sleeping in a coffin, his having killed Buquet (and many other people), his extortion of the managers of the opera house, his pretending to be a disembodied voice of an angel, and much, much more, and in the end, Erik agreed to see "this self-righteous nincompoop by the name of Sigmund Freud". He only obliged Christine in this masquerade because he loved her, and because she promised to be his living bride after his meeting with Dr. Freud. And thus, Erik's therapeutic adventure began...
Dr. Freud extinguished his cigar when the visitor he had been expecting entered the hotel room he had been staying in this past fortnight. He agreed to see the man in question, for the woman who visited him a few days prior to this meeting, by the name of mademoiselle Christine Daaé, more than convinced him to see the curious person by the name of Erik. Now, as Erik entered the hotel room after a brisk, but firm knock, Dr. Freud found himself in awe of the man's enigmatic and powerful presence, including the glowing emotion in the man's curiously yellow eyes, and that led the doctor to extinguish his cigar. He knew then that he would not be bored.
"Good afternoon, monsieur Erik...?" Dr. Freud began kindly. He offered a seat to Erik at the only table in the room, across from where he was sitting. The object of scrutiny and analysis obeyed.
"Just Erik, if you please," the object of scrutiny spoke calmly, yet with a small amount of annoyance and distrust, and dr. Freud frowned.
"Monsieur, if you do not mind, I would like to know your last name," Dr. Freud requested kindly.
Erik sighed. "I suppose that since this is therapy and I only wish to oblige my Christine, I shall be honest with you. But mind you, monsieur, should you disclose any of our conversation to any living soul, I shall be forced to introduce you to my dear friend, the Punjab lasso."
Dr. Freud gulped, but he did not show his fear to his visitor. In fact, his curiosity was stronger than fear. He took his notebook into his hands, turning the white pages away from Erik, and wrote down with a pencil, Prone to threats, including murder. Probably likes to be in charge. I wonder if he always demands to be on top during intercourse.
"Go on," he prompted his patient (for he began to consider Erik as his patient now) and Erik continued.
"My father died before I was born. My mother hated my ugly face," he stated simply, "and she gave me many a torment about it. She could not name a beast, so I named myself, with the name of Erik, which means strength. I do not have a last name because I have not found one yet that would suit my unique character."
Again, Dr. Freud jotted down his observations. Arrogant. Deformed. Rejected by his mother. Possibly very self-conscious. Mommy issues? Definitely craves attention, wants to prove himself – through dubious acts, mostly of violence.
"Pray," Erik demanded angrily, "what are you writing behind my back?"
Dr. Freud smiled. "Just notes, do not worry. It is quite normal at therapies." Quickly, Dr. Freud wrote down, Control freak.
"Tell me, Erik, do you like violence?" the doctor asked calmly.
Erik shifted in his chair, pondering on the answer he would give. "No. I like the art of murder. I had the chance to learn and explore this exotic art while I was in Persia. I entertained the Shah," Erik added proudly, grinning behind the mask.
Dr. Freud's hand trembled a bit as he wrote down, Psychopath? As he lives in the catacombs of the opera house, isolated, has he also developed a sociopathic tendency? Certainly so. I do not really think he is a vampire. Hm...
"And what is it that attracts you to the art of murder? Why do you consider it an art?"
Erik looked at the doctor matter-of-factly. "Because it is an art. At least, it is considered as such in the East. You see, one can only entertain the cruel, demanding Shah with intelligence. For him, I was more than a mere assassin. I was a genius of murder, a magician and a great illusionist. I still am," Erik finished, appearing quite smug.
A hundred years later, Dr. Freud would have been allowed to use the expression Okaaaaay. As back then, his vocabulary was limited in this respect, he ventured for a polite Oh, expressing his great concern, but also a certain amount of interest. Upon his word, he had never had the chance to speak to such an intriguing object of analysis as Erik was! However, Dr. Freud decided that it was for the best that he left the subject of the art of murder aside. He concluded that, in the case of illegal acts, Erik was a psychotic nutter and one did not tease such specimens of humanity, did one? In any event, it was not what made Dr. Freud interested in his patient, anyway. As if Erik was the only psychotic nutter that lived!
"Interesting," the doctor spoke. "What is your occupation?"
Erik began to innumerate his skills. "Composer, singer (bass, tenor, alto, soprano and castrato!), pianist, organist, violinist, voice teacher. I have been learning to play the harp, and the harpsichord, and the cello, and the viola. Oh," he chuckled. "I should have simply said that I am musical genius!" He smiled and continued, "Architect, master mason, illusionist, magician, painter, sculptor..." Dr. Freud rolled his eyes as the list would go on and on. Then, the doctor wrote down his observation. It was quite short and, honestly, not quite worthy of his profession, if one may be critical. The observation said, Pompous arse.
"Quite impressive, Erik. You must earn a lot of money," the doctor commented.
"20,000 francs a month."
"And where do you leave?"
Erik smiled. "In a house in the catacombs of the Opera Garnier. I built the underground abode myself, including the intricate maze of tunnels and a torture chamber similar to the one I built in Persia. I also have my very own lake!"
"Hm." Dr. Freud jotted down the following. Crazy – despite the fortune he possesses (although illegally acquired) and the skills he claims to have (he could build himself a normal house, or purchase one), he lives in a cave. A cave! An obvious case of failure to launch.
"Tell me, Erik, why do you love Christine?"
At the mention of Christine, Erik's lips spread into a wide smile behind the confines of his mask. "Erik cannot tell you why precisely. A heart cannot choose whom it will love. The simple thing is that Erik loves her with all his being. And if she can love him back, Erik will finally belong somewhere. My living bride!" Saying that, he sighed dreamily.
"Hmpf," Dr. Freud commented and jotted down, Speaks in third person - peculiar. Worth considering. He caressed his chin for a moment, then added, Weird as hell. Also, the living bride issue makes me think Erik may think of himself as a corpse. Or is Christine correct and he secretly wants to be Dracula? Note: might crave sex appeal. The blood drive is already there, anyway.
Dr. Freud continued with his questions. "Can Christine give you what your mother could not? Affection, acceptance, approval?"
Erik looked at the doctor sternly and spoke very slowly, menacingly slowly. "I beg your pardon?"
The doctor was unperturbed by the tone of Erik's voice. "This may be painful to you, but it is quite necessary. Describe the physical appearance of your mother to me."
Erik jarred his teeth. He did not want to remember that bi...That is, his mother. However, he knew that his beloved Christine was waiting outside the door of the hotel room, so he obliged the doctor. "Let me think. Brown, long, curly hair. Brown eyes. Pale. She had an inclination for art. What else? Why, this is it. 'Tis all I remember."
Dr. Freud nodded. "Yes, yes, quite so. Think, Erik, Christine has brown, long, curly hair, pale cheeks, brown eyes, and is an artist, as she is an opera singer."
Now, Erik was positively livid. His body was shaking and he was truly tempted to reach for the Punjab lasso somewhere beneath his cape. "Your point being?"
"You search for your mother in Christine. Typical Oedipus complex! You might want to keep this in mind and work on it. We'll tackle this at our next therapy session, today I am simply getting to know you." At that, Dr. Freud smiled sweetly. Without giving Erik a time to take a deep breath and pull out the desired Punjab lasso, he shot the next question.
"Do you have sexual issues, Erik?"
"What?!" Erik boomed.
"You know," Dr. Freud continued calmly. "Do you copulate or wish to copulate, or is it that you cannot imagine yourself in this position? Do you masturbate or does this not appeal to you? Do you dream about sex? Do you like the idea of sex, or refuse it?"
"What?!" Erik boomed, this time standing up, hyperventilating. His left hand was already reaching for the Punjab lasso in slow motion. His vision was blurry and all the objects in the room, including the person of Dr. Freud, were surrounded by the colour red. In short, Erik was positively and absolutely livid and someone was going to get huuuurt and it was not the annoying chirping bird on the windowsill!
"I see," Dr. Freud replied, unafraid, and jotted down. Apart from mommy issues, has also sex issues. Sex issues were doctor's favourite topic. The doctor saw that Erik was confused by the lack of fear in Sigmund's eyes and did not pull out the lasso. Instead, Erik wavered. In his mind, Dr. Freud smiled. Haha, he thought to himself, I can beat them with my skills any day! Sweet!
Erik was shaking with rage and shock. "Firstly," he exclaimed, "I do not see my mother in Christine! Who would think that?!" (Erik did not know about Ms Kay.) "Secondly, I want to have sex and I will, with my wife!"
Realising what he had just confessed to (an almost out-of-character confession, but not quite, as Erik is only a man), Erik slumped back into his chair and was grateful that the mask could cover the carmine hue of deep, deep, deep embarrassment. "I am still a gentleman," he whispered lamely. "But!" he pointed out, shoving embarrassment aside, "if you ever again even so much as suggest that I have the Oedipus complex or whatever it is that you accused me of, I'll cut you alive and serve your cooked remains to my cat!"
"Whatever you say," Dr. Freud replied, writing down, Definitely a nutter in denial. Who could supplant my great theories? As if that could ever happen! Had Freud lived in the 21st century, he would have added a LOL to his comment, or perhaps the sign ;).
"Shall we continue?" Dr. Freud asked.
Erik eyed him in a hostile manner. "I am still recovering from the last shock. What else do you have in store for me, strange, old, perverse man?"
"My next question was going to be, why do you extort the managers?"
Erik sighed dramatically. "I do not extort them, I...advise them. You see, the fools have an abominable taste for music, I fear, and my opera house cannot be humiliated publicly by the bad decisions made by these two incompetent ninnies."
"Your opera house? But you did not buy it."
"Details..." Erik glared at the doctor.
"I'm sorry, Erik, but it's not your opera house."
"It IS!" Seething.
"It's NOT!" Seething.
The altercation proceed in a strange manner. The two ended up on the floor, rolling over each other, pinching and hitting, even slapping each other. Erik pulled the Punjab lasso from his cape, rolling on top of the doctor and adjusting the noose, but the doctor was prepared for Erik's tricks, as Christine reminded him of them the evening before. He presented polished scissors from his vest pocket and, with three swift moves, cut the Punjab lasso in three parts.
"Argh!" Erik roared. "Do you know how hard it is to get a Punjab lasso of such good quality? You just made the deaths of three cats useless!"
"What?!" the doctor roared back, punching Erik in the stomach and rolling on top him.
With wicked pleasure, Erik replied. "The lasso was made from the intestines of three cats!"
"You sick, sick man!" Dr. Freud replied and the next minute, he was flying through the air and ended up with his behind hard on the ground, yelping in pain, while Erik chuckled in glee.
"I will hypnotize you and make you confess dirty things!" Dr. Freud threatened. "I have made grown make confess they still wet their beds!"
Erik smirked triumphantly. "I can hypnotize you with the beauty of my voice. Also, I can make your ears bleed with such high sounds no human can produce but me. I'm a musical genius, can you beat that?" Erik asked smugly. It added a new point of view to his character.
"What is the meaning of this?" a feminine voice spoke in horror and the two men recognized Christine standing in the doorway of the hotel room. "Have you two become insane?"
"Mademoiselle Daaé," the doctor spoke, "I quit! Marry the nutcase if you will, but get him from my site! Musical genius, he says? I say, 'tis more likely he's genially talented to annoy and be psychotic!"
"I will remove myself from your sight with pleasure, Dr. Perverse Clown! Ha!" Erik spat back and stormed out of the room, taking Christine by the hand furiously. As the door of the room shut closed, the doctor stuck out his tongue after Erik and Christine, then he proceeded to massage his smarting behind.
Some years later, he wrote a book The Characteristics of a Clownish, Childish Psychopath, but it never got published. His dog ate the manuscript. Literally. 'Tis no joke, I assure you.
A few hours after the unfortunate incident in the hotel room, Erik and Christine were having dinner at his home. The next day, she would return to her room in the opera house and they had agreed to have dinner together before she left. However, it was not a pleasant meal. Erik was still fuming.
"Erik, are you still angry with me?" Christine asked carefully.
"Yes," Erik replied childishly, pouting behind his mask.
"Do you still want me to be your living bride?" she asked.
"Yes," Erik replied, still pouting.
"Would you like to kiss a bit in my bedroom?"
"Yes," Erik replied, still pouting. As Christine smiled widely, offering her hands to him, his heart melted, and so did his anger. He stood up and lifted Christine in his arms. (Quite out of character.) Then, suddenly, out of nowhere, Dr. Freud's annoying voice echoed in Erik's head.
Christine is your mommy! The voice sang cheerfully. How do you like your mommy?
Erik's loud scream spread through his home and the next thing Christine knew was that she fell on the ground of Erik's home and of reality, her behind throbbing in pain.
"Erik!" she called after him, but all she heard was, "Get the hell out of my home! I don't want to see you, ever again!"
It was the last time Christine heard or saw Erik. The last thing she saw of him were his feet running away from her with lightning speed. She sighed sadly and returned to her room.
When she next spoke to Raoul de Chagny, she said, "If I live to be one hundred, I should always hear that superhuman cry of grief and rage which he uttered before he left me. He did not even say why! I thought his love for me was eternal." Sob. One can only suppose that even eternal love has its limits.
In her grief, she turned to Raoul and that is how Raoul got the girl of his dreams. The moral of the story is, one may suppose, that the third party, quite innocently, always wins.
The end! Please, REVIEW!