Waking Finnegan

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

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Location: zurich, Switzerland

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?


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