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

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.


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