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, July 26, 2005

Bomb Dream

Acoustically live walls and engine din in the front-end interior of a cavernous transport jet which sports scenic bulkhead skylights and translucent hazy blue "lookout ports". There are no passenger seats, except where I'm buckled next to C inside this metal and glass-gridded nose cone.

A terrible hoard of missiles shrieks down upon us---pirouetting like a squadron of stunt-flyers. En masse, they pull up alongside, occluding the light. I tell C: "This is what Wagner meant by "Twilight of the Gods".

Inches from my face a dark missile begins spinning menacingly, with all the others following this "leader", who I sense is gathering strength from my fear. When I inch back in my seat, I clearly see the shaft adjusting itself in millimeter increments.

Suddenly H.B. barges in from the back like a runty Napoleon and starts loudly barking pit bull orders at the missiles. "Get the fuck back!" He looks rabid, but turns to us winking and smiling reassuringly and says: "They're in training. I need to be like Hannibal with an attitude---Patton on PCP---or else they won't follow orders---start acting on their own. They're are smart bombs, but only if you educate them".

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Stingray Dream

Pedaling my old boyhood Schwinn "Stingray" in a slow-mo peloton---a spectral road race cluster of cruiser bikes whose whip-around glances make the riders seem hyper-alert, like a closely knit gaggle of sightseers. As we pass through a sullen alp valley, everyone becomes intent and studied---now hellbent on not missing a beat. We're all in synch now. I'm catching mossy tree-framed views flickering through the canopy and feeling mighty chummy.

Although the Stingray seems the same gleaming blue metal-flake wonder as my first bike, I notice certain differences. For one, my seat has none of that sturdy but soft tuck-and-roll testicle padding of the original. It's only a thin shell of throwaway plastic---fake in the way of discards from my old Vacuform kit. I'm worried that this shoddiness will leave me vulnerable in the race. I'm being drafted along, not needing to pedal, and feeling guilty about the free ride.

Bang! A booming report from an unseen starter's gun and I'm caught unawares--caught "thinking"---while the staccato clatter of everyone's gear-shifting signals that I'm arrière du peloton. They're gone. My racer has become a clunkmetal puddle-jumper with whole packs of playing cards flapping up throaty chopper sounds in the spokes. While grinding clackity gears and chain-slipping again and again, I notice my furious pedaling has chewed the chainwheel down to barely serviceable plate of nubs. I'm cursing myself for being outwitted by everyone and losing my big chance. I dismount and walk towards...where? the finish? home? I know this trouncing is on the airwaves right now "...a serious lack of racing savvy and preparation...". A megaphone voice in the valley below is barking out the results. I feel sunk.

Later I'm down in the hoity-toity town among the riders and pennants. A heavyset official with droopy handlebar mustache is rope-towing me with his own huge Stingray. While he's escorting my bike jalopy and me through the sticky crowd I ask him if we're headed to pick up my "consolation". With a smokey Kentucky twang he's telling me: "You've done real good, real good!". But he suddenly disappears in the throng and I'm left alone facing the parting mob which is like the maw of a snake, opening as I enter, and contracting as I look back.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Cauterized Dream

Zürich. Wedged in the crevice of a hulking sofa. The big bonne chance party for Pascal after his throat operation. He's wedged next to me dressed in his hospital togs and correcting my French pronunciation---"nuit, like nwee---you must be careful about zees uit". But I can't form the tongue + palate + lips for proper French accent because my tongue keeps jamming itself at the roof. He's slightly unnerved and trying to hide the fact by smiling through it, but betrays his impatience by flashing too many teeth. I'm worried about this affecting his fragile post-op condition...relapse! When I delicately suggest that he sit back and relax, he looks over at me and slurs out a slow "oouuii". His earlier animation is now replaced by a frightening stillness. While I'm trying to position him more comfortably, I see the dense pad of gauze and adhesive tape half unhinged from a horrible scabby tangle of stitched-up flesh---the cauterized wound sticking to his shirt collar. I pry open and let shut the damaged ensemble from the stuck cloth. There's something in the hinging that lets the lid thump shut. His weight is dead and pressing down on the massive cushion, wedging me more deeply in the corner of the couch. Now I'm stuck, but desperate to maintain sobriety. "He's my ill friend---needs my support". I'm looking past the wound and at his carotid peeking up from the around the corner of his neck and see that his pulse is steady. A cell phone hiding in the tangle of cloth starts vibrating and then pealing like a siren. I'm struggling to undo my crammed limbs so as to answer it, but can't get out from under his dead weight. I finally maneuver my hand through his gown and locate the phone. Click open a moaning, ill-sounding French woman's voice telling me "Get out of the house, monsieur." People I don't recognize are walking past our emergency, bantering. Except for the old lady looking over at me from the kitchen door, whose lips are synching with the phone lady's warning, telling me to get out.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

General Phonograph Dream

At a tool-strewn boot-maker's bench trying to stretch a hairy cowhide over the shoe last---but can't. My boot making instructor is an old craft-genius relic who knows ancient guild secrets. He kindly suggests to do work "more suitable to your talents" and now wants me to repaint the window sign. I'm straddling the dusty shoe displays in order to freshen the sign, which from the inside reads: "EGDELWONK GNITSAL". The faded and crackled beauty of the original paint has me entranced and I suggest that it only needs some shellac---let the patina show your customers you know about subtlety. He nods a knowing grin and says in an old world way: "Goot tinking".

Later the boot shop becomes General Phonograph on Melrose Ave. (where I worked for the yoda-eyed George Illes). He's lining the phono shelves with coin-op dispensers filled with plastic-encapsuled black nugget "toys". He turns around to ask me if I can't glue some "before and after" samples on the glass "for dee customers". I twist open a capsule and tap out a vulcanized black pellet onto the table and try to pry it apart. George tells me "Dunk it. You need to vett it; drop it in dee coffee." So I'm now struggling to fish it out with my finger while George looks on. He motions for me to stand aside so he can swish his hairy index around. He pauses briefly, begins slowly hoisting a slug of throbbing matter looking like soft wet licorice and then quickly shaking it onto a stack of wrapping paper. He prods it a bit until it flips over, revealing its eyes. A polliwog? Before I have a chance to examine it, he takes my thumb and presses over the lump, smearing it into an approximate shoe shape. He says "Now vatch carefully!" After the dark shape melts through the tissue layers, and he lifts the pulpy mass like a printing felt---revealing a dark sparkling slipper coated with an animated prismatic surface. "Now look, it's just like a computer slipper". Up close I can see nano-animated images of Great Wall vistas, Panda mourners under groves of towering bamboo in the background, Mao and Stalin posing stiffly like tourists in front of Forbidden City---Kublai Khan with big wet Manga eyes. I'm beside myself with astonishment and ask George "Where?! How?!" He's my heroic boss now, and I can see that his mournful days are behind him. "We will sell many!"

Monday, July 04, 2005

Cro Magnon Dream

Bagging a load of peculiarly lightweight set of cudgels around some wooded golf course. I'm hunting for a ball that I don't remember hitting. A big 12th hole sign is posted along the offramp which is snaking its way through the otherwise pristine course. Parked along the offramp is an assembly of smoke-burping golf jitneys, and I'm wondering: "Why the running motors with no passengers or drivers?" Later I'm still searching for the same lost ball in a tiny meadow of scattered wooden nursery trays used for growing putting green patches. I forget about the ball so as to eyeball several hunched and ancient stacks of time-pocked golf balls---golfer dolmens! It's now clear to me that it wasn't the Scots who'd invented the game at all, but instead was a tribe of pre-druidian stone masters! While visualizing the enormity of my discovery, I get tangled with my bag while reaching around for a dolmen poker. The bag bottom rents loose, spilling total contents and so "Shit whuttle I do now?" I visualize a golf bag of ancient Cro-Magnon innovative genius---now excitedly foraging around for lengthy sticks of varying suppleness for my paleolithic golf tote. Some young boys approach with curiosity. I give them an impromptu song-and-dance about the need to hone survival skills for when the robots take over the planet yadda yadda, and they eagerly scatter to collect willowy branches. I decide to lie down on one of the nursery pallets. The leader of these boys is shouting orders. "Weave this!" "Cinch that!"...and the happy bee workers soon parading around with my willow sachel! I feel a righteous Lord of the Flies rush and wonder if this is the same pride-of-purpose emotion that those early fairway kings felt? Maybe not. Later, but without the sachel (those little fuckers absconded with it!) I'm struggle-trudging up a steep grassy knoll with cleats weighted down by boggy clumps. I'm trying to remove this tacky unk---it's oozing through my soles and glued to a brand new pair of cotton argyles---and now I'm cursing those dolmen kings because I'm certain it's the eons of their high-piled shit that's come to get me.

I find my way out of the woods and come to a clubhouse and enter (hoping for a cool drink). It's hush empty except for a dim wall projection of a trio of 60's Flamingo dancers with TV smiles sporting neck-to-crotch boas. I go to the soda machine to get myself a fizzy drink, but while fishing for change I realize that my pockets are bottomless. Ducking my head under the nearby bar spigot, I open my mouth while squeezing the tap button...gurgle...and then a sudden rush of sprudelwasser is slapping my gums and teeth oh hell yeah!