THE DEATH OF HEINRICH


*'The Irish are the only people impervious to psychoanalysis.'

Sigmond Freud


This Christmas sees the death of Heinrich, a fantasy servant I summon when I need cheering up. Normally late at night, Herr Heinrich is called to the bedroom to do whatever he is told. He is based on someone I know and my demands are directly related to how much I want to punish him for being a bastard.


More often than not it’s to create some elaborate dish - Baked Alaska or a stew of unicorn meat, the perfect soufflé or a Mexican breakfast of eggs poached in tomatoes and chilli. When I feel particularly resentful I’ll call him in the dead of night to give me a pedicure and whisper affirmations in his German accent.





But today we are letting Heinrich go. Not because torturing our fantasy servant has not be pleasing but because he is to be replaced by Jason who will deliver a Fortnum and Mason hamper later. A clash of fact and fantasy which Sigmond may help you with.


It’s been a bumpy year. That is a euphemism for very low lows of which the real Heinrich was a significant contributor. There were others but he has been the most pleasurable to humiliate.


Then things started to change. Opportunities have started to present themselves. Some have been red herrings. A teaching position in a school, aid to a deaf boy to help him communicate. The symbolism is hardly subtle - life eh! Whenever I made the wrong choice I would fail once again, Heinrich would be summoned and he would be set a humiliating chore.


'When you've finished rubbing my feet you can nip to the kitchen and make me rubarb crumble - and yes I know it's not in season.'


The right choice would lead to a ladder not a snake and on we would go to the next stage in the game. So the year ends a million miles away from it’s start. Heinrich has been left behind rather than sent away. He is no longer required. I will not miss him.


Having been reared as an Irish catholic I know about forgive and forget . It is the basis of our creed. That was how I was reared but it's not me now. I don’t forgive you Heinrich and I won’t forget you either. We are letting you go because you have no value anymore. You can savour that feeling, I’ve had enough of it lately.


Am I bitter? I have been. It’s been tough but all that is redundant.


Jason arrives at one today. I’m excited. It’s going to be fun. No more cruelty. Back to being playful as it was always meant to be. I'll put a mint on his pillow.


* I know this is a misquote. Sigmond is welcome to sue me.

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