I’m just glad he didn’t puke on me. If Doran is admiring or advising her rather, then I should come out top dog. Tell her he’s sorry about her trouble, he says, sorry he was too stinking drunk to go to the funeral. Willy! Poor Doran. Had bad luck there, and now he has his life long to pay for it. And no way out of that family. But Martin asked me specifically to go to the house given my experience in these matters. I can advise her. She can rely on me. Take care of everything. Insurance run on the same principle as the lottery and Hell, you understand. There’s luck, and there’s always a work around. And there is that loophole for her if we can work it right. Helps to have a friend in court. Dignam did owe the money, but we can still get the company to pay the widow, if handled properly. She’s still young.
I’ve tried so many people I can’t tell if I’m coming or going. School for the children, money, insurance question. Insurance later with Bloom, much kindness in him. Poor Dignam, decent little soul, a bit low sized. We’ll help his children up, and his widow, give them peace. Down to me to arrange it. Burned by gold heads appear above the crossblind of their usual window. She won’t have to ascend and descend other’s staircases. Descending the staircase, Nannetti, hailed his fellow council members ascending the staircase. Dual mirrors in a shop window supervise Blazes Boylan, virile, energies rising, intercepting Bob Doran, emasculated, on the downward arc of his annual bender. Jimmy Henry and Long John Fanning: they’ll give on the spot, no hesitation, no questions. They’ll do it purely for goodness’ sake.
John Henry Menton, how grand we are this morning. He might have said thank you instead of nothing. As if I turned him into stone. Hates me. Hate at first sight. A guy doesn’t like to be beaten spectacularly at anything. But in front of women, well. And Molly and Floey Dillon laughing under the lilac tree didn’t help. The root of his dislike. Mortified him. He did nothing but stare with those oyster eyes until Martin, helpful, also told him your hat is a little crushed. He thanked Martin. Never mind. He’ll be sorry when it dawns on him. Get the pull over him that way. Leave him under an obligation: costs little.
He looks a bit like Shakespeare, or so they say. I see it. He’s an intelligent man, doesn’t deserve his cyclical life. Drunk wife, dancing around in a kimono with an umbrella that time, pawns furniture, he buys it back. She sells it again Friday and he starts again Monday. Sisyphus without the rock. Would wear the heart out of a stone. It was just after we saw the tiny coffin, white, Martin tried to turn the talk away from. Poor little thing in that coffin. Well out of it as Dedalus said. In the midst of life we are in death. And we all understand what that means perfectly well. Don’t we? I mean, I always believe. At least for me. Take Rudy for example. Sweet little dwarf body weak as putty. They say a mistake of nature. Meant nothing, better luck next time. He doesn’t have to. Or at least he will never. Hell with this, what was I saying? Death in the midst of life. Yes. Nabokov said the cradle rocks above an abyss. You see? Life is a pinpoint of light surrounded by eternitites of darkness. Where we came from, where we are going: the same place. Oh they look on suicide badly enough, greatest disgrace to have in a family, cowardly, temporary insanity was Cunningham’s charitable view. But I don’t know. It is a route at least. It’s one way to get there. Poor Papa. He was in a room with hunting pictures on the walls. At his hotel. The bottle was there and they said they thought he was asleep at first. But then saw the yellow streaks on his face. I didn’t want to look and see him differ from. And the letter. For my son Leopold. No more pain. Rattle his bones. Over the stones. He’s only a pauper whom nobody owns. Nobody owns.