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

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'!


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