Quarter after. What is quarter of? I’ve never understood that one. Quarter of, is it before or after? Whatever. Why quibble over a preposition, there is no before or after. Time enough yet. Always time. Where is this? Ah yes, the last time. That’s where. Wait. Have to go for Molly’s lotion. When did I get it last? No prescription. Alchemist can look it up.
[The shop door rings as Bloom enters. A toothache he had been experiencing is suddenly cured]
Mary Magdalene: Can I help you?
Bloom: Yes, a shrunken skull, the philosopher’s stone, a lemony soap, and a refill of a prescription lotion for Molly Bloom.
Mary Magdalene: Is she in our system?
Bloom: [with a drugged mental excitement] Yes.
Mary Magdalene: And you could use a cure for that dandruff.
Bloom: Not for me. Do you mean me?
Mary Magdalene: [Mixing ingredients in an alabaster jar] No of course not. Let’s see, need to rinse scalp with a little laurel and green tea steeped in distilled water. Any allergies?
Bloom: Bee stings, so please not an electuary. Can’t be too careful.
[Mary Magdalene hands Bloom the jar then whacks him across the face]
Bloom: [With obvious pleasure] Why?
Mary Magdalene: In case of reaction. Want to be careful. Anything else? Having trouble sleeping? Maybe some chloroform? Laudanum? How about a nice love philtre?
Bloom: Does it constipate?
Mary Magdalene: Clogs the pores. Or the phlegm rather.
Bloom: Can you mix it into Molly’s lotion?
Mary Magdalene: Ah yes. A remedy where you least expect it. That’s the acid test.
Bloom: [Coyly] I’ll come for it later. You know, you ought to physic yourself a bit.
Mary Magdalene: [flirtatiously] And gradually change my character? You have a bit of pluck! Now as for Molly’s lotion, tell her she wants to be careful. Too much and she will experience a lifetime in a night.
Bloom: [Exiting, inhaling slowly the keen reek of drugs] Yes. I said yes. I will. Yes.