Fiction


Tuesday, July 6th, 2010


Narcolepsy

Finnegan Flawnt

 

I suffered from narcolepsy well into my thirties.

It made it difficult for me to hold down even menial jobs. Once I did a stint in a burger shop, a corner business, greasy hair and rats in the kitchen, half of the customers drunk at seven in the morning. When the shop opened, I was always the first to arrive and the last to leave. The Greek owner had a strict regimen, perhaps he thought he was Alexander the Great or something. He also had two women, both of whom thought they alone were married to him. He saw one during the day the other one in the evenings and often slept in the shop alone. Anyways, around this guy I seemed to have kicked my spell. But one day, as I was stirring a bunch of fat-dripping fries in a pan, I simply slumped. The fries landed on the floor, and I was fired. From a burger place! So I figured I needed to find a job where I could take naps any time without attracting too much attention. I thought: security guard.

I signed up as security man at a jewelry shop which consequently was robbed blind while I was – asleep. This evidently wasn’t the career for me – I’d never have thought security people needed to stay alert like this! I mean you see them virtually sleepwalking around glassy buildings or sidewalks, like zombies. A whole string of other jobs followed. One of them, manager for an accounting business wasn’t bad – my supervisor entrusted me with leading a team and she let me be. The team didn’t care either – they were happy not to be managed. I had a comfy chair where I could slouch and it was barely noticed when my darkness hit me. Until the boss walked in and found me unawakable once. That was that then – the team seemed genuinely sorry to lose me.

I then went to a therapist – lovely woman – to sort myself out. It emerged that the sleepiness was like an addiction for me. True enough - I loved the dreams I had when it happened. They were wild, I mean, unreal like dreams, but more so. I could actually touch things, make people up, and it all felt totally right and real, too. I had a lot of sex in my late twenties this way, including with Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Gina Lollobrigida, Sophia Loren (who was the best, I loved her). I got to know them well - I swear, I could have written a sex biography about every single one of these women. And not only women – I made love to Cary Grant once and he let me touch the cleft in his chin like Audrey Hepburn (not my type) does it in Charade. Kinky stuff.

In those days I was into Film Noir and I wore black. My therapist wore black, too, though she wore hardly anything one summer, which was my last summer with her. I saw her bush (or thought I could) between her legs. That made me want her badly, which I couldn’t bring myself to say to her, so I left. She thought I was out of pocket, which is ridiculous because - I haven't mentioned this yet - I have never worked for money. I am the London-born second son of garbage entrepreneur and a Swiss Heiress of Phortune – pharma fortune (that’s a pun, of course). I never hung out with any of my stuck-up relatives back in the land of green pastures, though, those wasted hooligans of fish-and-chips notoriety. I grew up in Sweden on a lovely isle I cannot even remember the name of, but the islands there look all the same and the people are all blond. Even the elk are blond.

So I had money, and I had my sweet hallucinations, and no job, but a lot of good, solid experience.

On my 39th birthday I declared the year of goodbye to my disorder.

I was fed up with being so awfully neurotic, and I couldn’t keep a girlfriend either. Perhaps they thought I was epileptic or something and wouldn’t say it. And they were all broody and wanted things to evolve into life with kids and garden and all that. Since I had already done the therapy thing, I was looking for something more, well, exotic, stimulating to get help. If I was going to have to give up the wild and wonderful fantasies I had when I fell over that seemed only fair.
I found a witch in a small Italian village in the province of Catanzaro. Drove through one day, saw her sign along the road,

Stregoneria Italiana
filastrocche, streghe, folletti,
strie, fate, masce e fantasmi
di
Signora Maria Buonaparti

which impressed me, so I went in. She was my age I guess, covered in a fishnet suit or something like it and had hair down to her ass. Lots of makeup, very dark eyes, wide apart, and a long nose, equine proportions, I would say. She seemed just crazy enough for me. We talked and there was some incense.

I paid cash up front, I've never minded that because I always have a carpetbag full of notes with me. She saw them too, and I thought then perhaps that’s a mistake. Do you trust me, she said, and I nodded, thinking fuck you I don’t trust you to the end of your schnozzle, but I was curious by then: she had lots of ancient looking icons on the wall, candlelight, several small temples, and her room was like a dark, cozy cave. I felt titillated and odd and not at all afraid.

She then put me in a trance and asked me to go to sleep, which until then I could never do by sheer will, but there I could. She commanded me to summon one of my fantasy girls, and I tried and who came was Sophia Loren, in a very tight dress and shorts with her lovely fat thighs and heaving bosom, it was a feast, but I didn’t want to go any further because I was not alone, and it would’ve felt like wanking in front of the witch (not my thing). So I simply sat down, in my dream, and Sophia sat with me, and she wore fishnet, too, and her eyes were very dark, and she stroked my cheek. It felt wonderful. She held me. I love to be held. I asked, can I put my head in your lap and she allowed me to do it. Sophia, I said, this is so good, and that was true. I didn’t need anything anymore, and I didn’t want to wake up at all. I felt so safe. I love you, Freddy, she said, and stroked me again. And so I stopped being narcoleptic, from that day on I lived with La Loren and I don’t need much, just some stroking and water once in a while, I just want her to look at me and hold me. I need no more.

 


*****

to the top...