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

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.

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