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

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Koufax (Counter-Clockwise)

The first part of this dream is here.

I'm pissed-off about my head and getting more frustrated---looking round for another tool---slamming shut one cabinet door---swinging open another...."I've already looked here... and what the hell are the hand towels doing bunched up in the corner there with battalions of dead soldier ants? And the old rubber scabbard I stabbed everyone with is sandwiched between the pages of an old squirreled away Penthouse. And here are some photos of me as a baby...

Shit! I'm supposed to cook breakfast for the neighbor's baby I'm sitting. Where's the baby? Where's the fucking baby!" I'm rifling through a multitude of drawers and cabinets and finding thingamajigs here and thisandthats there. More rifling. One drawer is stuffed with ancient Shredded Wheat biscuits and the other one a stack of instruction booklets telling me how to operate gizmos in every language, but saying nothing about where to find the lousy wrench or baby.

Memory smells. Freshly-painted surfaces. Domestic perfumes of renewal glide across my consciousness as I walk down a corridor and enter the wrong side of the kitchen. I'm standing where the stove should be. Disorientation. "This is not my kitchen". I realize I'm inside my next door neighbor's duplex looking into my kitchen window from their side of the driveway. The hedge has been clipped with a reverse-mohawk indent to open a view through the bottom of the kitchen window. A metropolis of birds is chattering inside the bushes. I'm thinking about the word "hedge" and that it's also a verb which means to "beat around the bush". I tell myself that the birds are in their own mini Vegas "hedging bets". I make a mental note of this.

I backtrack down the corridor towards my bathroom but realize when I enter that things have changed. Multi-sided and round-shaped, it has more sides than a hexagon. More than an octagon. And what is a nine-sided room called? Is an eleven-sided room possible? What about seventeen? And is there an especially bad number of sides that one should avoid? I figure I can work these questions out with some calculations. Geometry. I've got to solve this room riddle. "Let's see. I know there's something called a hypotenuse. Hypo-Ten-Use. I make the acronym HYTEN, as in Hyten one's awareness. H is the 8th letter; Y the 25th. 25 + 8 = 33. What the hell should I do now? All those theorems and proofs and chalky diagrams and worrying about my high school finals. Did I pass my finals?" Panic.

Sepulchral beams of light rake down through the faceted glass. The walls have been beautifully prepared by some master hand in preparation for the rare tiles to be laid. Understanding the reasons for the wrench, vaulted room and religious light no longer concern me.

Instead I'm prying open an old carton full of childhood stuff I'd discarded moons ago. My old Topps baseball cards! I'm riding a busload of joy as I peel the brand new cards apart and hold Sandy Koufax up against the rapturous light. I am home.


Blogger Zataod said...

It's funny how you can forget about lost babies when you're doing the mathematics of bathroom geometry. Much more calculation than my dreaming mind could ever handle.

2:51 AM  
Blogger floots said...

you're always home
in your head
is this an example of life on the 'edge
(nothing to do with u2 - not you too)
oh no
you've infected me
i shoulda kept my kitchen cleaner

nice one

8:53 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...

Bathroom geometry is ooky, but have you tried to do tea-room trigonometry?

My math skills are unique. 2 + 2 ≠ 4.
2 + 2 takes me about 5.

Ha, very clever that apostrophe, Floots.

This is also an example of what Eno and Byrne meant by "life in the bush of ghosts".

And you've got it backwards. I'm always at the head in my home. ^/^

9:23 AM  
Blogger Queen Neetee said...

Wow! Just when I thought your dreaming style had become a bit tamed and movie-like. Your dexterous journey style is back full force, and wonderfully told, of course.

Are you tired we you wake from your dreams? I feel a bit exhausted, leaning forward squinting at the screen as if that will help me hang onto every visual. Your dreams are welcomed enigmas - not to solve - to read and marvel at. And I did marvel throughout your search and discoveries. Anazing!

I must say that the ending - that of Sandy Koufax - brought a big smile from me. My mother loved sports and baseball was one of her favorites. Seeing his name made he remember her calling out, "C'mon Sandy!" during the World Series when I was little.

Thanks for this tremendous piece dreamy finn. You've never let me down.

Some favorites:
some photos of me as a baby...

I'm supposed to cook breakfast for the neighbor's baby

booklets telling me how to operate gizmos in every language,

I'm thinking about the word "hedge" and that it's also a verb which means to "beat around the bush". I tell myself that the birds are in their own mini Vegas "hedging bets".


7:00 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

Like Vin Scully, I call 'em as I see 'em.
Your mother was a Dodger fan? I'm sure she was glued to the radio and listening to the great Vin Scully. Amazing we were listening to the same games at the same time. (Or at least your mother and I were). Where were you living, anyway?

Thanks for your word balm. Whenever I see you've written in my comments, I slide everything off the table and spin in my chair three times before reading. This has become my ritual.

When Cocaine Jesus has written, I make sure the potty is in order.

9:18 AM  
Blogger _Soulless_ said...

I immediately became quite excited to imagine the picture-perfect scene of "an old rubber scabbard" you "stabbed everyone with"... "sandwiched between the pages of an old squirreled away Penthouse." Heehee. You have a way with the uncommon, and effectively project those images. As always. ^_^ (I know I've been gone for so long. *sheepish grin* You've been missed.)

2:10 PM  
Blogger Maddy said...

i just loved this piece...
it was so affectionate and
delighted with itself...

i was bemused at
penthouse straight to baby
picture which gave me flutters

and memory smells...
because a smell can make me
burst into tears when it
stirs up the past...

and i play baseball - i am
a pitcher - and i love the
red socks

and i love your writing!


4:48 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

I don't believe my myopic eyes! You are back. Are you going to play another game of mostly hide and a little seek? I've gone into your domaine from time to time....hoping...wondering...seeking you out with my 4-battery Magnalite®. I will surely click and find that you've posted another stunner. Here I come, ready or not.

A pitcher? The Red Socks? Wow, you must still be on a 1.5-year high.

First the Red Sox, then the White Sox. Assuming fate is signalled in threes, the Cubs should be next in the list of long-suffering clubs who will get to visit Baseball Valhalla.

The Penthouse/baby connection is fortunately only dream discombobulation. Isn't it?

Memory aromas can really make me lose it. There's something about the smell of rain on hot asphalt that can turn me into a weeping sack Bollywood pulp. Hot tapioca pudding when you add the vanilla. The beach.

Poo-poo smells and onions make my eyes water too. °¿° °_° °¿°

9:17 PM  
Blogger Maddy said...

(sigh) i went to a convent
in Devon and tapioca was my
desert every single bloody
day except friday and
i always got detention for
stealing extra apple turnovers...
so now i steal bases...
where i am rewarded with
back pats...

4:10 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...

I wish I could get some photos or a video of you stealing home. Pretty please?

I commiserate, both about the convent and the tapioca. Sounds like the unimaginative cooks might have been conspiring with the nuns (and the rector) to make you kids as miserable as possible.
They should have been the ones in detention.

But having said that, I personally loved Catholic school. St. Ignatius was like a repository for loose girls. I prayed at their front doorstep, crossed myself and said 55 hail marys. And I'm not even Catholic.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

tapioca is cool when you throw in a spoonful of jam (or was that semolina?)
and no i don't need a potty as i have been trained to use a cat litter but i never throw litter out of a car window as my mum said it screws up the countryside and when i am screwing the only thing i dream about is scoring a hat trick at wembley and i bet even Sandy Koufax didn't do that?

or maybe he knew goerge best who probably did but not if maddy had anything to do with it.

4:09 PM  
Blogger GEL said...

Popped in here for a quick glimpse only to be deftly reminded that your dreams are acute(ly) more interesting than most obtuse puzzles of everyday life even though I LOVED using the Pythagorean theoreum...the patterns in those " mathematical triples..." (Dang: my "special character" keyboard is not coming up so I have to spell it out" C(squared)= a(squared) + b(squared). I adore word play more, so "Hypot-ten use" is so appealing: high-pot-10-yews- "See (I'm) squared! ;)

Even when I can't read your entire post, like now, I scan it quickly, drinking in your luminescent vocabulary/phrases:" (battalions of dead soldier ants?reverse-mohawk indent metropolis of birds birds are in their own mini Vegas "hedging bets"."

9-sided figures are called "Nonagons". I'm not a mathematician although I've taught math, but I think any figure above 10 sides is an "n-gon", where n represents the number of sides, so yes there can be a 17 - sided figure.

I'll return to connect the dots fro your former dream to this present post. Even non-sports moi, remembers the name Sandy K! Your dreams are so fascinating. I can only imagine (and salivate hopefully without drooling), how your awakening moments pepper real-life conversation. I doubt too "salty."

8:27 PM  
Blogger Maddy said...

FYI i was not one of the those
girls - sad but true...
my aunt was a nun and i deeply
dearly wanted to be one too
-until i fell in love when i was
i just might post my baseball

8:50 PM  
Blogger karma said...

the grass is always greener on the other side of the hedge

3:18 AM  
Blogger Queen Neetee said...

You are soooo funny! Thank you! I'm feeling pretty special right now. Haha.

Where were you living, anyway? At the time we were in Houston, TX. That's where I spent my childhood years, then on to Cali later in the 1960's.

My mother LOVED the Dodgers! Here's the kicker, my oldest sister's son - my nephew - played for the Dodgers a few years ago. I have the tapes that my mother made of him playing when the games were televised. Talk about special memories.

7:46 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...

Your hat tricks at Wembley would be impressive to see. Have you got any spare video footage to post?

And whether or not Koufax would have managed a hat trick is besides the point.
Just the visual poetics of his delivery would have been enough.
He was the greatest of performance artists; overflowing with subtlety and nuance.
Definitely a minimalist.

And your last line was a serious knucklball. No lo comprende.

You would have been a great friend in my Geometry class---I would have made certain just to pick your brain.
I suck at math so badly that I still have nightmare flashes of being in front of class with a piece of chalk and a wall of incomprehension.
It is the achilles heel of my brain---the salt on its tail. Thanks for the polygonal clarification.

Don't you think a 17-sided space would be interesting to live in? Maybe I can find a freebie program out there to draw one on my Mac.

You wanted to become a nun till you were 19?
Now I understand your post on love (which I'll get back to) Love saved you.

By the way, I'm working on a link banner for you and a couple of others. Maybe I'll wait for your
baseball pix and have you sliding home. The elongated format would be perfect.


8:11 AM  
Blogger Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

A magnet stronger than crypt-toe-night pulled me back here to read this in full. I feel at home when I read your multi-dimensional dreams. (I used to describe mine to someone who doesn't remember his dreams; after 10 min of my dream story that would go on in boring detail (to that person), I keep them to myself, take them out of my dream box and use them in artwork.

Oh, how I can identify with that frantic searching!! The dream symbolism about that is rich...
I, too,wonder where you were living b/c I thought you are overseas now? Fascinating & Fun read.

8:19 AM  
Anonymous **SilvermOOn** said...

Oops, dreamy Finn,
Green-Eyed Lady is me. I signed in under my other (older)blog name.
Thx for the humor link. That was thoughtful. I didn't laugh until I heard him describing the tiny woman thwacking him over the head with a bible...(I'm not into organized religioun so that evoked all sorts of "Revelations", hahaha.-

8:25 AM  
Blogger Maddy said...

which post on love?
they are all on love...

4:02 PM  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

maddy a nun?
hubba hubba hubba

6:35 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

I thought you were overseas. Hmm. Let me turn around. Oh yeah. That's better. The "home" I most often refer to is somewhere in California; usually the City of Quartz, better known as Lost Angeles. I now make Zürich, Switzerland my home.
I'm glad you are drawn back to read this blog. Sometimes I wonder how anyone would find this kooky stuff worth clicking to. I appreciate that you do and thank you here, from the bottom of my blog.

I thought you might enjoy the laughter gone completely off the scale.

The one with the card

7:04 PM  
Anonymous cooper said...

" Where's the fuckin baby" to "I'm home".Delightful.

7:09 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

Yeah, I guess it sort of makes sense that a guy named Cocaine Jesus might develop a habit for nun cheese-cake.

7:13 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

I believe it was a case of me having really thrown out the baby with the bath water.

7:15 PM  
Blogger Dr. Charles said...

its pretty cool how your fragmented posts conjure fragments of memory, this particular dream stirring memories of my own baseball cards mixed in with garbage pail kids who were the real heros ;)

10:13 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

Garbage Pail Kids were really screwed when it came to contract time. They really got trashed by the system, didn't they?

7:41 AM  
Blogger boulies said...

Finney, You know this ending just really grabbed my heart and took a yank at it. This piece of yours speaks of many things which I could go crazy interpreting. And in the end I actually feel that this all makes sense and that those interpretations would be close to accurate. But this ending feels almost unfairly sad. I'm glad you found your Sandy Koufax card. Thank heavens for him and finding your way home again.

9:30 AM  
Blogger doriandra said...

oh it's rich in your dreams wherein i linger for days on the thought of birds wearing cheap evening gowns and suits in a dim light casino! and regarding the pesky hungry baby, have no worries as my dad once made reference while bumping down some dirt rocky road in a borrowed car, drunk off our asses on tequila- don't worry about the oil pan- it'll take care of itself!

4:45 PM  
Blogger Patry Francis said...

Love that joyful conclusion--the rapturous light! The baseball cards! Sandy Koufax!

I think you shold start writing screenplays for your dreams. Movies are getting far too boring these days.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Sculpt Me said...

finding ourselves is never easy when we're lost
cleaning up around the house sometimes puts things back to order
but then, its not always enough.
somtimes it takes a trip to the ocean for whatever we lose, be it a you or a me, its always oursleves we find in the sea...
finding an old treasure chest of joy, though, takes us right back to those scuffy kneed days smelling of fresh sharpened pencils.

6:46 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

Even though I'm not into dream symbolism as such---interpreting them via symbols seems to limit the scope of their complexity and otherness---there are certain symbolic figures who appear whenever my waking life is a crossroads. Such is the case with Sandy.

Sandy Koufax was supernaturally possessed whenever he held a baseball in his left hand---his "south paw". Interesting that in reality I must have stared at his card a jillion times and dreamt about many things beyond him, beyond pitching and beyond baseball and sports. That card was my touchstone; a sort of cheap, wax-coated pulp talisman with otherworldly deeds immortalized on the back. And naturally since it's worth a small fortune today, I no longer have it. Same is true of all my other hundreds of cards. You could call it a nightmare, actually.

Your dad had it right. Oil pans, like babies, simply need filling-up in order to justify their existence.
On the other hand, those 2 casino-loitering birds in the bush wearing cheap duds need to get a life. (I wonder if they also drank tequila?)

Agree about movies these days, Patry. That's why I've been taking advantage of the great stuff from the past. A veritable goldmine of films are being raised from their often sorry state; remastered for the aliens who will get to know us through films like "Plan Nine From Outer Space" and other such disjuncted gems. In all the earth-joints of the galaxy, they will never experience a bigger guffaw.

Sadly, the smell of freshly sharpened pencils will probably become a distant smell memory, as their production will become too expensive. Imbibe the sights and smells all around you each day; you never know when you will become a distant memory. For now, let's fling ourselves into an ocean of new experiences and see what sea-treasures we bring back. Hope you can swim!

9:31 AM  
Blogger blow said...

your wrtings about your dreams have this peculiar descriptive quality that just pulls the reader in that world you so beautifully knit. love reading your work.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

think i will reinvent myself and start blogging as tequila.

6:44 PM  
Blogger boulies said...

Finney, How frustrating about not having those cards. Maybe someone is getting rich off of them right now. Oh well...

1:55 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...

Thanks for the encouraging words.

Tequila Mockingbird?

Those cards were dumped when we moved house. Gives a different meaning to "house of c ards".

12:26 PM  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

Tequila Mockingbird sounds good to me.


little finn flys power holes

7:21 PM  
Blogger Maddy said...

waiting for a new post!
this is absolutely true...
i once found a baby crawling on the
picked it up and went door to door
knocking "are you missing a baby?
a man opened a door drinking beer
"nope - mine's in the basement...
i'm watching it for a friend...
F@#2!!! that's him - he must have
crawled out the back door!!!"


12:34 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...

Yes I do. You do not realize just how prescient that VW really is. Read into it when I post my next; you'll be somewhat amazed methinks.

Holy nappy! That must have been somewhere in the U.S., no? They don't do that sort of brain-dead stuff in Canada now do they? Do they? You sure you weren't dreaming?

3:54 PM  
Blogger Sue hardy-Dawson said...

I once left my first born outside the chemist about a week after I'd had him. I'd kind of forgotton I was a mother. Well for twentysix years I wasn't and for only a week I was, who could blame me right. I felt dreadful even though I only walked a few yards befor I remembered. Perhapse you were searching for the magic and mystery of the excitement of childhood in your dream. I sometimes read old books I enjoyed as a child just for the sheer gueie nostalga

9:50 PM  
Blogger Maddy said...

awwwwwwwww...no, truly it
was Vancouver.

not dreaming... not that there's
anything wrong with it...

4:44 AM  
Blogger karma said...

finn, i never understood this game. but i understand great writing!

4:46 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...

Have you ever told him the story? I'm sure he's got plenty of jokes about memory loss based on that episode. "Mum, do you remember...No, of course you don't"
I think this wonder of childhood is not only for the development of the child, but the sustenance of the adult much later on when we need to do battle with cynicism.

So, according to you and Sue Hardy-Dawson, brain-dead behavior (behaviour) has not been completely usurped by the U.S.
I guess that means the terrorists win...D'oh!!!

Hey Mumbai girl, I've just finished reading Shantaram. Have you read it yet? If so, let me know by email what you think.

8:48 AM  
Blogger Minka said...

Boy am I glad you visited me...another great writer I´d otherwise would have missed.
Unfourtunately you lost me at hyptenuse...see, already my math teacher send me to the realms of sleep whenever using this word :)
How is Zuerich treating you?

4:34 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

Ha! Finally someone who knows the spelling of Zuerich whenever they can't incorporate and umlaut over the "u"!
For that you get a link, and for the rest you get my heartiest welcome. Enjoy the people here; they melt in your mouth
(except Cocaine Jesus, who will get all over your face and hands and legs and arms and feet).

5:01 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...


5:02 PM  
Blogger RuKsaK said...

A mass of violent panic here - I like it - just about describes how I feel a quarter of the time - manic panic.

One question though - 'Memory smells' - great sentence, but do you mean it as a noun-verb agreement or an adjective-plural noun agreement. Maybe you don't want to tell me and leave it in its current ambiguous balance, but I would like to know how you intended it as one version is more pleasant than the other I think - I'd like to know whether you intended slight menace or lightness.

Also glad to me commenter number 46 you swine - my blog has just about died and I have 5! Boohoo!

12:49 AM  
Blogger exquisite corpse said...

powerful stuff
if only i could dream again

3:48 AM  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

I will now not be able to look at a bush without picturing crows at the poker table.

5:53 AM  
Blogger rhein said...

me thinks it would takes decades to defragment your dreams, i mean it in a good way;).

7:39 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...

Now now Mr. Sak, you needn't worry about the numbers. While you were off unifying sub-artic city states in Siberia, there were vast hordes of yak herders and Tuvan throat singers sitting in high speed cafes marvelling at your word play. They do not leave comments, for it goes against their transcendent tendencies.

Oh, and I meant memory smells in the pleasant adjective plural noun sense. But now that your keen senses mention it, I've just noted down your less-pleasant version for future reference. I do love composting language. Thanks, mate!

Man, I wonder why so many people who've visited have the notion that they don't dream. You dream every day.

And a peck of cards...

Yes, I think some of them will never ever find their way into space for others to read. Some of my dreams might be picked up by a future dream-picker machine. I am working towards that time, hoping to become an intergalactic celeb.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Perfect Virgo said...

I was away feeling "pissed-off about my head" and when I return I find you have an army of new commenters lapping at your dream pool. Would that I had your magnetism :) For several months I have been letting my hair grow long and this weekend, completely on a whim, I chose to have it "clipped with a reverse-mohawk indent" what a remarkable coincidence.

3:55 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

And to add a remark to the remarkable, the Verification Work is: NXHIRDOZ which is naturally translated to "nix hairdos", right?
You sound as out of sorts as me, mate. I wish I had the hair to "do" on a whim. As it is, the reverse mohawk indent would not get past the sand trap.
I wonder if they make reverse mohawk perukes. Ah, heck, if I wore one, I'd probably just piss it off.

Which reminds me of the joke: "Why did the condom cross the road?"

6:44 PM  
Blogger Nick Zegarac said...

It doesn't sound like it's good to be home, does it. Stephen Leacock was right. You can't go home. Perhaps that's why, as human beings, we're never givent he clairvoyance to see beyond our own front porch. The stark startling contrast of it all would send most to the asylum.

6:51 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

And Thomas Wolfe said you can't go home "again"---I wonder what the difference is. Thanks for the input.

7:13 PM  
Blogger Perfect Virgo said...

Out of sorts and out of bounds. Found the remnants of breakfast in my reverse mohawk so shaved the whole lot off again and we'll start from scratch.

The condom crossed the road to... stop the traffic (in sperm?)

10:51 PM  
Blogger GEL said...

dreamy finn & PV Perhaps the condom crossed the road because "it was pissed off?". (Someone close to me is a pharmacist so those joke "fly" around the "rubber room" during our visits. :)

I'd consider living in a 17 sided space. (I'm odd- creative types...) Also, it would be a "prime" location. (You've met an artsy/science/math person, but your days are not numbered solely in hues of purple.)

(I'm working on a succinct way to answer your colour question without giving you a link to what I've written on that topic.)

12:15 PM  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

"peck of cards" HA! You wit!

3:17 AM  
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7:38 PM  

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