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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