Waking Finnegan

“We are such stuff as dreams are made of, and our whole life is rounded with a sleep” ~ Shakespeare

My Photo
Location: zurich, Switzerland

Saturday, December 25, 2004

December 25, 2004

In the shower, curtain is made out of dense cloth like movie drapes but somehow I can see through it faintly. I can hear someone is in the bathroom and I realize it's not Cécile but somebody else because I can see a tiny edge of mirror reflecting--him. I'm not sure if he's seen me and with my hand behind slowly try turning the shower off and but I turn it the wrong way and it gets scalding hot but somehow the water doesn't--then it comes with a rush and I scream out and grab the curtains and it all unhooks in a heap and I'm tangled and can't get up and so crawl under to hide and think oh shit he can stab me through this curtain but nothing so I try finding an opening and can't...get...out. I feel the cold tiles with my feet but everything is wet and I try standing and keep slipping and falling down with the bunched bolt of curtain. Then the man's hand grabs my arm forcefully and I'm petrified because of his strength and then I'm being picked up and it's fucking hot in the bathroom--too much steam and I can't breathe "Please let me out I can't breathe I'm suffocating!" I seem to be 20 feet in the air now. No roof on the bathroom it seems and then I realize I'm up against the inside of a domed skylight all scrunched with the curtain my neck is stiff and...there's a latch and I flick it and the dome pops up and I climb out on the roof of my old house on Griffith Park Blvd. I can see old Chuey next door clipping the bordering hedge. He's playing some ethereally beautiful old Mexican song on his record player. He gestures with his hand cupped over his ear to listen---I'm under the blanket--the guitar and singing make me so deeply sad that I can't keep from crying, and it gets deeper and more achingly beautiful. I don't know the song. I'm trying to remember but I can't.

Friday, December 24, 2004

December 24, 2004

I'm looking at a younger Leontine Price in close-up but no TV this is real I can see her pores and she's sweating and crying but doesn't seem at all unhappy no it's after some performance and she's being interviewed. But she isn't Leontine Price now because she looks so much like Oprah Winfrey; now she is Oprah and interviewing GW Bush. Bush is much much younger, almost looks like a teenager and she's asking him inane questions about his new diet and exercise plan and he's cackling and I'm in the audience and scream 'Ask him about his relationship with Michael Jackson and all those children!'. The crowd boos me and Oprah never stops talking. Bush tells her he can 'do the old soft shoe just like Bo Jangles' and a big drop down stairway appears Academy Awards-like and he starts tap dancing all up and down and singing in a Sammy Davis Jr. voice.

I'm trying to teach a student how to read the code inside Blogger, but when I switch to Edit HTML there's all this gibberish code and I'm wondering, 'What the hell?' and then realize the interface is not Blogger but Bonger. There are wonderful elfin sprite-like creatures that dance across the header window, and they are amazingly realistic and subtle. I say: 'Wow, look at that!' and one of the characters turns to me and says: 'Be careful what you say here'.
And now I'm wondering if this is a government sponsored marshall law clamp-down of the Net and these are its pretty police. I ask my student if he's ever seen these and he laughs and says 'of course', and I try typing 'Anti-Bush' into the Google search window and a drop down tells me We're sorry, but this information cannot be queried'. I try typing in other sites but the keyboard is all wrong. The keys don't feel properly attached to the board and the space bar is black with a column of tiny white code printed out across the bottom.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

December 23, 2004

Floating at sea on a rubber raft. Massive swells heaving upwards while I'm listening intently for the origins of an laboratory-like gurgling hiss. Flying fish in great numbers all gliding past me--some right next to my ears--like humming birds or bees. I see Catalina Island and behind it Anacapa and Santa Cruz all three lined up in diminishing perspective; Santa Cruz being the farthest away--but now I'm not quite sure. Is that actually Anacapa, or have I gotten my geography skewed? No glasses. I can't make it out.

Some of the fish are now flopping around on what appears to be a large dense oil slick. They aren't sinking. I reach down to touch it and it feels almost like some kind of slippery skin. I look closer and realize it's the back of an enormous creature...a whale. A blue? I press my finger to test it, harder now and...nothing. I step out of the life raft and walk around. Fees like a large sheet of black nacreous polyeurathane plastic. It's got strange patches of hairy-ended crustaceous like matter--maybe barnacles--protruding in sections and then I see where the gurgling sound had originated. Stepping gingerly on a small hemorrhoidal section, it gives off an a disconcertingly loud pop, like bubble pack, and then that same strange liquid gargle. I'm thinking, is that how death sounds in the throat?

Coming closer to Catalina. There are sailboats but still too far off to hear me. I hear a roar and off in the distance and coming toward me is a point-breaker from what seems to be San Pedro. How can that be? There seems to be a whole party of surfers on it and it keeps coming and swelling until finally it arrives and I'm on it and there are literally hundreds of middle-aged men and women sporting wet suits with Superman logo appliques. I see Jack LaLane and his wife gesturing on a tandem board--she out front hanging ten. It appears to be some sort of Busby Berkley routine and everyone is whoo-whooing and shining fake chompers--totally hideous and frightening--we are moving faster than I can stomach--roller-coaster dipping and Avalon Bay is fast approaching now. The wave is forming a massive tube and we're under it. No sound now. Jack says is a calm voice 'This is what age brings when you're fit'. I can't keep my raft from tottering and I fall off and there are fish bumping my feet and my skin is crawing from it and I wanna scream.

Catalina Island. There's a fantastic roller coaster, gleaming white painted wood classic type with one major drop hump and what seems to be hundreds of lesser ones. Curves everywhere and I see that there's a section that just dead ends unfinished at the base. Jack LaLane explains that this is the last of the great ones and that one must ride it to reach 'perfection'. I do not want to get on. I try explaining that I've smoked too many cigarettes in my life and that it would surely show up now. He tells me I've got credits accumulated from having endured grammar school asbestos.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

December 22, 2004

Barbara Schnuriger runs out onto the sidewalk from inside an old clap-board house. The Victorian porch railing looks far too ornate to get along with the house's drab Presbyterian frown. I ask her what she's doing in San Francisco and she looks embarrassed about the question. She says she'd done something very bad and had to leave. I asked if she'd done something at the borse where she worked in Zuerich. She tells me, "No no no, it really doesn't matter Georgy boy, does it?"She takes my hand and says we've got to see the Wizard of Oz, and yanks me along the sidewalk forcefully. She twists my arm and I hear something in my elbow snap. But I feel nothing. She keeps yanking and I yell for her to let go but she won't. She sings with a very Swiss accent, "We're off to see the Wizard!"I want so badly to see the Tin Man--to hear his song about needing a heart. I know his story so well and I love him!" My arm is completely turned around now. She's skipping around on a lawn hillock with many other neigborhood clapboards--somewhat like Manchester row houses now, smaller and more wan-looking than before. I realize my arm has no feeling in it. It's prosthetic. I feel relieved it's not the horribly fake-looking putty-colored hardened synthetic type. This is strangely soft and realistic. Even my arm hairs are doing an excellent mime. I feel around the elbow joint where Barbara had cranked it, and notice a series of tiny embossed numbers. Below this series it says, "Call 511 in case of emergency". As I'm fumbling with the arm to get it back into place, I hear a clicking sound, like someone trying out a receiver. I hear voices, faintly. A party line. One of the women sounds very old and has a a gurgling phlegm cigarette hack. She says to the other woman "Do you hear that? I can hear the sound of OZ". I speak into the "phone" and bellow "I...AM...OZZZZ!". I look over to see if Barbara is laughing but she's gone. Two women are sitting in rocking chairs looking my way. One has a cigarette hanging out of her mouth and it's bobbing as she leans over saying something to the other one who's staring at me. But her eyes, they're too dark. Are they sockets? Oh my God. I look away and start running. The hacking one yells to me in a raspy Texas twang, "You'd better run mighty fast boy". I can hear them both cackling and begin looking desperately for Barbara.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

December 21, 2004

At some sort of high tech forum--Vegas-like atmosphere laden with geeky types in thick glasses and pasty unattractive looks. Hostesses in tutus and fish-nets serving piña coladas and caipirinas. Strange-looking matrons overly bronzed and looking like walking preserves--like bog people--and walking around with overly in-bred dogs.

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are sitting on either side of me and both have horrible breath--or what seemed to be--but it's not. One of them's farted since everyone sitting round our 'blackjack?' table are collectively holding their noses. The two are talking some mile-a-second patter about customer support, and Bill Gates mentions that he's here to prove he's 'one of the people' by going around giving hands-on help to newbies. Jobs is red in the face and Gates he's repulsed by him--that he's a slime-bag. Gates talks right over him. I need to breathe and so get up and walk out into the tent-like space.

A humungous chandellier is hanging from what now appears to be a tee-pee, since there's a terminus at the apex which opens up to the sky. I focus on the posts and realize they are whole tree trunks--massive--look to be redwood or cedar. The chandellier has a bar swing attached to its base where little teddy bears are lined up and seemingly animated like Pirates of the Carribbean characters. I can't focus and see if they're real or not.

In a kitchen covered in yellow tiles and there's a toilet collecting water under the sink. I see there's some cruddy matter floating around and try to flush it, but the handle breaks--now the water is rising and lots of bigger crud comes up to greet me and jumping over like little lemming shits. I move quickly away but they're after me. Front door doesn't work and so I scamper over to the sofa-as-Ark. Gurgling sounds and then a majorly loud flush. The little turd-like things, which had been following me, backtrack and disappear around the counter. Now a growling sound. I'm too disgusted and petrified to get up and find out what it is. Then a tail. A pit bull, but like the friendly one in Our Gang. I realize it's Skipper, Michael Ivandetti's old dog from Bellevue Avenue. But skipper wasn't a pit bull; just a mutt. Skipper notices me and his tail and backside go into wagging contortions. His right eye is blue like a crystal marble--the other one dark and impenetrable. He comes right up to me and looks so sad. I ask him 'Where's Mike?' He begins howling and the pitch goes up and now it's not Skipper anymore but something like a wolverine or badger--I'm not sure--and it looks menacing. I sit quietly paralysed--I dare not move--this thing could tear me up in a few seconds. He doesn't notice me. Walks right past the couch, sniffing everywhere. He starts eating some of the remnant turds and then goes round the counter corner and begins growling. A terrible fight erupts and I'm wondering how to get out. Then the badger or wolverine's head comes sliding into view and it's dislodged from the body. It's howling and Skipper reappears with his mouth all bloody and smiling red teeth happy and tail-wagging. I say: 'Good doggy'. His whole head has been chewed up and I go to look for some medicine in the bathroom. No bathroom. I find a stairwell to a basement and begin feeling for a light-switch but can't find one.

Monday, December 20, 2004

December 20, 2004

Sitting court-side at the old Sports Arena near the Coloseum. Jerry West is suppose to be playing a one-on-one exhibition game against Elgin Baylor; Elgin is nowhere in sight. The crowd is getting tired of the pre-game waiting around acts and begins shouting for the game to begin. Jerry is too old. Something definitely wrong about the way he looks on the large TV monitor overhead. His skin is ancient-looking and sallow. He looks confused and worried.

In my living room trying to clean up a big can of spilled motor oil I'd discovered on the carpet. 10-30 viscosity and used. Black. Tarry. Parts of it are hardened like roofing tar chunks. I can smell something burning and it turns out to be the carpet. Black plastified clouds start emerging from the spilled mass and it's much too hot to touch. Flame-up, and then I panic and run out of the place. Where am I? George Vallejo is standing outside observing the house and comes up to me and say: 'Hey bro', how do you like the fire?' He's wearing a crooked smile and I ask him if it was him. He tells me 'It don't matter, does it? Nothing matters and you know it'. He wants me to come with him to see what he calls 'A surreal revival meeting'. Says it has something more to do with real resurrection than revival.

Friday, December 17, 2004

December 17, 2004

I'm asking my colleague John McNeil why he's going to work in Tuscany--he'd earlier been telling me that the photo examples I'd sent him were 'sheit'--upon which I'd asked him why and he commensed discoursing on the photos using all kinds of techical jargon many meters over my head. He's telling me an Italian woman from Firenze had contacted him and asked if he weren't interested in spending a year working at the photography institute in Montalcino. I'm jealous as hell hearing this and a bit miffed because he doesn't seem overly excited about it. I ask him if they would accept me as his 'assistant' and he mentions to me that he'd had the same idea and that it wouldn't be a problem since he has carte blanche to do his job 'by any means necessary'.

At the LACC library wandering around the art books section. The books are tattered, old and cobwebbed. I look for the librarian and she tells me that it's all due to the Bush admin's policies which have been diverting funds to fight the 'War on Terror'. She says: "Here come take a look at this" and leads me to the "Military" section which was spanking new and full of color-illustrated volumes, banks of computer displays with pre-loaded propaganda. She whispers in my ear very quietly that they're watching her, me and everyone else with hidden surveillance and miking and so I'd better be careful. I tell I her "I don't give a shit!" and look up at the ceiling and yell out "It's all gonna come full circle you slimy Neo-Christian Neo-Cunts!". Siren goes off and the librarian is nowhere to be seen. Just me and a janitor who tsk-tsks me saying "Now you've done it". I run to the front door and they're open and I walk out onto the brightly lit lime-colored lawn. Students lying about reading, studying and I take a breather on the lawn and look back at the library. My heart is racing wondering what I'd just seen and done. I ask a girl sitting nearby what she knew about the library, and she looks around and everyone has heard me and is listening. I ask what the hell is wrong with everyone and why the surreptitious behavior. No one answers and they all slowly get up to leave. I scream out "You've all been duped!" "You dumb-shits have all the power and act like sheep!"

Thursday, December 16, 2004

December 16, 2004

Leafing through a tiny black book not a Bible or Koran but written in a kind of illuminated micro script. 'In Memory of the The Book of Celtics' on the first page. It looks to be incredibly ancient, but the tiny script seems too perfect, as though it were manufactured on a computer using hand-script font. There are Aubrey Beardsley style line drawings of various religiously-garbed men and women in model-struck poses. The surface of the parchment feels embossed. The book feels much too heavy for its size.

Trying to roll a joint. The grass is much too powdery and dry and I keep fumbling with it. I spill it on the floor and kick at it in frustration. My legs are asleep and I keep trying to get up from the chair and falling. Pins and needles now, but it won't stop. I can move my toes and tell myself I don't have to worry.

Picking up a big parcel from the post office in Kreuzplatz. Woman can't pass it through the window and I tell her: "Koennen Sie es nicht durch die teure geben?" "Can't you hand it to me through the door"? She tells me not to instruct her on how to do her job and proceeds to try cramming it through the sliding glass window opening. I tell her to cease and desist. "Es ist meinen schachtel. Bitte gibt mir!" "It's my box. Give it to me!" She and I wrestle with it and she calls a guard who proceeds to hand cuff me. I ask if I can have my box.

Driving with the guard who's now transformed into my old friend Donald Pugh, whom we all called 'Claw', due to the size of his hands. He's in uniform and I ask what he's doing in Switzerland and he says he's married and lives on Kleinstrasse, which is the street that fronts my place and I tell him I'd never seen him. "Where we going?" I ask, and he says he has to do his job but don't worry and then pulls out a huge joint and asks me for a light. I see the grass is powdery and spilling out. I can't find matches or lighter. My jeans have a somewhat shiny coating like leatherette but it could be crocodile skin I think. The car is stuck in low gear and the engine is racing; people all around staring. Donald's gone. Just me and the racing engine. I try to get out and the door's not opening. Latch pulls but nothing happens. I pull harder and it breaks off. I go to open the driver's door and the same thing happens. I start climbing into the back and see there are packages stacked neatly. I can't get to the doors.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

December 15, 2004

Can't stop driving this too-fast car too fast--a mako-shark blue El Camino careening down a hillocked highway. Where is this anyway? Feels like it could be LA, perhaps going over the long rise over Mulholland on the 405 to the Valley , but no, I can see Coit Tower. It isn't San Francisco though. And is that really Coit Tower? I drive towards the erection, but it keeps receding. No cars anywhere on this autobahn. A sign says: 'End Road'.

I've got friends in the back of the El Camino. They're lying on paisley-patterned couch pillows and smoking grass and laughing. I'm watching the tops of their heads from the rear-view mirror and see a line of Hell's Angels approaching. Wait. Not Hell's Angels, but cops. Sirens. Too many of them. While the procession glides past, my heart glues itself to my lungs.

Coit Tower is fast approaching, but it's just a
sheet-metal advertisement. The image is hand painted and close up looks primitive and polychromed. I'm fascinated how my eyes had assembled it so hyper-realistically from a distance.

I slide around on the slick vinyl bench seat as I take the turns too sharply. Tires squealing. Bodies out back getting shifted around...'Hey slow down motherfucker!' I'm wondering why I can't slow down. I know I should but my foot stays pressed to the floor. A sharp curve and the Camino does a 360 again and again. I can see them flying off onto the highway. One of them (who?) gets squashed instantly by a huge semi. Smoke everywhere. Sirens. I'm standing and being interviewed about what'd happened, and I can't put a sentence together. "Coit Tower. Coit Tower. Coit Tower" is all I can say.

Old apartment. Dank and red bricked hallways. I'm thinking 'This building isn't re-inforced' and can see big cracks along the walls--can see the city outside. I come to the end of the hall to room 421 and ring the bell. No answer. I realize there's no back wall. A stadium of people are watching me. 'Is this a play?' I wonder. The crowd cheers and I look to see they're watching a ball game below me. I'm standing much higher than the 4th floor. I lean over too far and the wall I try to grab holds me for a second and then gives way and I'm falling and the whole building is cascading in slo-mo alongside. I can see the stadium as though from the Goodyear blimp--a runner is rounding the bases but passes home and begins circling again, and then again. The crowd is cheering wildly at this. The bleachers are now coming fast. I use a piece of dry-wall which foils my descent. Now a sense of total control; surfing with this home-improvement belly-board. "Just hold on and I'll land perfectly!" I come to rest in the lone empty seat. The crowd stands while a towering fly is slowly headed our way. But the ball hangs. It doesn't want to come down. Then it begins raining apartment shards. Bricks, splintered wood, nails, water heaters...I take cover under my seat and the sound is horrific; people screaming everywhere and Vin Scully announcing it calmly, reassuringly and live. His voice is like God, but from a radio.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

December 14, 2004

In Provence with a view to Mt. Ventoux, whose peak is peeking over a dark bank of clouds. The light seems too northern for the latitude--bluish and steely cold. With Cécile walking among rows of denuded grapevines. She asks where we're staying tonight and I haven't got a clue. She's stops to look at me and says we'd better get moving and find something quick, because the weather forecast is for heavy blizzards. The bank of clouds beneath Ventoux have been getting bigger and now look more like cumulo-nimbus. But they are too low for such clouds and say so. She says: 'Not in Provence; the Mistral, which brings deadly weather whenever they mix with El Niño, aren't meteor logical'. I laugh at the pun but she's oblivious that she's just made one.

We come to a big chalky-green water tank covered in French graffitti, mostly sprayed and scratched, and I quickly set out to find long branches from which to build a shelter. I tell her there's no time--it's coming now. The wind whips up and we scramble to find branches--which we find, but all are hollow and bug eaten--turn to powder whenever we try lifting them. Panic. The wind is getting stronger, and I notice there's a tornado forming off yonder in a sun-lit distance. It's big and black and I can make out cars and water heaters being flung around. It's definitely coming our way now and growing each time I glance up. Then it suddenly disappears from view. I tell Cécile that we have to get smaller branches and just keep stacking. Then everything is dead calm. A few dry plane tree leaves scratch out a circular shape and rise up and then descend. A crow starts cawing angrily and I'm thinking we must be near his tree. Then quiet. Then we look up at a big shadow and it's the tornado right next to us. It looks like a 5 up close. I can see into it but it's not moving towards us, but seems to be on pause. I can see
lots of dead people spinning inside what looks to be a tornado inside a tornado. It's spinning counter-clockwise to the bigger one's clockwise. I wonder if it's the reverse south of the equator. I look at it up close and it's actually a movie screen. The whole space around us is a movie screen--a panoramic image of Provence. The room we're standing in is my old studio on Sunset Blvd near Silverlake Blvd. I read a label on the screen and it says: 'Made and designed in China from the finest platinum thread.'

I'm in Al's Bar downtown LA trying to beat a guy in a black leather jacket at a game of 'pong'. The paddle on my side doesn't respond properly to my dialing, but moves by itself to constantly volly trick shots to my opponent. He starts yelling at me saying I'm a cheater and that he normally stabs cheaters with his bowie knife. I'm bold because everyone has stopped and are now watching. I say: 'Fuck off, I never cheat. See if I care what you do with your knife. Then I zip open my backpack and pull out a big bottle of vodka and break it over his face. He wails while trying to dislodge the broken bottom end out of his eyes. I'm sick in my stomach at what I've just done and hurredly try to leave, but a small man, a midget almost, has got my ankles clamped in a bear hug. It feels like they're gonna snap. I can't bend down to get him off. He looks up and it's Danny DeVito, but not. This guy has a horrible hair lip scar that goes up past his nose. But as he speaks it's Danny DeVito for sure. He's giggling and tying my shoelaces together in multiple knots and exclaims: 'No free beer today bud, no free beer'.

Monday, December 13, 2004

December 13 2004

'Taliban warriors now in the Bahmian region of Afghanistan...destroyed Buddhas' the newscaster says in German on the SAT 1 television channel. 'Cave dwellers now a threat to U.S. troops and Unesco workers'. I turn the TV off disgusted at how poor these people look next to the outsiders from the various rich nations. They are in rags and it's cold. I'm now standing next to an old shepherd standing with a tiny girl. She's much too small for the features on her face. I ask her if she's premature and she gives me a blank stare. I feel really stupid inside and wonder why I blurted it out. The heavily applied mascara on her beautiful Afghani eyes reminds me of an Egyptian tomb painting. I notice by the running black under her lower lashes that she'd been crying. She's so tiny and now she isn't so beautiful up close. I realize she's a mummy. But how can she be standing there crying? Her father is now speaking with a television camera crew from FOX, and I yell 'Don't tell them anything!'. But he's speaking in perfect English and telling them that he knows the whereabouts of Bin Laden, and that he wants the Wanted Dead or Alive reward. I'm not able to convey to this man that they're out to hurt him and that he shouldn't talk. He won't acknowledge me. The girl is now someone else. Now not so little, but skinny, brown and with filthy mummy gauze (or is it medical gauze?) wrapped around her arms, neck and legs. She motions to the old guy that they have to get to the editor before sunrise.

I'm shopping at COOP near Central across from Zurich's main train station. Nearly nothing on the shelves. There are holes in the ceiling, and I can see some men doing tarring patchwork. The whole building shakes from their attempts to pull off old roofing. Then crash! The roof rafters open like a sluice gate and pour a pile of workers into the store. The horrible sound of bones and flesh and material hitting the concrete floor--'Oh God' screams and moans. I go to the checkout to pay for my fruit and take out my cell phone to call 911, but it keeps slipping back to a dial tone. Then a womans voice on the phone. It's that woman from Afghanistan and I know it immediately. She says: 'You know you we're going to find you'. I try hanging up but her voice is coming through much too loudly and now screaming 'You know we're going to find you'!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

December 12, 2004

In a minimal conference room with what appear to be foreign dignitaries, but have no idea who they are or why they're dignified. The suits look Technicolor bluish-black like Jimmy Stewart's Scotty in Vertigo. A woman is heading the meeting and is wielding a huge rubber mallet that she's using as a gavel--pounding it down on a Chinese butcher block and calling order.

But nobody's talking. I'm there in some sort of journalistic capacity--I'm jimmying around with a video camcorder, but it's one of those pocket-sized ultra-mini models and mounted on a large tripod designed for television cams. The whole cartoonish rig looks like a big man with a little head.

But its live feed of the proceedings is being displayed on a studio monitor next to me and it's in HD. I can't figure out the controls because there are so many. Tiny ones that have odd functions such as 'Jib squelch', 'PT/modify' and 'Save as draft'. I start wondering about the crystalline picture on the monitor and the tiny camera and then look to the date on the little pop-out LCD screen. 'March 18, 2025'. It's my birthday when I'm exactly 70.

I realize I'm wearing the same sort of suit as the others because I'm in the monitor's frame. There's an old black man standing
hunched in rental cop attire at the door. I go over to him slowly and ask what's going on. He leans in and whispers: 'You better watch yourself bro', and don't ask why. Even though you got a camera, they watchin' cause you from the outside.' I start looking at their faces--one of them is Mr Roberts, my P.E. teacher from King Jr. High. But he was fat. This guy has the same face but is fit. Above the shoulders he's old and haggard. He looks at me but doesn't recognize who I am.

Everyone in the room has a blank expression. No one is talking. The woman 'judge', who's also in a suit, is clipping her already perfectly manicured red-polished nails. She reaches down, pulls a small canister out of her handbag, un-screws the small cap and begins pouring something thick, amber and viscose over the fingertips of her right hand. The room immediately smells overpoweringly intense. Everyone pulls out a gasmask from under the table, and the black guy hands me one too and winks. His face had already been covered. The woman isn't wearing a mask. She seems impervious and calmly requests a light. The black guy walks over to her slowly with his Zippo and lights her fingers. She holds them up and yells: 'Lights!'. The room blackens and five flames float in the darkness, with every face now revealing skeleton-like features like starving people. I can see a window in the room, which is now gigantic in the dark. The window is like a clerestory in a church. I can see script done up in stain glass. Can't make it out. Too much smoke from the woman's fingers, which are now consuming her whole hand. She's got on a white lab coat now and wearing gold-framed reading glasses. She tilts her head back and looks at me through them and faces her burning palm at me. I can see one of her eyes through her burning hand--it looks like a surveillance camera.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

December 11, 2004

Trick-or-treating not as a kid but as I am now but with kids--somewhere in Ventura, California with the long pier in view and most of the city lights very bright; much too bright for such a small city. The neighborhood is on a sloped promontory paralleling the pier and looking more like Cape Hatteras or Cape Horn than anywhere in California. I can see the steely grey silhouette of a bridge connected to an island--as though I had a telescopic view to the Bay Bridge up north. The light is day-for-night hyperreal, so the bridge looks lit, stage set.

The rain is coming down--smells funny--onion-spiked. I wonder if this is how acid rain smells. I have an old Swiss Army field bag and open it to pull out a bile-colored poncho. Can't get it on. Arms stuck. Twisted. Can't get it off. 'I'm in a straight jacket', I think, and panic washes over me--I squirm and want to scream. I stop, remembering that I also have a Swiss Army knive tucked into my field bag and fish it out. I can't open it because my two hands can't come together. I realize I'm standing right near the cliff edge and the ocean is an immense cauldron below--black and roaring like the sound of fighter jets. The poncho rips and I see it's been melting from the rain. My hands and arms look reddish, but around me still cool and indigo. I sit down and try operating my cell phone, but no signal. Just the time. It reads 10:08 p.m.

I'm arranging furniture. Red fabric over office chairs and itchy to touch. I'm wondering to myself who the hell would upholster chairs with red burlap except someone retarded or insane. Then I realize I was the one who did the job. I vaguely remember being held in a jail cell with a doctor speaking in hushed tones to the warden about my sanity and shaking his head. Next door to me is Anthony Hopkins but he's really a nice and not Hannibal Lecter. Gives me his special cat's eye marble set in a cherry-colored chamois bag. The marbles are smaller than what I remember as a child and I mention it to him. He says to 'just play'. The bag rips and all the marbles are bouncing everywhere and I run around in a panic trying to recover them because I'm not sure if he's Hannibal or not. I pick one up and it's not round--looks more like an jelly bean. There's no cat's eye. I try shooting it into a small hole under my prison bed and it takes off as though having been shot from a gun barrel. His voice is low and he says: 'I told you they were special...wait until the right moment'.

Friday, December 10, 2004

December 10, 2004

A tiny tin of old encrusted cat food. Looking closer I notice that its not cat food--just the tin--realize the label's got an illustration of a man dressed in a cat costume--Halloween-like but not funny. Something sinister in his expression. I look closer but my eyes can't do a closeup and get the finer details. I sense something terribly wrong with this guy. Somehow I know him. He's on the tip of my mind. Strain to focus and then suddenly I realize it's... Daniel Styver...King Junior High 1968. He's taller than the other kids--at odds with his body, with the other kids. And something wrong with the smile. His teeth are too small, making them cat-little. Were they pointed too? I had nightmares about him ripping up his crippled mother with them. I don't know if he had a crippled mother...The can of cat food hasn't got a normal cat food odor at all. Not Kal Kan, not Whiskas, not Meow Mix. What the hell is it? It's something off putting. I get closer to smell it. Daniel is smiling and now I realize he's not in a cat costume. It's not Daniel but Mr. Greenjeans from Captain Kangaroo. Now I'm not sure. Inside the can there's some chopped meat--some that encrusted stuff and then the new stuff. Fresh meat. It smells awful and I want to wretch, but brace myself quickly because I realize there's someone in the house. Lights are on but dimly lit. Is there a brown-out? I need to pee, and when I go to the bathroom door it's closed. I know someone's in there. I call out and no answer but I hear the bath water running. The house pipes (what house is this?) groaning now. They're getting louder and then a loud groaning from what sounds like an old woman. Not the bathroom. Where? It's higher-pitched now and getting louder. I don't want to see what's happening but I move towards the sound. Getting louder now. I come to an old wooden door that doesn't fit the house's architecture. It's got a patina and when I feel it there is a stickyness. I realize it's not old but stained with a dark finish and not yet dry. Somebody has just worked on it. Then I look at my fingers and see that it's blood. Now she's screaming louder. I can't open the door. I don't want to see whatever is there waiting. The door isn't hinged. I try it and it falls forward and down a precipice. I catch my balance on the sill. There is no room but rather an open vista. The house is perched on the edge of a hill somewhere and it's dried grass summertime. I move forward but realize the house is tilting from my movement. What's is it perched? I can see Dodger Stadium--at Chavez Ravine. I'm somewhere in Chinatown. There's dim sum and sticky rice steam trolleys Chinese waitresses in faux Chinese costumes not happy at all about serving and telling everyone to hurry up and decide.

Kevin Norwall. His mom was Chinese. She died. I remember how small she was. Kevin was good friends with Daniel Styver. Or was it Styvers? He'd told me that Daniel had become a cop. I remember thinking how that didn't surprise me at all and that it made perfect sense but couldn't say in what way. Not the cat teeth surely. The screaming is getting louder now. I can't find it. The house seems normal again. In fact it isn't the same house at all. It's instead in North Hollywood near Oxnard Street School. I went there but only remember it best form an old tattered kindergarten photo; I'm standing at attention in farmer overalls and a lumberjack-like long-sleeve shirt. It seems cold in the picture, because the teacher, Miss Notverynice is wearing a long coat. One of the kids in the group is too tall. It's not Daniel. But who? Where did he end up? Is he still alive? Does he have kids? Is he gay, straight, bi? Does he write a daily blog and have I maybe even read it?

Thursday, December 09, 2004

December 9, 2004

Old analog style phone ringing--don't know where the sound is coming from. Physically dense sound but with no center--like surround sound. Someone across the street yells for someone to answer it. I look, but I can't find it. Realize it's my cell phone. I answer it and the person's voice from across the street is coming through the receiver.
I try hanging up but it begins to ring again but with him talking at the same time. He says he's from Interpol and is 'just testing'. Then I tell him to please give me his name and I'll get back with him, but that's not what I want to say and then I try looking for his number on the display but no display functions show. Just one of those fake plastic photo images like a store display model--his voice is now very faint and he tells me he's not really from Interpol but from the IRS, and that he's monitoring expats' tax history. I feel a panic wave wondering if this is going to damn me forever. I hang up and it rings with the same analog tone--very loud again. The man across the street begins yelling for someone to answer the phone.

My iTunes interface looks odd. Strange graphic display--too rich somehow. Like fruit-colored. I try using it and nothing works. A bunch of geometrical oddities begin to appear from all sides of my screen. Parallelograms, tetrahedrons, rhomboids, trapazoids--I try escaping and then the spinning beachball of death appears but very large and pixellated--much to primitive for this to be a mac graphic--I check out my keyboard and it's completely wrong, Cyrillic characters, Japanese Kanji, Arabic, and then a straight-across a-z, many more than a keyboard should have. I begin typing out an angry letter to Apple and then the beachball image begins to pulsate over my text editor and the keys are getting gummy and not springing back. I unplug the AC but nothing shuts off.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

December 8, 2004

At a seaside port town--unsure where--lights not strong enough to illuminate the streets. I'm negotiating with someone trying to sell me case lots of shirts. Can't understand for what or why. I drop the paperwork the man wants me to sign and run. Distant yells to "Come back--you're in trouble!". I keep running--my heart feels like it's going to pop in my chest. Incredibly tight knot burning and thumping--I feel scared it's a heart-attack; should quit those casual cigarettes and start working out.

I'm somewhere in the same port town (San Pedro?) but can't figure where I parked my car. Which car? I don't drive. But I know I have a car. This isn't Zurich. It's in California somewhere. I see keys dangling in an old pick-up. It's a Ford, but I don't remember buying one. Open door but keys don't fit in the ignition. Ring snaps and keys all fall on the un-carpeted floor board. Cold metal, strange ancient oil stains. Rust. Hit my head on steering column and blood leaks from the back of my head. No pain at all but a large opening. Sticky blood--too sticky for fresh blood. I feel around the opening and there's a piece of metal stuck. I pick at it and finally get a grip and realize it's a key. I pull it out and my stomach is weak--feeling sick and lost. Put the key into the ignition and it starts to crank but doesn't start. Look at the side mirror and a man is walking towards me with a long night-stick like cops have. He's not a cop but a guard. He waves at me in the reflection and as I try to adjust the mirror it falls off and breaks. My head is encrusted in old blood.

Shopping at Von's in LA somewhere near the Coloseum. Near Uncle Mino's old apartment where I stayed with my cousins back in the mid-60's. Woman trainee can't get the register to open. I remember the key and hand it to her--she won't accept it--gets really indignant and starts yelling rapid-fire curses at me. I tell her to shut up but she won't stop. Then she opens it up and says very sweetly: 'Thanks so much for shopping at Von's'. I'm buying a box of Captain Crunch. I notice the illustration is really poorly drawn and think: "I can do much better than that!'

Sunday, December 05, 2004

December 5, 2004

Long chain of bloodied beads slowly popping out--bloop, bloop--like a big leaky faucet--plopp plopp--from a freshly cut hank of meat--red-flecked like exotic bird eggs but not so fragile. Close-up they are hard and pearlescent-- emerging one by one like a skein of new-born albinos.

I try to rid myself of this image by staring somewhat blankly through the rain-flecked window--suddenly aware of my gaze shifting autofocus-like between the mottled pane and the creeping vines growing towards a shuttered window across the street and looking like it wants to get in.

I'm drawn to both but can't see them at the same time. Not like the deep focus of a wide angle lens. I no longer fight this and instead let my eyes untether. Instead I focus on the space between. Drifting space. Optic doldrums.

But the leaking sound persists. I stand up quickly to distract myself from it and get a head-rush with spangled electrons spinning in the dark zone behind my head. I lose my balance and fall with no legs. There is no floor. I'm in a bed. The book I'd lain next to me before drifting off is open to an illustration of childbirth. I begin looking at it closely. It seems lit up somehow. Not right for a book and the dark room. I look even closer at the head of the emerging baby, and it suddenly moves. I jump away from the bolt of shock and knock over the lamp. There is something on the floor touching my bare feet. I reflexively kick at it and realize it's something animal. My heart races and I half wake up.

Looking around the room with bad eyesight. Damp sheets.

Turn on the lamp and notice that a spider has been building his web while I sleep. A bug trap. A dream tap?

Thursday, December 02, 2004

December 1, 2004

Standing by the front counter at Floral Supply downtown Los Angeles. Nate Rubin shakes my hand--engulfs it-- hand feels disembodied barely there tiny--looking around for a carton of fuzzy bunnies that Juan ordered on the intercom. Can't find it after climbing to the ceiling level step-laddering the cartons. Vast stacks. I rearrange the boxes and make a concavity where I sit and continue reading a technical manual on Photoshop. But this is in the early 1970's; no PC's yet. Slightly wake up from the recognition and make note of this dream sequence.

At the check-out line in Coop, Zurich Central--store's floor all wet from a leak--when I get to the back its flooding in from the edges of a very large waterfall thundering into the Limmat River. Window broken and now the water is rising and only me and some personnel trying to stay afloat amidst the cello-packaged stuff all around. Can feel many suspended objects thumping me all around in the murky-dark and cold water foaming. Panic and disgust. Something grabs at my feet. A hand. Panic. Try to swim away before getting pulled under. Then hand gets fim grip and begins pulling me down. Water in my mouth and didn't get a big enough breath to hold and survive. Panic. Begin kicking but my pants pulled down tangled. Need to surface for air but can't. Slip out of jeans somehow and get free and swim up. Water nearly to ceiling now. Dark as hell barely can see. Sky-lights! Now water to ceiling and me only in sky-light space. Hurry and break the fucking glass! But can't get anything to brace and thrust upward with fist. Hand grabbing at my feet again. I kick downward to free myself, but person's scalp is loose like a long dead thing and slides off. No shoes and I feel the slippery scalp. Panic. No time no air.