Figurski at Findhorn on Acid


Squeezed into a too-small parka and wool hat pulled down to his eyebrows, Figurski wanders the dune area at the strange conjunction of Findhorn Park, the ancient Bay, and the neighboring Royal Air Force base. He sees a distant dark shape on the water like a submarine surfacing briefly on a furtive mission. He thinks he hears a foghorn or a fishing boat, then the ripping acceleration of a modern fighter jet somewhere overhead, but the thick overcast and cold North Sea wind make it difficult to identify separate sounds or tell their direction. The words "dissonant soup" occur to him, then disappear with a couple of dirty spotted gulls.

The crate is half-buried (whether from time or impact) in sand. Oddly, it has no markings. Was it intended as a secret delivery? Figurski's Swiss Army knife is sufficient to pry off the first board, which he uses as a crowbar for the others. Plastic peanuts, layers and layers of padding and bubble wrap. Then metal, wood, a slowly emerging animal shape ... rivets ... a snout? Finally it stands there in its wrappings like the giant mechanized Christmas presents that rich kids got, old-looking yet perfectly preserved, bizarre in conception yet somehow logical and mathematically precise, an apparently antique, low-tech, engineering marvel. We can only try to imagine the instantaneous connection that Frank Figurski feels with this artificial creation. Violating his parole at isolated, windswept, idealistic Findhorn, he kneels down and wraps his long arms around the mechanical pig to protect it from the blowing sand and salty air, as dramatic music plays in his head.

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