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

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.

34 Comments:

Blogger gulnaz said...

that is a powerful dream, a powerful message!!
i don't think you could have gone back to sleep after this.

11:12 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...

gulnaz, there was much more, but i had to distill it.

and no, i definitely didn't go back to sleep. i've been up since 5:30 a.m.

11:15 AM  
Anonymous milktea said...

i can identify myself with the way you described him when he teaches you french. My last few days at work while training my colleague, i had to clench my teeth and force a smile at her even if she keeps doing it the wrong way.

4:49 PM  
Blogger transience said...

the hulking sofas are always cool. i always like stretching out on them. they are like warm arms giving bear hugs for free. you deserve a hug for writing down dreams such as this.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Patry Francis said...

Terrific writing. Now I have to go back and read your whole blog!

6:57 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

milktea, ah yes, you are the one with the bilingual site! french is even lovely to look at. i'm following the tour de france in french, even though the velocity of verbs is trop rapide pour moi.

transience, i've actually got an aversion to hulking furniture. i used to have nightmares as a child about getting sucked up in them---as you can see, things haven't changed much.

patry francis, well, that's flattering indeed. thanks for stopping by and leaving such a generous comment.

7:48 PM  
Blogger gulnaz said...

up since 5:30!!!
i think you need a nap. :)

7:54 PM  
Anonymous SheKinky said...

Wow. That's one scary dream! It makes me want to find someone to snuggle under the sheets with..

8:28 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

gulnaz, not a nap; a nip, hehe.

shekinky, ah there you are. i've gotten email wondering about your whereabouts. any news on the site you're planning?

9:01 PM  
Blogger luz de la luna said...

WOW, I don't blame you getting up at 5:30 that dream sounds very disturbing.

Great writing ( again ) from you. The whole feeling was very David Lynch. Nothing really horrible happens but there is a sense of menace just under the surface. The end part is really scary with the voice on the phone telling you to leave and then the old lady saying it also! That also reminds me of that Lynch movie "Lost Highway"

- martin

10:02 PM  
Blogger Perfect Virgo said...

Details like the operation wound are frighteningly real and even Pascal's obsession with French pronunciation is his natural way of diversion from the grimness of his situation.

But we are reminded this is a dream by "tongue keeps jamming itself" and "struggling to undo my crammed limbs." That old frustrating inability to act or react.

So, "Lost Highway" rears it's head again! Quite right too, Lynchian foreboding positively oozes from between your lines.

10:25 AM  
Blogger RuKsaK said...

That one crawled all over me like a mosquito net in a breeze - and that image is gorgeously obscene.

2:25 PM  
Blogger . : A : . said...

Lets hear the undistilled version!

4:31 PM  
Blogger Dr. Charles said...

whoa - very creepy... i like the very mechanical, tongue-y french mixed with the surgical aspects, it all blends together well.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Jennynyc said...

This gave me the chills.

10:44 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

luz de la luna
The ventriloquist has appeared in many of my dreams. Sometimes he or she is a friend, which usually signals something positive "thrown" my way. On other occasions the person is not visible, but palpably near.

The disturbing ones are like this dream, with a voice warning me about something; not being able to move. Answering machines, phones, and even televisions can be transmitters.

Virgo,
Just to set the record straight, my friend Pascal is recuperating in Basel after his series of throat operations. I'm not sure I want him to read this---at least not yet.

As usual Paul, your insights are spot on and well said.

RuKsaK,
Gorgeously obscene? So's your line! And so's this guy, who also used to crawl over his opponents like a mosquito net, but with altogether different results: http://www.wrestlingmuseum.com
/pages/bios/halloffame/
georgebio.html

.:a:.
An undistilled version there isn't, simply because I've already distilled it. My more obscene ones are being boxed for a later XXX version available only by submission. You listening Trans? ;-O

dr.c,
I figured you'd be able to stitch it all together!

JennyNYC
When I was really young, this sort of stuff had me mortified, especially if I woke up before daylight. I wish I'd been able to write it down back then; the dreams went on and on in lurid detail.

Looking back, I realize a lot of it was induced by a Saturday night program called Thriller which aired on L.A.'s local KTTV Channel 11.

Some of it was cheezy, but there were those that managed to get past the sleeping censors.

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anil said...

chilling...that is the first word that comes to my mind...that was a scary dream....your words were so vivid that I could see the carotid clearly in my mind!

5:15 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Man, all I ever dream about is zombies. Zombie dreams are Fun but not very inspiring.
This post was. It may inspire me to have more interesting dreams.

1:04 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...

anil, the very name "carotid" suggests a peak or ridge; along with the idea of entropy.

christopher, for really ooky dreams, may i suggest late night chocolate? hot chocolate is too diluted. you need the unadulterated evil stuff (90% + = scary shit in every sense)

1:11 PM  
Blogger _Soulless_ said...

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.

Eep. I just had a cringing episode (lower lip tensing, chin wrinkling, and all).

You'd be one helluva storyteller for kids on camp-outs. Heehee. ^_^

4:39 PM  
Blogger Perfect Virgo said...

No, don't show Pascal this Finnegan. It is would be too accurate for his consumption. In time he may appreciate it though... I found myself coming back several times this week to re-read.

Oh, and I thought we were behaving like "Stadtler and Waldorf," (the characters from The Muppet Show) on Patry's comment page. Obscenely bad behaviour from two old geezers sitting in a box at the back of the theatre making fun of the performance!!! (I did laugh though)

12:17 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...

soulless, I used to love wearing a horror mask which was designed by some serious FX artists and subsequently thrown into a dumpster (its reject qualities being a poor casting, which left its surface frighteningly, horribly pocked). It was something so horrible that Freddy Kruger himself would have doffed his hat. The realism was such that you needed a few seconds to realize it was fabricated---in other words EONS in terms of shock time. It was definitely not the sort thing you could purchase. A masterpiece of flaws that is surely still etched in the lizard memory of all who got my FX "treatment".

One night I wore the ghastly full head mask half shrouded with a black overcoat. Walking into a garishly lit supermarket and hunching over the meat section---so as to further shade myself---I waited for the first luckless night owl to wander nearby. As I heard footsteps approaching, I raised myself stiffly, slowly turning meet the eyes of...

Ladies and gentlemen, we are momentarily experiencing technical
difficulties. Please stand by. Thank you.


Perfect Virgo, I wonder if Stadtler and Waldorf were a reincarnation of Punch and Judy? Or am I way off here? I'm more than ignorant about The Muppets.

Bad behavior can be good behavior, sometimes. (Read my comment to Soulless).

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anil said...

oh what happened next? in the account you were narrating to soulless...dont leave us hanging like that!!

5:18 PM  
Blogger Perfect Virgo said...

The FX mask sounds horrifying, what happened next?

Stadtler and Waldorf were the very incarnation of 2 grumpy old men who whinged and whined through whole performances as only irritable old geezers can...

5:38 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

anil,
So sorry. I could have continued, but thought it amusing to turn off the juice---leave . I'll continue as soon as I hear back from soulless, hehe.

Virgo, Old geezers never die. They just whine and dine---usually about sad puns like this one.

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God, can you finish the mask tale, puhleeeze?

7:34 PM  
Blogger gulnaz said...

don't be such a tease, finish the mask-story!
:)

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anil said...

yeah..I second gulnaz..we want the story...we want the story! soulless come fast and relieve our curiosity :)

and finnegan is this story really real or dream-real?

10:59 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

gulnaz and anil, Ok, I'll finish it when soulless returns. Promise.

And yes it is really real, really. I have a bunch of mask episodes. Some I'm not too proud of. But hey, youth!

1:10 AM  
Blogger _Soulless_ said...

You are such a tease... (and nope, no sexual connotations there. Wahaha.)

I can almost imagine the goggle-eyed, mouth-agape expression of your readers. Sigh. I feel like a fish biting the bait...

Uhurm. *gulp*
Punch line, pretty please?

*chuckles*

1:45 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

As I heard footsteps approaching, I raised myself stiffly, slowly turning to meet the eyes of the geeky night clerk, who before getting half of his mindless chirpy "Can I help you" out his unhinged mouth, was halfway out the store.

This, for me, was like a standing ovation.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember you in that supermarket! Luke, I'm your FATHER!

1:02 PM  
Blogger _Soulless_ said...

Ahahahaha! Prankster, I adore you! Wahahahaha. Props to ya, dear. ^_^

9:34 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...

soulless, I feel like a fish biting the bait... Hook, line and sinker.

Anon Unmask yourself.

Soulless, I love the way you virtually laugh--- would love to hear the real thing!

2:25 PM  

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