I sit staring out the windshield as the bus trundles down South Boul Mich, musing to myself that Dr. G. will be happy to mark one more week of mood stability. Back-to-back good progress reports feels so unusual and satisfying. I breathe deeply and let out a happy sigh.
Quiet One, my personality ego, sighs suddenly beside me.
I startle and whisper furiously. “Wha??? What are you doing here? You’re not supposed to be out in public!”
She turns an amused smile towards me. “You know I’m a figment of your imagination. Just think to me.”
Jodi, my id, pipes up in the seat behind me. “Try not moving your lips.”
Jada, my superego, beside her, murmurs. “I told you not to startle her.”
My Pomeranian Patty pops her head out of my capacious bag and grins. I don’t recall packing her.
The lady across the aisle throws me a curious glance. I clamp my mouth shut and think-whisper. “It’s just that you all never come out in public.. ”
Quiet One glances out the window at the passing greenery. “I wanted to talk to you.”
Jodi leans forward and whispers in my ear. “She’s coming out.”
I blink. This is total news to me. “WHAT?”
Quiet One turns and glares at her. “Didn’t you promise to not eavesdrop and zip it?”
Patty shakes her head.
Jodi slumps in her seat, arms akimbo.
Quiet One continues. “Judi, we need to talk about you and me – our relationship.”
I tense slightly. Did we have relationship problems? I don’t really know because my ego is an enigma to me. I can’t recall much of our past together and well – she’s so damn quiet. She resembles a younger, thinner, wiser, smarter version of the ideal me. Her image seems to brighten or flatten according to my mood like a lights on a dimmer switch. Apparently, today my mood is fabulous because Quiet One looks vibrant in a bright orange tropical sundress and Jackie O. sunglasses. I notice the other two wear sundresses as well, but not as loudly as Quiet One. I look down at my white capri pants and t-shirt. Apparently my personality trio is going places. Even Patty has a bright green wee scarf around her neck. Need to step up my game.
I clear my throat. “So, what do you want to talk about?”
She pauses briefly. “I want to tell you about me – who I am.”
I perk up. “Oh, I know who you are. You’re my “ego.”” After all, if the other two were id and superego, by process of elimination, what’s left.
Jodi pipes up again. “Judi’s sooo Freudian, isn’t she?”
Jada elbows her silent.
Quiet One sighs.
Quiet One demurs. “Nope. I’m not part of that Freudian psycho-sexual dynamic. I’m more than your sense of self – I’m something higher. I embody the sense there’s something more outside of yourself, bridge the gap between the isolation within and the greater focus without. I kept you going when during the worst, because somehow you knew things could get better – would get better. That was me. I embody your aspirations, passions, striving – I’m your higher self.”
She glances back at her compadres. “It doesn’t mean I’m better than you two, just that I’m another interpretation of a different aspect.”
Jodi nods. “Very Jungian, you know.”
Jada nods. “Exactly.”
Patty stares at Quiet, clearly impressed.
I stare too. All I can say is: “Wow.” My mind is a whirl. I can a thousand questions if only I can formulate them.
Quiet One continues. “So, since we’re getting to know each other again, I think I need a real name.”
Jodi practically bounces in her seat. “Oh, this will be fun! Well, we all have four lettered names and use all the vowels except “e” and “i” in the first syllable.”
Jada frowns. “What does that leave? “Jidi?” “Jedie.”
Jodi thinks. “Jedi?”
Quiet One objects. “Nothing resembling Jedi. Jodi will make Star Wars jokes the rest of my existence.”
Jodi turns a toothy grin to her.
We’re all silent as the bus slides past the lunching crowd on the steps of the Art Institute.
I interject. “Don’t like “Jill.”
The two throw out more. “”Jillie?””
Quiet One turns to me and smiles brightly. “Julie. My name is Julie. The closest thing to you Judi in more ways than one.”
The bus arrives at our stop.
Julie winks, rises and heads for the door. “Time to tell Dr. G.”