Monday, July 15, 2013

The Fall of Saigon

The whirring of a helicopter woke me.  Could be it was just the ceiling fan.  Like in Apocalypse Now.  In the version of the opening scene that I play in my head there are choppers, palm trees, napalm, & Morrison crooning psychedelic “This is the End…” – but they’re the palm trees of Venice, & the view out thru the venetian blinds is of the Hollywood sign.

The word “helicopter” comes from the Greek helix (helicos) meaning “spiral” & pteron meaning “wing”.  This makes me think of Hermes, the Greek god of literature, learning & science.  He invented the lyre & the flute—but he is also the god of thieves.  While the wings at his ankles were never reported to be “spiral wings”, I always figured that he served as a kind of eye-in-the-sky for Zeus.

Here it was just a police helicopter, evidently looking for someone or something.  Searchlights strafing the backyard.  The neighborhood dogs started barking & off in the distance I could hear sirens approaching.