Monday, July 31, 2006

Don Juan in Helsinki: 8

Now I was falling. The film I had walked through was nothing but a blue plastic sheet covering a hole where the cockpit had disappeared from the rest of the aircraft, and I had stepped right into it, then fell about 5 or perhaps 6 metres, which if you are American will mean nothing to you. If you are from the rest of the world, however, you will understand that i fell from about two or three times my own height very hard onto a floor or surface that felt a bit like linoleum. This hurt quite a lot; somehow I managed to twist myself in the air and land mostly on my feet, so now I felt a terrible shock go through me, as if every bone in my body was broken. But I could still move, so perhaps they weren't. Oh ho, dude, this must really be a dream after all, I said to myself as I lay there. In real life you would be dead all over again. Or perhaps I am dead, I thought next, and this is just like the film 'Death Becomes Her,' and my bones will keep breaking, and nasty pieces will keep falling off me, and i will not even notice. I will just keep stumbling and tottering around like a zombie for eternity instead of evolving into a pure spiritual being of light, like in the film, 'Cocoon.' But maybe this might not be such a bad thing, after all--at least I could still hold on to my penis.

BTW, speaking of my penis (as so many lucky former lovers often do) a reader has just sent me to this link: It is a story about a man whose penis tastes like chocolate. To her natural enquiry, I can only say this--I have been told by many lovely ladies that my penis tastes like the leading exported candy of my native land, which is licorice. Finnish 'Panda' licorice comes in two flavours, anise, which is dark, and raspberry, which is pink. Though I may look bright pink to the naked eyeball, I have been told that I greatly resemble the anise. Everyone wants a piece of Likkanen, LOL!

So, thinking these sorts of thoughts inside my head, which normally would be deeply erotic for me, I found the courage to open up my eyes again and look around myself. At first I thought the place I was lying was some great huge airplane hangar, and that the cockpit had somehow become detached from the rest of the fuselage for maintenance or something, after the plane had successfully landed and the passengers all disembarked. For some reason I had been overlooked and left behind, perhaps because I was sleeping so soundly. Or perhaps Cricket had paid the flight attendants to leave me there out of revenge. She was not such a cruel, bitter person when i knew her, but people can change over time, you know. Particularly women. Particularly after I have parted with them.

But soon I realized I was mistaken. The airplane looked very strange, indeed--it was not resting on its struts at all, but rather on a framework of metal scaffolding. Also, it had no wings or cockpit, and seemed to have been assembled like a giant jigsaw puzzle from many little pieces. Piled in neat rows on either side were other pieces of the plane, some small, some large and mostly intact, that had not been glued back on yet. And all of them had little numbers on them written in magic marker. I leaned down and picked up a jagged sheet of fibreglass and saw it was marked 'RRWSAER156wt343708'. Another piece beside it said 'LFDSAER144wt449862-B. And both were written in my hand-writing! So obviously in my dream--or in my afterlife, or whatever--I have been putting together all the pieces of the aircraft after the crash, just like the special FAA and FBI task force does it in films. What a lot of work to go to, This is not like me at all. Then I think, uh oh, perhaps this is some sort of atonement or Karma. But why? Why punish me? I wasn't flying the plane. It wasn't my fault that it crashed. I wasn't even making hot squishy squirrel sex in the toilet with the sexy stewardess when it happened, ROFBMAO! No, no that isn't a typo, it is 'Rolling On the Floor BONKING My Ass Off.' ;) It is a joke. You see, even in the afterlife, it is important to keep one's sense of humour. So I am laughing at this droll thought, when my stomach gives a great gurgle, and I realize I am really very hungry indeed. So I look around the hangar for some sort of refrigerator or vending machine, and I see that it is not a hangar at all--it is a huge cavern with a finished floor, but the walls and the ceiling are all just carved out from the solid rock. It is as if the plane has crashed in the mountains of Trondheim at the Hall of the Mountain King. Or the Stockholm Subway, maybe. At the very top of this cavern is a bright green illumination, like a bank of electric lights hanging down, only I can see no ceiling or light fixtures, just an enormous rectangle of diffuse light with a dark negative shadow around the glow, just like the Phillips Ambilight Plasma TV in my SoHo loft. Only there is no remote. And no cellphone or even an iPod. So this is hell, I am thinking. And there is no way out from this place, either, because there are no doors or lifts or tunnels. But I do not know that yet, because it is while I am turning to look around for them, that my eyes see the most horrible thing of all.

Rows and rows and rows of temporary mortuary tables reaching away into the dark corners of that huge cavernous room. Hundreds, perhaps a few thousand of these, and every one of them with a pale cold body lying on it, covered by a transparent piece of that blue plastic sheeting. I have found all the other passengers from the airplane. And I know at once they are all dead. I am the only one alive.

I am standing very close to one of them. it is hard to see any features under the plastic sheet, but from under a corner peeks out a tress of bright, wavy red hair. Oh no, poor Strawberry, I think, and the tears come to my eyes. Because I am very sentimental, you see, it is perhaps my worst fault. She is dead--and has never known the love of a Likkanen...Blinded by tears, I take another few steps toward her corpse and then CRASH! I have walked into a stainless-steel trolley, very similar to the ones on board the plane. But on this trolley are no tiny drink bottles or soda cans or bags of salted nuts, which is too bad, since I am now very hungry; no, on this trolley are piled hundreds of paper tags with strings, of the sort one would use to tag luggage. And beside these are a bunch of Sharpie magic markers, so I can write the identification of the bodies of all these dead peeps on the tags and then tie them to their wrists. Or to their ankles or their other bits perhaps if they have lost their limbs in the crash. And on the very top shelf of this cart is a metal instrument case which I recognize from my youth, and on the lid of it is engraved my name, 'DONHO FREDERIK LIKKANEN'. My middle name, 'Frederik', is that of my 'morfar', my Swedish mother's father. This case contains surgical instruments, a set of scalpels and knives my father gave me as a present when I entered University (it was his wish that I become a pathologist), and as soon as I see it I begin to tremble and shake inside. This is stupid, I should be feeling calm instead, because the sudden appearance of this instrument case is proof that of course this is a dream, just a very vivid and realistic one. So I should not be scared at all. Soon I will wake up and everything will be OK, I tell myself, LOL.

But, whoa, hold on just a minute Donho, I can hear you saying. How come there are these two or three thousand dead passengers on this flight with you? That airplane was not a Jumbo Jet! It was not the Titanic, either. This makes no sense, dude--do the math!

Well, you see, that is why i am so afraid. Things are not quite 'adding up' for me either. The answer lies under the sheet. Under all the hundreds and hundreds of sheets. Like the Sharpies and the name-tags, the knives are there for a reason. I can sense that things are not as they seem. Very slowly and very cautiously, I come closer and closer to the table with Strawberry on it. My fingers are trembling like a leaf as i reach out and grasp the edge of the blue sheeting; beneath it her pale freckled face and body look 'Jelloed' and distorted, a bit like a naked body seen through a pebbled shower door. I peel back the plastic from her face. It is not the Strawberry.

I should have guessed this. The dead woman on the table with the brilliant red hair may not be the Strawberry, but I recognize her anyway. And much more more instantly and intimately. She is Stina Ekblad, a Swedish film actress, who has spent most of her career in Denmark, where she is the director of some sort of theatre. But she is really Finnish. We were children together. And naturally, we are former lovers. But, dude, what is going on? She was not on that flight. Next to her is another dead body under a sheet. I walk over to it and pull back the covering from its face--and again, recognition! This is 'Molly Hatchet', a very interesting and sexy young Filipina woman I met at a rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike; I remember we bonked in the employee's lot while her baby napped in a large plastic carrier in the front seat. Asian babies are so much more tranquil and placid than American ones--I wonder why that is? Beside her was Heli, the third girl I ever bonked (when we were both 14) and the first I ever kissed. Next to her is a dental hygienist I never even made up a name for, and next to her is well, what you Americans would call a 'significant other', who is also now (though I do not yet know this) Finland's most popular 'MILF' mature pr0n star. And so on and on and on I go. No one from the crashed airplane is here at all (well, only one person, it turns out), just all of my former lovers--their naked dead corpses, anyway--laid out very neatly in long rows, like casualties on a battlefield. Only none of them are moving. For me this is not a bad thing at all, it is like a wonderful visit down 'Memory Lane'. Well, perhaps more like 'Lovers' Lane'. OK, OK, a combination of them both, then. If it is my mind's clever idea to make me feel ashamed at the sight of all these dead corpses, then forget about it! These are some of the loveliest women in the world, though of course, to be perfectly honest, they are not looking their best right at the moment. Under the green light most of them are a sort of sickening shade of white, but among them, of course are many who are not so white. There are brown ones and quite a few yellow ones and even a black one or two. Likkanen loves all of humanity--he has never discriminated. There has never been a racialist bone in my body. Of course, at my company I mostly hire white peeps professionally, because they are much better designers, especially the Swedes and the Finns. But this has nothing to do with race, this is just genetic.

Yes, yes, I am proud to have bonked and shagged senseless all these excellent babes! Likkanen is ashamed of nothing! Well, not exactly nothing, perhaps--on the next slab over from the Cricket (still a bit hairy, I decide, having taken a peek) lies my stalker, the one on the phone, the 'Babe With the Blade'. It is not totally, completely true that we have never met in the flesh. Actually we met and made hot steamy monkeys in New York some months before her first suicide attempt, but I didn't want to mention it, because she was only 15 at that time. I was being discreet. But I can have no secrets from you now, especially not inside this room. Is it really possible that I could have ever bonked so many women? Well, Georges Simenon, the French mystery writer, bonked many more than this, including his own daughter. And he kept count of them in a diary. Wilt Chamberlain, the American basketball player, bonked 10,000 babes! Of course he had a big round bed that rotated and mirrors everywhere. But I am Likkanen; I cannot suspend my aesthetics like that, not even for the sake of sex. Even handicapped in this way, I have certainly still shagged my share of beautiful babes, I realize, surveying the huge shadowy cavern. Giacomo Casanova only managed to bonk 122 women, scarcely a very great number at all. Ruben Oskar Jansson, or 'Auervaara', the famous Finnish thief and seducer, had less than 200. Don Juan Tenorio of Seville only 1,000. I have done much better than that! This thought is very erotic for me, and I think what a pity it is that these hotties cannot wake up--I have poked and prodded a few just to make sure, and they are really quite stiff and cold and dead--so that we could all have some nice lukewarm sex together. Not all at once, I mean, but it would be very pleasant to thaw out just one or two of them at a time, like Wolfgang Puck frozen entrees. And then refreeze them again, naturally, when I am done. Not exactly as nice as the glass dome fantasy, but I suppose we can't all choose how our Paradise will function. Of course, I realize with a faint sick feeling (how my belly is burning now with hunger), that might actually be too scary even for me, like in the film 'Dawn of the Dead.' What if they all woke up at once and attacked me like cannibals? Or worse yet, began to nag and reproach me? Much better they should just stay dead, IMHO.

Perhaps this last thought was not a very smart one, as you will soon see. I will explain why. Perhaps you are not familiar with the temperature inside underground caves and caverns, but although it is quite cold inside mine, it cannot ever freeze. The temperature will remain constant. This is true even for caves underneath the arctic tundra. So, even though it is almost chilly enough for me to see my breath, these bodies that are laid out here in such neat rows will not stay fresh forever. No, they will soon start to rot and decompose. I did not survive my second year in medical school, much to the anger of my father, but even I can detect it anyway; the fine, delicate Likkanen nose has already begun to smell the first sickly, sweet whiff of decay. This is bad enough, but far, far worse is this terrible burning pain inside my belly, this hunger that the sweet odour is causing. Because there are no vending machines in this place, no refrigerators filled with food, no cafeteria, not even any water to drink. There are only these dead bodies. And this is why I have been shaking and trembling this whole time, as if experiencing some secret earthquake of terror inside myself--because deep down I know that the medical case pull of surgical instruments is not for performing autopsies. No, no, the scalpels and the knives and the sharp bone cleaver are for cutting up meat. And now for the very first time I allow myself to fully notice the half-dozen or so metal objects dangling in the shadows beyond the very last row of my former lovers' corpses. Swinging very slightly back and forth and glinting green. The butcher's hooks.

Hands reach out and begin to clutch at me. They are clawing at me, pulling at me, tugging me, shaking me awake. Suddenly there is a face in front of mine, vast, unfocused, white but mottled with great orange freckles. It belongs to the Strawberry. On it is a contorted expression of tender concern, almost comical in its clumsy sincerity. We are aboard the airplane. It is morning; dim grey light leaks from the edges of the little plastic pull-down screen that blocks the window beside my right shoulder. I can feel the steady throb of the engines against it.

'Are you OK?' she says. 'You were screaming. Really loudly, actually.'

'Bad dream,' I manage to gasp, shaking off her hand and, I hope, her concern.

'We're over Sweden now, the captain told us. Just think, we'll be landing in another hour!'

Normally when I wake up next to a woman she looks much worse to me than she did the night before. But the Strawberry actually looks quite a lot better, and, still dazed by the horror of my recent experience, I make the foolish mistake of telling her this. 'Perhaps you have lost weight,' I add, and she flushes a dull red again. I have noticed she has a slightly different shade for each one of these blushings of hers, depending on its cause. Slowly the world returns itself back to normal. Of the Cricket, there is no sign this morning. Perhaps she has been heavily sedated. A little Finnish girl in yellow pajamas and pigtails stops in the aisle to stare at the Strawberry, who tries a few Finnish words on her. The child wildly claps her hands over her ears and runs away. The sexy stewardess stops to gossip and brings us boxes containing a little chocolate Moomin, which is a stupid cartoon character looking like a hippopotamus but with a little sketched-on mouth. It is also Finland's number four export to the world, just behind wood-pulp but ahead of designers. The Strawberry looks very hungrily and guiltily at hers but, perhaps because I have mentioned her weight, does not eat it and jams (you see? I am feeling better now) it instead back in its box, which is gaily painted all over with Moomin scenes. Why do women have these appetites? I suppose it is a good thing really for us men that they do, or they would never bother to bonk with us at all. Because now I will tell you the deepest, darkest, most important secret about women that Likkanen has ever learned during his whole life. It is this: no woman on earth truly likes to bonk. Yes, it is true! We men like the sex alone, especially those of us who are lucky enough to be Finnish. But it is not the sex women like very much at all, it is mostly the accessories.

Next time: The crock of gold.

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Don Juan in Helsinki: 7

At some time in the 1990s, I cannot say exactly when, all my friends lost their interest in making hot squishy gland-slapping monkey sex and began to make babies instead. Suddenly even the men gave up bonking and went around with plastic carts full of squirty rubber things and strapped plastic papooses on their shoulders so they could carry their babies around on their bellies. This was disgusting to me. Children are of no interest to Likkanen. In fact, to me there is something very wrong with a man who abandons all his interests in life and prefers the company of small children--it is not sexually normal. Of course, one cannot say this aloud, not in New York. My own father certainly did not behave in this manner, it is not Finnish. In fact, he barely spoke to me at all until I was grown up and in high school.

Of course, it is true that making babies is a natural and healthful thing for women to do for the good of humanity. Where else would more sexy and attractive women come from, if not from babies? But they are a boring subject for a normal person to think about! And what is even more boring than babies is baby pictures. These I cannot stand, especially the sonograms. When my friends hand them to me, I do not even pretend to admire them--I simply close my eyes and think of something nice, like bonking. And I feel exactly the same way about listening to other people's dreams. What in the world could be more boring than that? Because now, you see, I am about to be very boring indeed and tell you all about my dream that i had on this airline flight. I apologize to you in advance, but I must tell it now because it is very important to the story. But if you are like me and find other people's dreams of no possible interest, then I suggest you stop reading now and wait until my next blournal post to read any more--until then, perhaps you can think of bonking, too. In fact, if you are a young and sexually attractive woman, perhaps you would like to think of bonking with me. Or even if you are just a young woman. You can think of me as blonde, if you like.

So here is my dream, and it was a very bad one, the worst of my whole life, because at the time I did not think it was a dream at all. I thought it was all truly happening. I dreamed the plane really crashed, and this was so realistic that I was not entirely sure for some days that it was actually a dream. But when we reached Helsinki, there was nothing in the news about the Cricket's death, which would have been all over CNN, believe me, because she is so world-famous, and so this is how I knew. Plus I am blogging about it now, and I do not think that is possible from beyond the grave. Though in my opinion, most blog comments are so pointless and stupid they might as well be made by dead people, for all of their erotic interest to anyone. Perhaps someone should start a site with a Ouija Board.

OK, OK, Donho, you are saying now--quit your stalling and just get on with it! Just tell us your stupid dream, LOL! Well, I am stalling because it was so frightening for me that I don't want to ever think of it again. And I have a special reason for this; because it is what the shrinks call a 'recurring dream'. Yes, it's true, I've had this terrible nightmare again every night since then, so now I am too scared to go to sleep at all without drinking alcohol heavily first. Naturally, I can never truly get drunk. For a Finn, heavy drinking is exactly like the stages of grief. Or marriage. First comes denial, then bargaining, then perhaps a fist-fight or two or even smashing a bottle over someone's head, until at last the true Finn reaches the calm acceptance that is the most important spiritual element of achieving an unconscious stupor. We do not drink like the Swedes or the English do merely to fornicate and forget. No, no, for us, as in everything else, we make it into an art form. And it is true that perhaps I had drunk a bit too much vodka when I fell asleep on that airplane.

Because in my dream, when the engines died and the long fall and all the screams started, I could not wake up, no matter how hard I tried. I was fighting and straining just to open my eyes, and I could feel the Strawberry's hand grabbing so hard it was as if all the bones were about to break, but no luck. I could not wake up. And then my last thought, just before the plane hit the ground was, really, why bother? LOL! Not much point, eh? You know how they always say that in dreams where you are flying the only time you are crashing is when you are really dead? Well it is true! But by then we were obviously not above the water any more, because we were crashing into land--the Faroes, perhaps, or even Norway. Anyway, at the end of that long screaming ride down and down and down with the airplane shaking and shivering itself apart, when we hit there was only a terrible shock in my spine--and then...blackness. Nothing but blackness. I was dead in my own dream! Or perhaps I was just asleep.

When I woke up (woke up still inside the dream, I mean, not woke up back to the real world of bonking and blogging), everything was still very dark. My back hurt me, and i was sore all over. I was still lying strapped into my airline seat, but it felt fractured and broken apart beneath me, so I was lying back on top of it rather than sitting in it. Where was Strawberry? I could feel nothing beside me except papers or pillow stuffing, something soft, anyway. There was absolutely no sound around me, but I felt cold. Were my eyes open? I could not tell. As I checked this with my hand I could see a faint bluish glow up far ahead, perhaps where the cockpit should be. My eyes grew a bit more used to this, and I began to make out other dark shapes and lighter surfaces inside the cabin. There were a few other seats like mine strewed around in about three centimetres or so of pale debris--but no more passengers. I was all alone. The blue light grew stronger, so now it was as if I was underwater. What is this, Likkanen, I thought to myself. Huh? Are you drowned, dude? Have you become a merman perhaps? Because, you see, I noticed I was still breathing; in the cold, this made my lungs hurt. So next I thought, OK, am I actually dead? Well, it was a natural conclusion. One often wonders this waking up after a night of clubbing.

So next I'm thinking, follow the light, dude. That is what you are supposed to do in those Nova documentaries about Near Death Experiences, perhaps it is correct behaviour under the circumstances. So I painfully climb out of my seat and begin to stumble and crawl along through the cabin toward the light, which is now much bigger and brighter and glowing. Hey, I think, at least my legs are still working--and it is true, they are the legs of a true Finn, so sturdy and dependable. they have 'sisu', which if you don't know it is the great Finnish national quality. It means 'endurance or 'persistence'. It also means 'stubbornness' and 'stupidity'. I remember particularly being very proud of my legs and feet at that moment, because understandably this was a time of great trauma for them. It isn't every day one asks them to survive a plane crash.My excellent legs carried me along through the cabin and into the first-class section, which was empty except for a few seats and a twisted trolley. At the end of it, where the cockpit should be, was the light, softly swimming and shimmering like the surface of a pool under a thin skin of ice or blue creme brulee. Or Jello. Already I was beginning to feel hungry.

And then I had the strangest feeling. I thought that if i went through that blue Jello to the other side I wouldn't like what I found at all. Not one bit! But then I thought, OK, now you are just being stupid, Likkanen--if you are already dead, what could possibly be worse than this? So then I walked through it into the light. And that was how I discovered that there is always something worse ahead.

Next time: Jurgen's Cave.

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Don Juan in Helsinki: 6

I first met the Cricket at a party at another loft in the Village. At that time I was working part-time for 'Design Magazine' and so had a press pass, and as I recall it, I went there with my good friend, the rock journalist Lou Stathis, because either Blondie or Jerry Harrison of the Talking Heads had invited him, I cannot remember which. I had met Lou when he was writing a book about the Residents, who were a San Francisco musical group that nobody had ever actually seen in the flesh before, because they wore tuxedoes with huge eyeballs on their heads for their concerts, which I helped to design. The concert lighting, I mean, not the eyeballs. Nowadays, of course there are computer programs for this, just as there are to make the music. Honestly, I don't know why anyone bothers to work at all any more, perhaps we should just party all the time! Of course, for me, since I am Finnish, hard work is a primary drive. Anyhoo, suddenly I am dancing with this chick, Jiminy Cricket, and thinking, 'Bloody hell, what an exhausting person.' Or words to that effect. Then we are bonking back at my place, but again, it is not so good as in the taxicab. She is very demanding; one minute she is just lying there naked wanting to be adored and worshipped like a little girl, the next she is running around like a crazy jumping bean bossing everyone about. She was a thin little wiry monkey back in those days, with a hint of a pear shape, and though her breasts were really quite pretty, they were just a bit on the small side for professional purposes, I always thought. But the true reason I was not so much into her was this, and I am almost ashamed to say it. She was hairy. And as you must know, we Finns are famous for our love of healthful depilation.

Naturally, since I was not that much into her, she soon became quite crazy about me. The best way to deal with a person like this, I have discovered, is to send them off on many errands. So every time she showed up at the flat, I would make her take the subway across town to do my grocery shopping or deliver my laundry or a batch of photographs to Warner Brothers at Times Square. It was me who insisted that she start 'dance-aerobics' classes, which was a kind of exercise for women before the invention of weight training, so that perhaps we could do something abut that pear shape around the hips. But even so, I began to lose interest, particularly after she agreed to the threesomes. It's a sad thing, but you know, even in a really hot squishy sexy intimate threesome, there is always the 'odd one out' that the other two secretly cannot stand. Perhaps it was her voice. Nowadays she has quite a normal voice for a modern woman, you know, very flat and loud and harsh like the cawing of ravens in the forests of my native land. But in those days, it was a bit unusual, and at the time one desired the song of other, quieter birds of the sort to inspire beautiful music. Or, at least, sleep. Oddly, Cricket did not think of herself as a singer in those days at all, but rather as an actress and entertainer. I remember that we were sharing an unusual tender moment in bed together the night before I dumped her (I am a very sentimental person, it is my greatest fault), and she asked me for advice about her acting career. So I gave her the best advice I could ever give to a woman in the arts: 'Get a really expensive boob job.'

After I dumped her, of course, things were not so good between us any more. For one thing I suddenly saw a lot more of her--she was always hanging around in front of my loft on Water Street or ringing me on the telephone. In fact, she even tracked me down when I was visiting a famous architect friend in Westport, Connecticut, and kept ringing me there all night. It was very embarrassing to have to keep going to the phone, particularly because this was the wife-swapping party that was later used for an inspiration in that film 'The Ice Storm'. The idea that this happened in the '70s is just a movie fiction; in 1973, few married couples were of sufficient interest to swap. And they moved it from Westport to New Canaan in order not to offend the neighbours. Of course, I had to borrow someone else's wife to take there. As well as his car. But I will not say whose, because I am very discreet. I can tell you that it was not Sigourney Weaver, however--I wish! ROFLMAO! But of course, I have been to many such parties later in Hollywood, though these were not truly orgies, either, but were very exclusive and tasteful. And catered. One simply did not find that in Westport, Connecticut, at least not on that night. All there was to eat there was coleslaw and cold chicken. And BTW, after that I never heard from Cricket again.

Until tonight, of course, on this flight to Helsinki. She is angry about something now and is berating one of her publicists, squaring her shoulders and gesturing with her arms like a swimmer or a tennis player, still very obviously ignoring me. But I can tell it is hard work for her. And suddenly a sad thought gets into my head--these arms of hers are angry and swinging around because they have no one inside them to hold. I have read that she is one of the world's wealthiest women now, what a sorrow and a pity I could not have loved her. Or at least married her. And if I had, I reflect, sipping on a cheap vodka served to me from an even more cheaply-designed tiny bottle, then I would be the father of those two children cowering away from her now. Well, the father of one of them at least, the older, bulemic one. Which is really all one can hope for from fatherhood these days, I suppose.

It is at about this time, according to my iPod, somewhere in the air between Gander and Rekjavik, that we first encounter turbulence. At the beginning this is little worse than a bumpy ride inside the reindeer sleigh of the greatest of Finland's exports to the world, more famous even than Nokia, Siinta Klaas. There is a clinking and rattling of plastic cups on their plastic trays, the blinking of lights, and the bonk bonk bonging of the warning bells. Suddenly the flight crew, looking very pale, is pushing the crashing trolleys out of the way, taking up the trash on the plastic trays and throwing it into Siinta's great big green garbage bag, hurrying the steerage passengers back to their seats and strapping them down, and even making Cricket shut up and go back to her lonely private first-class section. But they are not quite fast enough--all at once, we take an elevator ride straight down. There is a loud sort of general groan, and the Cricket's younger child begins to scream again. Containers and soda cans go flying about and crash down again. And this is just the first of much worse to come. The elevator goes up, the elevator goes down. In between, we are weightless, like astronauts. At one point my iPod has escaped itself from my pocket and hangs in front of me; then suddenly it smashes into my nose and the battery goes dead, along with most of the cabin lights. Now I must rely on my memories alone.

This is will be not the closest Likkanen has ever come to death at the hands of commercial travel. No, not at all. That was once on a flight from Sulawesi back to Bali when the engines on a much smaller plane simply stopped over a mountain. But that time there was a black nun from Goa inside the cabin with us, carrying a chicken in a plastic cage, so just as we dropped like a stone beneath the green mountaintops, only a few metres from the rocks, there was a miracle; the engine gave a polite little cough like a lady with a cigarette and choked back to life again. On this flight, however, there is no nun. Only Cricket. So the engines do not dare to stop completely, but they are working very hard indeed, shuddering and shaking the airplane with the effort to stay alive, switching off the air each time the elevator drops. And now, whenever the elevator comes back up again, so for some people does the not very digestible supper we have just eaten. Did you know that the word 'puke' originally comes from the Finnish? Yes, it's true. It is my nation's great contribution to party drinking and happy times everywhere, along with the word 'sauna'. First it is a little old lady in green leisure-wear, next an embarrassed teenage boy in a 'Radiohead' T-shirt, then a big balding businessman fellow in the seat directly behind us. Finally it is poor Strawberry's turn. Naturally, being a Finn, I am not affected by all this. I have the traditional belly of my people, which is shaped like a cast-iron stove. My stomach is like Las Vegas--what goes in there, stays in there. This is true for my bedroom, as well, LOL!

Now, it may surprise you to learn this, but women often vomit when they are around me. Whether this is because they feel they are able to trust my very great compassion and sensitivity or whether it is because I often meet them when they are already drunk at bars and parties at clubs, I do not know. Both, perhaps. But I always feel I can learn much of importance about a lover from the way she pukes, especially for the first time. There are the crazy 'Exorcist' girls who make loud demonic noises or miss the toilet bowl, the weepy drama queens who want oh so much sympathy and care, or the suicidally vain chicks in the 'spoon club' who disappear to do it after every meal or midnight snack. Or even cappucino. But Strawberry wasn't like any of these. She just put the bag on her face and bent over silently and trembled a bit. This moved me very deeply, in a fatherly sort of way, so I stroked her head gently like a dog's. So then, she reached over and grasped my hand very tightly and did not let go of it again almost for the rest of the flight.

Ok, I know what you are thinking now. 'Oh ho Donho,' you are saying to yourself, 'You think every chick in the world is into you, dude!' No, no, I would not want you to think that every woman everywhere automatically wants to have hot sex with me all the time, even when she is vomiting, though it must often seem so. Yes, it is true, and my manhood is huge enough for me to admit it: there are some women who have no interest in Likkanen. These are mostly blind and disabled lesbian ones, of course, ROFL! No, in all seriousness, I sometimes meet a perfectly ordinary lovely lady who does not want to bonk with me, and these are the ones I admire the most. These are oldfashioned romantic women who are faithful to only one man. My mother was one of these, she had no interest in any man except for my father her whole life. He was a very important man in Finland, a war hero and a physician, which was very difficult footsteps for me to follow inside, particularly since there have been no more wars since then. Historically, we Finns are very talented at killing people, and it is a pity that modern life makes this natural instinct so frustrating to deal with. I am speaking of war, of course, not of being a physician. It is much easier in that case. But I truly feel I have evolved beyond such things through my art. This will be my legacy, I think, if I should happen to die tonight--that I have changed the world a little bit better through more daring design of bathroom (and some kitchen) fixtures. And so I feel a sense of great peace in my soul, as the Strawberry moans quietly beside me in the dark. After all, since I am dying anyway, wouldn't it be better to get it all over and done with now? To be buried deep down in the cold ocean like some great sea-king from the age of myth, with the airplane for my coffin, and the three women from my past, my present, and perhaps my future, to serve me as sex-slaves in Paradise? (I speak of course of the Cricket from my past, the Strawberry from my present, and the sexy Finnish stewardess I have not mentioned yet, for the future. It is this stewardess who will tell me later that the Cricket's own jet, a luxurious refitted Boeing 727, had been grounded in New York due to tyre trouble, so she had bought out all the fares on this one and then, being in some sort of great hurry, insisted it be flown straight over a hurricane in the North Atlantic. And indeed, I now look out my cabin window straight down into the night and see the monstrous whirl of luminous clouds stretching away beneath us to every horizon, and in the centre, the calm, evil eye staring back up at me. OK, time to get out of these parentheses--how did I get trapped inside here, anyway? LOL!) Now I will tell you a great secret. Every night, before I fall asleep, I think of this little Paradise, which I fill with the three most attractive ladies I have seen all that day. And if I haven't actually gone outside or seen anyone sexy all day long, I think of the three hottest ladies I have seen on TV, even if it is just the Weather Channel or QVC. To me this Paradise is a bit like the space bubble in the film 'Slaughterhouse 5', with more garden and parkland. Perhaps more like those bubbles in the film 'Silent Running', then, but with many more pleasant places to bonk. Some sort of glass dome, anyway. I find this deeply erotic. And so, comforted and soothed by this sweet, familiar fantasy and the violent updraft from the hurricane winds below, I drift into a deep, deep sleep, the Strawberry's chubby freckled hand still sweating inside mine. And it is then that I have the worst nightmare of my whole life...

Next time: The opposite of pr0n.

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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Don Juan in Helsinki: 5

Hey to all again, I am Donho Likkanen. Today I am trying to remember when I first moved to New York City. Was it 1980? 1981? It was before the Internet was invented, so I really have no clear memory. First I moved to Stockholm to study design, then to Paris. That was in 1976. So, perhaps I bought the loft in 1981? I have refinanced it so many times, there must surely be bank records somewhere. It was after that I first met Cricket and she began obsessively phoning me (there was no texting then) and following me around everywhere. I cannot blame her for this behaviour, of course. or for being boring at sex. Perhaps I should have kept a complete photographic record of it, though, like Jim Haynes.

Damn you, Donho, you are saying now, just who the devil is this Jim Haynes? Why do you keep introducing new people into this story all the time?? We are getting bloody confused! Stick to the old peeps, LOL! OK, here is a link showing Jim with some of his collection of famous people he has videotaped over the years having sex: . Or you can Google him at his own website. I knew him in Paris through a former lover I met outside the Thomas Cook's office in Paris, just down the street from L'Opera and American Express. This was an English girl with the most beautiful skin I had ever seen, just like fresh buttermilk. She was also very fair, almost like a Finnish girl in the whiteness of her hair, and had the large eyes, long nose and chinlessness that one often finds in large-breasted women. Why is that, I wonder? Well, whatever, her name was that of some sort of flower, 'Rose' or 'Violet' perhaps; you can see from all these details that I remember her very well indeed. In fact, she must have meant a lot to me, because I know I was feeling very vulnerable at that time in my life. My father, who was a retired physician in Helsinki, had just died and left me a nice inheritance of money.

I took it into my head to nickname this English girl 'Princess Michael of Kent' for two reasons. First, because she was tall and very fair just like the royal relation on the Monty Python Show sketch, and second, because 'Michael' is an easy name for any Finnish person to remember. 'The Adventures of Michael the Finn' is the most famous novel of our great national writer, Mika Waltari. But thirdly, because 'Princess' is a very romantic word in any language, and my feelings for her were very similar to falling in love. One afternoon after some fine hot squishy squirrel sex we were having, or perhaps in the middle of it, she said she had to go interview this fellow Jim Haynes, who was 'the most famous American in Paris'. He was professor of Sexual Strategies at the Sorbonne and the editor of 'Suck Magazine'; she showed me a book of his which on the cover had a photograph of his hairy naked bum humping some other person at an orgy. You will probably think I am very oldfashioned because I don't like orgies, but I admit it is the truth. To me, having hot naked kinky sex together is very intimate and magical indeed, like the harmony of an orchestral symphony, and should be like a sacred act between two or, at most, three people. Any more than that and you have chaos, with many conductors running around waving their batons and too many clashing instruments. It does not create beautiful music. I am a Finn, from the land of Sibelius and Eppu Normaali--I cannot appreciate any music that is not normally beautiful.

So I took a sort of prejudice against this fellow. And that was unfair, because he was really rather charming and friendly to us when we went to visit him. First he made the both of us sign his guest-book. Then he took Polaroid photographs of us with himself and made us autograph them on the back, 'in case we became famous someday'. He spoke with a strange American accent I found difficult to understand, a little like a Country-Western singer, and had a long droopy walrus moustache. Apparently he had spent his teen-aged years visiting brothels in Venezuela; he told me that he was only really comfortable living in a brothel because he didn't belief in 'sexual possessions'. He viewed himself a goodwill ambassador, bringing the social values and the political structure of the brothel to the bourgeoisie, and that French culture was the most sympathetic to his crusade. He would like to give an interview to us, but alas tonight he unexpectedly had to conduct an interview with a television reporter from Australia instead. In the meantime, we were welcome to have supper with his wife and his mistress, who we found in the kitchen. His wife was an older, chain-smoking, dark-haired woman whose name and nationality I never discovered, but his mistress, whose nickname was 'Gogo', was from Stockholm, and so was far more welcoming to people of her own age. The meal, however, was not a pleasant one. Throughout it was the sounds of hot squishy skin-smacking moaning groaning sex from upstairs. First came the creaking of the floorboards, then the squealing of the bed-springs, then the long sobbing screams of the Australian TV reporter lady. As these noises became louder and louder, the wife and the mistress, who up until that time had not spoken to each other or even seemed to notice that the other was in the same room, began to fidget and glare, grinding their teeth and clattering their food around. Finally, they both slammed down their forks and knives and lit cigarettes. Worst of all, however, was Princess Michael of Kent, who was now bright red with fury. 'What a sad old wanker!' she exclaimed and insisted that we leave before dessert. To be totally honest, his 'philosophy of the brothel' was very repellent to me. I have never paid for sex in my whole life! Except of course for the antibiotics.

Two days later my telephone rings. It is Gogo.

'Hey, what can I do you for?' I say.

'You must come over here right away!' she tells me. 'Your girlfriend is upstairs bonking with him now. And he's talking of moving her in.' Of course she said this in Swedish, so the words she was using were much nastier. Naturally when I got off the phone I was very upset, and my heart was racing. To be totally honest, I hadn't even realized it was there before, this emotion. You know how it is--when you are young, you cannot admit to feeling jealous, and when you are old, it is simply too late. So after I smashed up my flat a bit and had a dignified tantrum, I decided not to allow myself any feelings to get in the way of our relationship. After all, why should they anyway when sex is involved? In the end, I swallowed my manhood and went to many orgies at the 'House of Haynes' with Princess Michael of Kent that winter, though things were no longer quite so romantic between us.

Now you must know something important about me, I have never had a gay bone in my body. I do not discriminate against the gay blades, of course, that would be illegal, but I am no 'Tom of Finland' for sure, LOL! ( I am also excluded from incest or wife-swapping, which are the other two most famous types of sex in Finland, since I am an only child and have never married. In fact, I had to emigrate to pursue my career at all. When Jim Haynes saw I was no gay blade or bisexual, he stopped trying to get into my baby-blue thong 'cache-sex' (which is French for very brief underpants) and seemed happy for me to provide company for Gogo. But of course, the poor girl was of no interest to Likkanen. The whole time we would be bonking, we would have our thoughts other places, on the mattress on the other side of the floor, perhaps, or the bed in the next room. So we would stop making monkeys and just smoke cigarettes together. Filling the air with smoke and complaining was our revenge. One time, being very careful not to see what Princess Michael was doing with three disgusting university professors from Edinburgh on the day-bed near the window, I got up from orgying with Gogo to use the bathroom, but tripped on the carpet on the way out. Underneath it I noticed a strip of wiring, which I tracked to a closet on the landing. My background at university was in theatre, and later with stage design and lighting, hence I am expert in such things and could see at once that the whole house was wired for sound. Later I also discovered that certain rooms had hidden cameras and were connected to videotape recorders as well. When I asked Jim Haynes about this he was very honest with me. 'Oh yes,' he said, 'Often my friends and I enjoying watching movies of ourselves balling. It is a big turn-on, man.' (This was before the invention of the word 'dude'.) Then perhaps he noticed a look of a certain Nordic coolness on my face, because he gave me his most famous charming laugh and said, 'Don't worry, Donho, I'm not planning to blackmail you. For one thing, you are never going to be famous enough.' But he was wrong about that, of course.

Before I moved to New York I asked Gogo what was the secret of this man's success with women, because naturally, I was anxious to imitate it. 'I think it is because underneath all the cynical sex talk he is really like a lost little boy,' she told me. 'It touches a woman in her deepest feelings of motherhood, because unlike men, women have sensitive hearts and want to heal and nurture. He says he just wants sex, but that is because he has been hurt; deep down, I know I can change him. And also, you know, he owns his own home. In the world of the arts, that is very rare.' This was excellent advice, and once I moved to New York City, I was careful to do two things. First, I stayed lost most of the time. And second, I bought my own loft.

Next time: The Vomit Comet.

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Friday, July 28, 2006

Don Juan in Helsinki: 4

Oh ho Donho, you are probably saying to yourself now, so who the devil is this world-famous star anyway? Why are you being so shy about typing her name--and instead just telling us, 'Hey people, Google who is the most popular singing star in Finland?' Are you so afraid of her lawyers? Well, yes I am. But I will tell you honestly who she is anyway, because I have no secrets from you. Her name begins with an 'M' and has two 'a's in it. And many many years ago, when I first moved to New York and she was still in art school or drama school or whatever, it was she who was my stalker. Yes, it's true. The young chicks have always been into me, even in the '80s. At that time, of course, I could not remember her name very well--too few double vowels. But now that she is very famous, naturally it is much easier for me to remember it, like Sony or Xerox. I have no trouble with these. Even so, I think of her by the name I invented for her, which remains much more 'real' for me. In those days she was a much smaller person, but already she was becoming a very loud and bossy nag. So my name for her was 'Jiminy Cricket'.

The plane takes off. Now the Strawberry has a new topic: Cricket. By now, sensing that perhaps my audience on the Internet will also find the bizarre events of this day of some interest, I have begun to record her chattering on my iPod. So, above the roar of engines, a child's loud wailing, the tinkling and the tweetling of Gameboys and Blackberries, and an annoying ambient echo, one can hear the Strawberry asking me if I am a 'fan'? Have I ever seen Cricket 'perform, like in person?' I have to bite my tongue. I certainly have seen her perform in person for sure, LOL! The Strawberry has just been to her 'Confessions Tour' concert in Chicago, and is very excited by the thought that her idol is now just a few metres away behind the purple curtain that separates us from first class. I can tell she is not sure that I am young enough to have ever heard Cricket's slutty chirpings on the radio. Hah! I have a few 'Confessions' I could tell as well! But I am too much the old-fashioned gentleman to ever be indiscreet, as you can tell at once from this blournal.

Next she tells me all about herself, which is so boring that I forget everything she says almost the instant it leaves her mouth. She is or was at the University of Chicago, either studying or teaching, I cannot remember which, the Kalevala, the great national epic poem of Finland. That is why she is flying to Helsinki, in order to research the subject in detail, particularly its trochaic structural links to other great epics such as the Welsh Mabinogeon, the 'Chronicles of Narnia', and 'even the Bhagavad-Gita.' Did I know that Lithuanian, for example, was linguistically related to Sanskrit? Nope, didn't know, don't care (ever met a Lithuanian? I have--not pretty.) Face to face she does not look quite so Simon Pure. I don't remember such a direct, blue-eyed gaze on the face of her imaginary mother. Nor do I remember any silver cross hanging around her freckled throat. OMG, does this mean the Strawberry is an Xian? Will I spend the next nine hours hearing about Jesus?? Men always say they prefer their ladies not to have any inhibitions, and certainly that is true for all the kinky hot times in bed together when you want to explore every hole. But instead this Strawberry girl seems to have no inhibitions in her conversation, which is very irritating. She is making me feel squirmy in those kinky places now--and not in a good way.

'Why haven't you ever married?' she is asking me now, having established this important fact about me earlier. 'Are you gay?' This question is not asked in a challenging way but sympathetically. I hate sympathy.

'No, no,' I say, careful not to deny this too much. One must employ the New York 'metrosexual' tone when answering this question. 'I just never met the right lucky lady. In fact, only today I was wishing that perhaps I had a child after all. Well, not a child, exactly, I mean a grownup son or daughter like yourself. Now, of course, it is too late.' Naturally, what I mean is that I am dying, but she is not to know that.

'Why is it too late?'

'Well, to be totally honest, I have lost all interest in women.' Why was I telling her this? To warn her off? I guess I did not want any complications on this flight. I could not rejoin the 'mile-high club' inside a business-class toilet cubicle even if I was crazy enough to want to. But now she is looking at me with even more of a pitying vibration. Ugh! : (

'There are pills for that, you know.'

'Yes, I know. But why would I want to drug myself in order to do something I no longer wish to do? I would never think of drugging a woman in order to have sex, so why should I treat my own body like that of a farm animal? It is the existential desire for women I no longer feel. I am not impotent, you know; I wake up every morning with a healthful erection!' On the recording, this last bit is surprisingly loud. In general, I am surprised and a little allergic to the sound of my own voice. I sound like a grumpy old man. Perhaps it is only the effect this silly, fleshy, clumsy young woman is having on me. But perhaps it's just as well the live podcast was a failure.

'You might want to if you really loved someone,' she is saying now, her face flaming all over with blushes.

'Well, I don't.'

'Poor you,' she replies after a few moments. Oddly, I don't remember at all hearing her say this at the time, but it is quite clear later on the iPod recording.

OK, now in the background there is a loud crashing and thumping. Even though it is still broad daylight, the flight stewards and stewardesses (a word which I have always loved more than any other, perhaps) are performing their ballet in the galleys, opening drawers, slamming drawers shut, clinking glasses, clashing cutlery, and microwaving the frozen slabs of food we have taken aboard at the airport. Then they will wheel them out to us on their surgical-looking stainless-steel trolleys. It has been so long since I have flown this class that I have forgotten how dreadful the food is, especially when it is catered on this side of the Atlantic. And, as Woody Allen would say, such small portions, too, ROFL! To make matters even worse, Cricket's entourage in the front rows are served the first class menu, which we all must smell and stare at in envy, though her personal chefs have disappeared forward to prepare her own private meal. Halfway through the meal, there is a great trembling and shaking of the purple first-class safety curtain, and then after some moments, out pops a person who looks just like a puppet in a Punch and Judy show. It is Cricket. She has become too bored and restless to enjoy her solitude in the first-class section any longer and has come back to visit her children and confer with her underlings. At once the smaller child begins to whine and howl again, and the larger one is led off to the toilet. The nannies keep their heads bowed and are careful not to catch Cricket's eye; later I overhear that at Cricket's home no servants are allowed to look at her or speak to her unless she speaks to them first. She seems very restless; perhaps it is the hour she normally has a workout. She paces up and down the aisles like a caged tigress with striped blonde hair on her too-big puppet head, blocking the trolleys and pausing sometimes to smile stiffly or even banter with some lucky peasant, like the totally thrilled Strawberry. Several times she looks directly down, but pretends not to recognize me--and suddenly I realize, with the cosmical human empathy that the passing of time has blessed me with, that all those many years ago I must have hurt her very deeply indeed for her to still be so bitter now. I find this thought almost erotic. And she is still not a bad-looking babe, too, though to be honest, she is getting a bit old for me.

Oh oh, jet-lag--I must go drink now. I will tell you the rest of this story later.

Next time: The House of Haynes.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Don Juan in Helsinki: 3

Total disaster...

Hey to all again, I am Donho Likkanen. My apologies to those of you who tuned in for my live podcast from the airplane, but for some reason I cannot comprehend, it didn't work. Probably it was one of these crazy new computer viruses. I recorded everything on my iPod, but then--nothing happened! At least I have a recording of that horrible flight, however, and I have transcribed some things from it into this blournal entry. Also, some peeps have emailed me to say that my corporate website is not working properly and that they are unable to order fixtures from it. This is a technical problem with Moen Japan. As soon as the cash-flow situation is sorted out, everything will be back to normal, have no fear! The world loves Likkanen!

But perhaps those three old ladies who are busy knitting our fates in their cave do not love me so much, at least not today : ( I speak of course of the 'Norns' of ancient Norse mythology. I could feel their magical knitting needles pricking into me with scorn the moment I arrived at the first-class lounge at John F. Kennedy International Airport, because at once the desk manager took me aside to speak confidentially in a hushed tone that was trembling with excitement. In my experience, this is always a signal for future trouble ahead. A very important celebrity, he said, had bought up all the seats in the first-class section of the airplane for the flght, including my own; would I mind very much to fly business coach class (this is what they now call 'tourist class', but at a variable rather than a fixed price) for free? I know from my own experience that they are entitled to do this, because if you are careful to actually read the fine print on your ticket agreement, an airline is entitled to do almost anything to you, really, including the disposal of your remains. My only alternative was to go home again and take a later flight, which would be the next day. This would have been the wise thing to do, as it turned out, but I was feeling lazy. So in this case, my tantrum was theatrical only rather than emotionally sincere, but at least it resulted in a free return fare as well. This celebrity, whoever they might be, was obviously paying a great deal of money indeed for them to be so generous.

Now you must know this about me, I love humanity, especially the female part, though I can no longer feel erotic desire for them any longer. Even so, I have a deep and passionate love and respect for all peoples everywhere. It is not my fault that I cannot stand the way most of them smell. This is a physical sensitivity (perhaps it echoes my deep spiritual sensitivity), and that is why I need the greater space and improved air flow around me offered by first class accommodation. It is not simply a shallow love of luxury for its own sake, though of course there is nothing wrong with that. It is a matter of health, for the nose is as delicate and important an organ as the heart or the liver and so should not be insulted. In addition, I cannot stand the oils and perfumes and colognes with which these bodily odours are masked. Some of these provoke an almost allergic reaction in me, and I cannot breathe. For a time I worked in Paris designing bottles for Guerlain, Givenchy and others, and I can assure you that most of these scents are made from the very same ingredients found in pesticides and chemical additives. Consequently, because I keep my own body so very clean and healthful, I never employ scented soaps or even use deodourant. When you are close to me, you are smelling the real Donho, his very essence--and it is this subtle pheremonal aura, I am sure, which has always made me so overpoweringly attractive to women.

And, of course, this flight was to be no different. Jammed ( ; ) !) next to me in business class is a tall, graceless young American woman who would never have been allowed into first class. She is of no interest to Likkanen. She smells so strongly of soapy bath oil that she instantly gives me a sinus headache. In profile, she resembles a former lover of mine, the owner of a 'Simon Pure' health food shop who, most unpleasantly, never shaved her legs. So often these days, I think I recognize a former lover, and then realize, hey, that chick is young enough to be her daughter! LOL! Naturally, the thought then flashes through my head that this girl might actually be her daughter, though she (the young version, that is) has bright red hair and is covered all over with livid freckles. Then I think, what if she is my daughter??? This, of course, is total insanity, in my experience every woman in the world is very quick to point at a father for her child, even when, as in my case, it is never the right one. But strangely, this thought, instead of disturbing me, makes me feel strangely at peace. It might be quite wonderful, I decide, to discover that one has a 'secret' daughter, especially since I have no one to leave my considerable fortune to. And in fact, for some years, my feelings for young women have been increasingly 'fatherly' anyway, since the moment we begin to have hot squishy gland-slapping monkey sex, I feel the need to instruct them, particularly about matters such as basic hygiene. I see now that sex has always really been a distraction from this sweet, innocent, noble human impulse to educate and mentor young girls. A 'red herring' I am thinking, as I glance again at my neighbor. Later she will introduce herself and tell me her name, something nasal and unpronounceable from the Midwest; I will refer to her instead from now in this 'blournal' on as 'The Strawberry.' Not that she will be with us long.

At this point in the story, we still have not moved from the tarmac for nearly an hour. We are waiting for the 'important celebrity' to arrive, along with all of his or her entourage. I am listening to chillout music on my iPod, the Strawberry is reading a Finnish phrasebook and shyly glancing over at me from time to time. I can tell she wants to talk. It is natural. Then the personal line to my Bluetooth rings, though I have smashed my business cell, a Sanyo, during my tantrum in the first class lounge. It is my stalker.

My stalker is a young woman I have never met in the flesh but have text messaged with online since she was still in high school. She should probably be in some institution for the criminally insane, but instead is pursuing her PhD in child psychology at a university in Boston. In the time I have known her she has attempted suicide twice and has been convicted for drugs, prostitution, and assault. I have had her under various restraining orders for years after she was found sleeping in the front doorway outside my loft building. I cannot tell you her real name (in fact, I cannot remember it), but online her nickname is 'QTAngel'.

'Daddy,' she is saying now into my Bluetooth (this is her private name for me), 'I have a knife.'

'Please stop calling me, angel,' I tell her. 'You know this is a violation of your parole.'

'But I've given him a name. Wanna guess what it is?'

'I dunno,' I say, sighing and catching the eye of the Strawberry, who is suddenly very interested indeed. 'Fred? Mr Sharpie?'

'His name is Donho,' she says. 'And I'm masturbating with him now.' That is when the pilot asks us to turn off all our cell phones, and I do so with relief. But with the girl in the next seat the ice is now broken, and I cannot get it back. It is like the spring thaw in the lake district of Lapland, I am suddenly flooded with her chatter. It is not that she is so very erotically attracted to me--yet. She is simply nervous about flying. What do I do? Where am I from? Is this my first visit to Finland? At last something happens to interrupt this; the very important celebrity finally arrives. But there is a further complication. This person does not want anyone else in first class at all, not even his or her own personal assistants, chefs, trainers, photographers, nannies, or two children, one of them sullen and appearing heavily drugged, the other one red in the face and screaming. So the first six rows of business class are asked to move back for this entourage to be seated, and now all of us are packed together at the rear of the airplane, like the steerage passengers on the Titanic. And as these poor creatures shuffle back, moving as if there are chains attached to their ankles, a rumour begins to sweep through the cabin, a single word that is the name of this very famous important person who has made our lives such a misery today. And for me, when I hear this name I also hear the laughter of the old ladies with their needles echoing in my ears. Because this is not the first time this particular person has made my life a misery.

Or anyone else's life a misery who has ears and cable TV. Or a radio. Or who has ever shopped in a mall. Or heard a car stereo playing on the street. So, basically anyone who has ever gone outdoors in the modern world...

Next time: My confessions tour.

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Don Juan in Helsinki: 2

Now there is something else you must know about me--I am terrible at remembering names. Especially if there are lots of consonants in them, because in Finnish we have mostly vowels. Yes, it is true! Finnish is the most vowelly of any Indo-European language. This has been a great problem for me in my professional life, because sometimes one is forced to actually meet with clients in person. For speaking to men there is a marvelous new invention, the word 'dude', when one cannot remember their stupid names. But for women it is more difficult. Obviously, one cannot call them 'dude', particularly if the two of you are having sweet hot squishy sex together at that moment. 'Lady' or 'babe' will not do any more, either, they are both too unfashionable these days. Even if there were an excellent generic term for women it would still be impossible to use it, because women simply require more personal attention than men. They are needier in this way. So I invent private nicknames for them to serve me as mnemonics. The name I invented for my former Japanese lover was 'Day-Glo Plastic Raincoat', because that was what she was wearing when I first met her. Not in a hotel bar, either, but on a public street in front of the Safeway. She stopped me to ask for directions, blushing and clutching her Fodor's guide. It was the blushing that I could not resist; in this I am quite the old-fashioned romantic guy! Of course, being a Finn, I do not blush, myself, I keep too well-tanned for that. For us tanning is not a cosmetic vanity; in a land without sunshine it is a commitment to a fit, healthful ideal of life. Many Finns like myself will even smoke in order to help keep fit and tan.

The problem for me in the flesh with Lady Day-Glo was this: I couldn't understand a word she said! Her English was actually quite good--and mine, as you have noticed is perfect, because I now think in no other language after all these years--but there is something strange about the way the human ear works. In English, Finnish and Japanese perhaps are somehow incompatible together, just as certain radio frequencies will 'jam' each other in the air (by the way, I have made a bet with a friend that I can work the word 'jam' into each entry of this blournal; so you see, now I have! :) But here is the strange thing; once she was back again home in Japan and we were text messaging on the Internet, I discovered much more of interest about her, since I didn't have to actually listen to her voice. For one thing, she was really quite sophisticated. She enjoyed the films of Tarkhovsky and Kaurismaaki and the books of one of my favorite novelists, Haruko Murakami. I belief she even mentioned him in bed once, but because of her accent I thought she was talking about 'Origami'. She was also a very important figure in the Japanese government; she was their expert on Korean and Chinese missile deployment, but in such a way that I, as a creative artist, could deeply respect and even find erotic. As she explained it to me, when she was growing up her older brother was very much into the hobby of building plastic military models, which he imported from all over the world, including such things as aircraft, tanks, and missiles. It was her duty to catalogue and keep separate all the little plastic parts of these for him, which were correct in every detail, even to their tiniest internal components and serial numbers. Thus as a child she acquired an extensive working knowledge of the rockets and missiles of every nation. Later, after the Soviet Union broke up, while she was still at university, she accompanied the government negotiator for the Kamchatka bases to Moscow as his 'secretary'; eventually, she became the head of his ministry department, which is quite an achievement for a woman in a country such as Japan. But you would never think it to look at her; to the naked eye Day-Glo seemed exactly like every other Japanese woman, perhaps even more so.

So I decided that, at long last, this might be the lady for me. Foolishly, this led me to break a long-standing private rule of mine in regard to relationships with women: no 'home-and-away' return engagements! It is exactly the same situation as in an international football match--if Turkey, for example, comes to play in your country at your stadium in front of your fans, then you will likely defeat them quite easily. But if you actually are foolish enough to go to Turkey to play, then they will insult you, bribe the referee, tear up the pitch, and you will be lucky to escape home again with your life! But at the time this did not occur to me, because the Japanese are such polite people. One would never expect such behavior from them. So it was with high hopes that I booked my flight from Honolulu to Tokyo on JAL. One of the many delightful reasons to fly first class is that the section is usually almost empty; not so on this flight, however. I was forced to sit next to a Japanese New Age synthesizer musician and composer who was on a solo world tour. I have forgotten his name, because it contained a lot of consonants, but he was really very successful, especially in all of Asia, where he would often sell out concerts in front of 100,000 fans, but here in America he could only get booked in the foyer of the Tower Records in LA. Anyhoo, this fellow was either terrified of flying or terrified of germs, I could never discover which one. Whatever the reason, he had covered himself completely in a huge plastic sheet of the sort that is used to protect dry-cleaning and had cello-taped the top of it around the little air-conditioning nipple in the ceiling overhead, so that he was completely encased. He then crouched inside it for the next ten hours or so like a dead insect, refusing all contact with the flight crew or anyone else, for that matter; from time to time he would eat a candy bar or sip from a bottle of Evian water he kept under the seat. Just before we landed that evening I saw him urinating into the empty bottle. And this man was not even so very famous--you can imagine what it is like to travel with a real celebrity!

I cannot describe Japan very well because it was raining. Lady Day-Glo lived in a house in the suburbs that was not even particularly Japanese-looking. In fact, it could have been any ranch-style bungalow in California; there were even rainbow decals in the windows. As a Finn, I am always particularly sensitive to personal architecture, just as I am tuned as if mystically to the many moods of women. The moment she greeted me at the door, I knew something was terribly wrong. It was as if she was a stranger. 'It is my mother,' she told me when I asked her about her coldness a few days later, after there still was no hot bonking between us. 'My brother did not want her, so she has come to live with me. I cannot bear to put her in a nursing home, so I really have no choice. But she is very old-fashioned--if you and I are to be together here, we must be married first.'

'Whoa!' I said. 'Married?' I had sincerely felt I might be ready for some form of committed relationship, at least by long-distance, but marriage? Whoa! Back off, baby. Way too much pressure, LOL! 'Why didn't you tell me this when we were together in Hawaii?'

'In Hawaii I was a much different person. I was on holiday.' She pronounced this as 'horriday'; for me, that was a 'horrid day' indeed, I can tell you!

But at least for me the trip was not a total waste of time. In Osaka I signed a strategic agreement with Moen Japan to license the 'Dohonjin' line of custom fixtures ('Dohon' is how the Japanese pronounce my name; they cannot say 'Donho'). This is the first of my designs ever to be mass-produced; I understand it is particularly popular with wealthy unmarried businessmen and lesbians, and has proved to be a very welcome addition to the Likkanen revenue stream! And on the flight home I was privileged to rejoin the 'mile-high club' with a very drunken Mexican lady celebrating a divorce, which I understand is still a noted event in her culture. She was not quite as young as I had first thought, but this was an overnight flight and so the lighting was flattering, especially in the toilet mirror. And besides, I was still feeling a bit hurt.

OK, I must go to bed now--truly.

Next: I will podcast live from my flight!

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Don Juan in Helsinki: 1

Hey to all again, this is Likkanen. I have been asked to blog the story of my life, so I thought it would be a good idea to begin by discussing the remarkable genius of my designs. You could say that my craft partakes of the sculptor or even the painter, because in the old days, I employed plaster castings to conceptualize them. Nowadays, of course, I use a software program called 'Truespace', extruding from vectors I create on my Wacom tablet. Or rather, my excellent assistants do so in my production loft in SoHo. Personally, I now spend at least half my time at my condominium in Oahu, Hawaii. Lately I have felt a strange aversion for the sea, so prefer to Google on my iBook under the sunlamp. With my tan, my almost totally perfect American accent (and dental implants), not to mention my blonde good looks, I am often mistaken for a Dutch or German. I am not, in fact; I am originally from Finland. I wouldn't want you to think I am actually a 'blonde', either. I only look as though I naturally should be. You can think of me as blonde if you like. I am often mistaken for a movie or pr0n film star, and, to be truthfully honest, several times in my life I have been seriously begged to appear in such films. But I must always answer 'no'. My charisma is not the sort to translate well to the camera. I am not telegenital

Sometimes I get crazy ideas into my head! And when that happens, I'm no use to myself until I take some action about them. This of course is the secret of my many years of success with women; my optimism, my obsessiveness. This is also what makes me a great designer. Unfortunately, the idea that has taken root inside my mind now is that I will die soon. My vital essence was like an egg that has been broken and now cannot be repaired, just as the world was created in our great Finnish national epic, 'The Kalevala'. And as soon as this realization occurred to me, I felt no more desire for women any more at all. It was as if I had suddenly lost some sense I had always relied on, like vision or hearing. But not smell, because that sense has become far too acute now, to the point that even women smell bad to me these days! Perhaps that is also a symptom of the disease that is now robbing me of my life.

I am not the sort of person who enjoys illness; I have never taken time out for it before. I was always too busy and preoccupied. To begin with as a youth I was very ambitious for my art. But even in my art, I have lived only for women--many. many women, never settling down for just one. And I was always quite honest about this at first. Women say this is what they want, but of course, they do not. In fact, honesty makes them quite unhappy, so I soon learned to lie. Which has never come naturally to me, I must admit! LOL.

At first this idea of my death didn't upset me overly much. I have no family and am not religious. The value of my designs would only increase, and my business should do even better than it is doing now. In fact, I felt great peace inside, especially at the thought that all my pains would soon vanish. But then I thought, hey, what if they didn't? What if they became much worse, even unbearable? I have never liked or consulted doctors and have no wish to trust them now with my fate. A new idea came to me next, that I should take my fate into my own hands when the pains became too great, like the nobility of Ancient Rome or Japan. But when I thought about it further, I realized I did not want to die in Hawaii. The weather is never appropriate here. And that was when I decided that I must return to Finland. I did not plan necessarily to kill myself on this particular visit, but at least I would know if I could 'feel at home' there again enough to do so at some future time. And, of course, I would always have Manhattan.

And so I bought my airline tickets, first on Northwest from Honolulu to New York, then on Finnair to Helsinki. In between flights I would spend a few nights in my cozy flat above the company loft and catch up on business. Most importantly, I begin this blog journal or 'blournal' for all my friends and former lovers at the online 'social software' community I belong to,, which is like a Craig's List site here in New York, only much more exclusive (though I continue to disagree with the income requirement for women; I certainly would never choose a sexual partner on such a basis, as some of you lucky female peeps know for sure! ; ). So this is my very first entry, and in the coming weeks I will be filling all of you in on my trip back to Finland, on my life, my loves, and naturally, at the very end, my death. Although, of course, I will need a 'guest blogger' to post that final entry! ROFLMAO!

So it is goodnight to all of you now, but never fear! I will be logging on again very soon to jam into you every detail of my 'sentimental journey' back to Suomi, the place of my birth, the dark boggy land of the forests and the fogs. And, hey, you know what? Already I am discovering new and even more interesting things about myself--in spite of my customary coolness, I am growing a little bit excited at the idea of this return to my past. It is not a sexual feeling, of course, so such emotions are very new to me! To be honest, I have not been back to Finland in over thirty years. I was last in Scandinavia in 1983 in order to bury my mother at her funeral in Ostermalm (she was Swedish, you know, and from her I get my blonde good looks, though she was quite dark-haired). Luckily this visit coincided with a conference in Stockholm's Wenner-Gren Centre, at which I received a very prestigious international award (Google me to find out which one!). The thing I remember most about it was flying economy class on SAS. I would never repeat this mistake--thus, all my tickets for this coming trip are first class. This is how I generally travel these days anyway, but of course, since I am dying I have no particular reason to economize further. In addition, I have no one to leave my considerable fortune to. For a few days I toyed with the idea of leaving it to some charity or foundation in order to make the world a better place, but then I realized another feeling inside me with a sudden calm clarity. I don't actually want the world to be a better place! I am quite satisfied to leave it exactly as I found it. In this I think I am a true Finn. We always see both sides of every political issue, both the good and the bad. In the days when I was still using NYSpace for arranging sweet monkey sex with my hot lady lovers, I had to be very careful not to express this, because, as you may know, women in New York City are very liberal, which means they hate George Bush very much. To me, he is just a benign fatherly figure like our famous statue of Marshal Mannerheim, though I have never quite thought of him the same way since a certain former lover of mine pointed rudely to a certain place on herself one evening and asked me, 'Wouldn't you rather have this bush around the oval orifice?' It is a picture I could not ever quite get out of my head after that. Sometimes, these same women will say later they hate me too, so now I secretly feel I have much in common with the president. But it is much safer not to say this out loud, at least not in New York.

In Hawaii, on the other hand, I do not use the Internet for dating purposes. The only peeps here on the Big Island who are logged online day and night are old and unattractive. No need to meet them IRL! Not when there are so many lovely horny tourist ladies who come here from all over the world to enjoy a week or two of beautiful weather and uncomplicated good sweaty sexual relations with studly fellows like myself. And of course a week or two is the precisely correct time nature intended for a sexual relationship to last. I always try to live my life according to nature's rhythms; eating natural organic foods, wearing natural fibres, smoking natural tobacco, even bonking as long as the desire naturally lasts. One should beware of artificial additives. In the old days it was mostly German or Japanese secretaries who came here on packaged tours, but now one sees professional women from every literal country in the whole world--and all one has to do to meet them is go to any decent hotel bar and quaff a glass or two of a fine Merlot. They are looking for Likkanen. Some of these women are even married, yet they travel with girlfriends in groups of three or four. This is quite fashionable to do these days, yet whenever I am hotly and noisily bonking one (or, on more than one occasion, two) of them, I always find myself wondering, what is the husband doing at this very moment? Is he perhaps a gay blade? Is he out tonight having his own bit of fun? Is he off somewhere on a 'separate vacation', perhaps a sex tour of Thailand or Cuba? Or is he waiting beside the telephone, hoping this babe I am bonking will call him? I cannot stand selfish people; I enjoy thinking of others, so at any moment I am likely to let my thoughts roam creatively where they will in a sort of cosmical Buddhistic compassion. I freely confess I find this process deeply erotic.

I mean, I used to find it erotic. Now those happy, carefree times are over for me. But I wouldn't like you to think I am only interested in sex. Oh no. Many times, deeper feelings have evolved between myself and one of these former lovers, and often we have kept in close touch by telephone or email after she has returned to her dreary everyday life without me in some dank, boring country far, far away. And one time...well, yes, I will tell you this because honestly, I have no secrets. One time, I even went to see one of these women again at her home in the hopes that it might actually lead to a 'relationship'. She was from Japan. And that was most unusual for me, because normally I don't find Japanese women very sexy. Their legs are too short, and they smell of fish.

But she was different.

Next: Wedding Vowels...

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