Having my way with Ulysses

Do you know what you look like?

Of what Adam predating paradise, of what inscrutable divinity are all of us a broken mirror-image?Barang!

I had been waiting all day, watching the pawn shop. Instructive. Then he came round the corner, half drunk. The look of him. An embarrassment. On whose shoulder will I rest my head, coming from a situation like this? He had money.
Melancholy God, how long had she been standing there looking like her uncle with her head on her shoulder. She’ll get curvature of the spine if she doesn’t watch out. An embarrassment standing there. Wants money.

whewe ewerg moey goig ewerg awayg ombogy oo pick ig up.

I smelled he had been drinking now, but I learned from him how to get what we need. Wait awhile, I thought, and I talk something out of him.  Just wait awhile. He gave me $5.00.  It was short shrift for a long day, watching the pawn shop for hours.  He’ll leave us first chance he gets. He says so, but we are still stuck with him.  We are worse off for him but if he died?  Even worse.  Watching all day.  He said he got ten bucks but I know he has more.  Can’t he look money somewhere? Well, he is funny, my dad.
I was not drinking, then.  Who taught her to talk like that? Insolent pack of bitches. They’ll get short shrift and a long day from me.  I’ll leave them. They’d be happy to see me dead, curse their souls.  She should watch that pawn shop, learn something. Told her I got $10.00 from Jack Power.  Where am I going to look for money? It’s not like it’s just lying around in the gutters waiting to be picked up. She got three more quarters out of me.  Skinny thing needs to eat something. I’ll be home with her soon. My girl.

A series of stretch suv’s (one bearing flags) enters a highway cleared of cars.

One who has faded into impalpability through death, through absence, through change of manners.

What is love? 'tis not hereafter; Present mirth hath present laughter; What's to come is still unsure: In delay there lies no plenty; Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty, Youth's a stuff will not endure. 2:10 pm

I married a ghost.  And I died before I was born.  Liliata rutilantium.  Well, I died sixty-seven years after I was born, but what is it to you how we lived or died?  Forget me.  He did.  He left me and he gained a world of pretty theatre boys in the cast off armor of court ladies.  The world believes William made a mistake marrying me.  And got out of it as best he could and quickly too.  Stephen thinks a man of genius makes no mistakes, that his errors are volitional, to be used as portals of discovery.  Well William’s genius discovered my portal sure enough.  Made use of me.  And don’t think that because I was twenty-six and he a full eight years younger than me that I drew him in, trapped him into bed and then ruthlessly wed.  Listen to greenroom gossip if you like, but consider:  what would I want with a boy pauper for a husband?  Call me a whore before and a shrew after, what do I care, but the truth is he came after me.  The mistake was mine and he knew it.  He made it Ophelia’s mistake too.  But instead of drowning myself in the Avon, I told my family and they fixed it.  Took care of business.  Five months after our wedding I gave birth to our daughter, my sweet light-of-love.  But did he care?  No.  Gone he was to London and no agenbite of inwit to it.  And for me what was he, a ghost by his absence to haunt me.  And my status?  Not widow.  Hardly a wife.  A stationary target for his debt collectors.  As he rose I became conspicuous.  Like a bad smell in the room, worse than that stench hovering around Æ.  The smell of him!  I may not have a nose left to my face but wow!  That reek will raise the dead.  But the point odoriferous Æ makes is valid.  What use is it to pry into my husband’s life, the bastard.  Good for nothing.  Lousy father.  It was no use to me, that I can assure you, I wept alone.  Leaving us to starve on our own in Stratford.  His drinking, his debts.  Stephen owes AE almost $100, did you know that?  But did he catch AE’s hint?  Bringing up my worthless husband’s financial incontinence.  He caught it.  Then he rationalized his way out of it.  Stephen five months ago was a different set of molecules went his logic.  It wasn’t me.  It was those molecules of Stephen that borrowed the money, the Stephen now is composed of entirely new stuff and cannot be blamed for what any prior Stephen has done.  Free and clear.  No agenbite of inwit, eh Stephen?  Nice try kid.  Good use of physics.  That handy second law of thermodynamics, those molecules from five months ago will decay as plainly as did the nose on my face.  But don’t you forget that first law.  There are still constants to deal with and your memory persists.  It changes things, does a little rearranging here and there, always a bit of phenomenal fluxing within grey matter, but memory persists.  And don’t forget your form of forms.  That soul rattling around within those nice new molecules of yours persists too.  Just look at me if you need a bit of proof.  Or get a whiff of AE  if you prefer your proof to be more on the measurable side of things.  You owe what you owe.  Pay your own damn way.

Can you feel that? Can you?

When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce [us] under absolute Despotism, it is [our] right, it is [our] duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for [our] future security.10:33 am

Buck: $800, three pairs of socks, a pair of shoes, ties.
Curran: $950
McCann: $95
Fred Ryan: $10
Temple:  Two lunches
Æ: $95
Cousins: $45
Bob Reynolds: $50
Koehler: $285
Mrs MacKernan:  Five weeks rent

My paycheck was $634.88.  If I survive to see it, I get another one just as useless in half a month.  Deasy says money is power.  We are a generous people he says, but we must also be just.  Who is this we?  Generosity and justice.  I fear those big words which make us so unhappy.

Whorled without end

And almost where the hillside starts to rise -- Look there! A leopard, very quick and lithe, a leopard covered with a spotted hide. He did not disappear from sight, but stayed; indeed he so impeded my ascent that I had often to turn back again. 10:30 am

Picked up paycheck.  $634.88.  Tried to make brief my bi-monthly appearance in the undergrad office for it.  As it was in the beginning is now.  And ever shall be?  Got cornered by Deasy.  Asked me to wait in his office.  Shit.  Tiny offices in Padelford.  I think mine is in one of the sub-basements.  I wouldn’t know, I don’t like descending there.  Climbing back up my firm foot is always the one below, dragging.  Deasy’s breakfast still on his desk.  And a mirror to see his angry white moustache (rare) and illdyed hair.  Makes the room smaller.  Has shells in a mortar.  Left over from grinding purple for the emperor.  Hollow.  Cowries for buying islands and leopard shells blocking their way.  Symbols of beauty and power.  The numbers on my paycheck, symbols of greed, pride, avarace, and lust. 

It’s a toss up I think

Damn all else they are good for.8:57 am

So where do I get money, from those to whom I am in debt (the milk woman) or from those who will never feel indebted to me (I don’t need to tell you)?  Buck has been working on Haines he says on my behalf.  Play them he says and to hell with them all.   I see little hope.

Glory be to the collector of prepuces

If we could live on good food like that we wouldn't have the country full of rotten teeth and rotten guts. Time enough.8:48 am

Milk delivery today.  Old woman this time.  A lowly form of an immortal delivering a message.  Buck invited her in.  Haines tried to impress her with his knowledge of working class movements in America and it was like he was speaking a foreign language.  Haven’t paid the milk bill in a while, Haines made the woman wait so we could pay.  Buck paid most of it, an oblation, said we’d owe the rest.

Listen to that warm running sunlight

8:42 am

Haines apologized for screaming in his sleep again.  Buck told him what I said about web fiction which earned the distinction “clever” then suggested I ask Haines for money.  Twice a month Buck has plans for my paycheck; wants to drink it later.  Thinks it will be $700.  He sang this all morning:

 

 

I brought his shaving bowl in from the balcony.  This is the song my mind sang all morning, pushed around a bit by Buck’s bellowing:

 

Armed

The cold steel pen8:24 am

Cranly once held my arm and told me that I am an excitable man.  I have no fear of being alone, even without a friend who would be more true and more noble and more than a friend.  It is Buck who wishes to excite me now (his arm Cranly’s arm) this time into borrowing money from Haines before kicking him out.  Even said he’d call Seymour and we could call him out, kick his ass, but I don’t think so.  Let him stay.  Nothing wrong with him except at night.