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

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'.

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