Episode 11: Sirens (Literary technique: Fuga per canonem (fugue or polyphony by rule: weaving of various voices and motifs in counterpoint to one another). Art: Music. Time: 38 40 pm. Place: Ormond Hotel

Download 1.73 Mb.
Size1.73 Mb.
1   ...   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   ...   29

As sounds of the benediction are heard, Cissy asks Bloom the time, but his “waterworks were out of order.” As they prepare to leave they see the Mirius bazaar fireworks.
But Gerty was adamant. She had no intention of being at their beck and

call. If they could run like rossies she could sit so she said she could

see from where she was. The eyes that were fastened upon her set

her pulses tingling. She looked at him a moment, meeting his glance,

and a light broke in upon her. Whitehot passion was in that face, passion

silent as the grave, and it had made her his. At last they were left

alone without the others to pry and pass remarks and she knew he

could be trusted to the death, steadfast, a sterling man, a man of

inflexible honour to his fingertips. His hands and face were working

and a tremour went over her. She leaned back far to look up where

the fireworks were and she caught her knee in her hands so as not

to fall back looking up and there was no-one to see only him and

her when she revealed all her graceful beautifully shaped legs like that,

supply soft and delicately rounded, and she seemed to hear the panting

of his heart, his hoarse breathing, because she knew too about the passion

of men like that, hotblooded, because Bertha Supple told her once in dead

secret and made her swear she'd never about the gentleman lodger that was

staying with them out of the Congested Districts Board that had pictures

cut out of papers of those skirtdancers and highkickers and she said he

used to do something not very nice that you could imagine sometimes in

the bed. But this was altogether different from a thing like that

because there was all the difference because she could almost feel

him draw her face to his and the first quick hot touch of his

handsome lips. Besides there was absolution so long as you didn't

do the other thing before being married and there ought to be

women priests that would understand without your telling out and

Cissy Caffrey too sometimes had that dreamy kind of dreamy look

in her eyes so that she too, my dear, and Winny Rippingham so mad

about actors' photographs and besides it was on account of that other

thing coming on the way it did.
And Jacky Caffrey shouted to look, there was another and she leaned back

and the garters were blue to match on account of the transparent and they

all saw it and they all shouted to look, look, there it was and she leaned

back ever so far to see the fireworks and something queer was flying

through the air, a soft thing, to and fro, dark. And she saw a long Roman

candle going up over the trees, up, up, and, in the tense hush,

they were all breathless with excitement as it went higher and higher

and she had to lean back more and more to look up after it, high,

high, almost out of sight, and her face was suffused with a divine,

an entrancing blush from straining back and he could see her other

things too, nainsook knickers, the fabric that caresses the skin,

better than those other pettiwidth, the green, four and eleven,

on account of being white and she let him and she saw that he saw and then

it went so high it went out of sight a moment and she was trembling in

every limb from being bent so far back that he had a full view

high up above her knee where no-one ever not even on the swing or wading

and she wasn't ashamed and he wasn't either to look in that immodest way

like that because he couldn't resist the sight of the wondrous revealment

half offered like those skirtdancers behaving so immodest before gentlemen

looking and he kept on looking, looking. She would fain have cried to him

chokingly, held out her snowy slender arms to him to come, to feel his

lips laid on her white brow, the cry of a young girl's love, a little

strangled cry, wrung from her, that cry that has rung through the ages.

And then a rocket sprang and bang shot blind blank and O! then the Roman

candle burst and it was like a sigh of O! and everyone cried O! O! in

raptures and it gushed out of it a stream of rain gold hair threads and

they shed and ah! they were all greeny dewy stars falling with golden,

O so lovely, O, soft, sweet, soft!
Then all melted away dewily in the grey air: all was silent. Ah! She

glanced at him as she bent forward quickly, a pathetic little glance of

piteous protest, of shy reproach under which he coloured like a girl

He was leaning back against the rock behind. Leopold Bloom (for it is he)

stands silent, with bowed head before those young guileless eyes. What a

brute he had been! At it again? A fair unsullied soul had called to him

and, wretch that he was, how had he answered? An utter cad he had been!

He of all men! But there was an infinite store of mercy in those eyes,

for him too a word of pardon even though he had erred and sinned and

wandered. Should a girl tell? No, a thousand times no. That was their

secret, only theirs, alone in the hiding twilight and there was none to

know or tell save the little bat that flew so softly through the evening

to and fro and little bats don't tell.
Cissy Caffrey whistled, imitating the boys in the football field to show

what a great person she was: and then she cried:
--Gerty! Gerty! We're going. Come on. We can see from farther up.
Gerty had an idea, one of love's little ruses. She slipped a hand into

her kerchief pocket and took out the wadding and waved in reply of course

without letting him and then slipped it back. Wonder if he's too far to.

She rose. Was it goodbye? No. She had to go but they would meet again,

there, and she would dream of that till then, tomorrow, of her dream of

yester eve. She drew herself up to her full height. Their souls met in a

last lingering glance and the eyes that reached her heart, full of a

strange shining, hung enraptured on her sweet flowerlike face. She half

smiled at him wanly, a sweet forgiving smile, a smile that verged on

tears, and then they parted.
Slowly, without looking back she went down the uneven strand to

Cissy, to Edy to Jacky and Tommy Caffrey, to little baby Boardman. It was

darker now and there were stones and bits of wood on the strand and slippy

seaweed. She walked with a certain quiet dignity characteristic of her but

with care and very slowly because--because Gerty MacDowell was ...
Bloom’s thoughts finish the sentence.
Tight boots? No. She's lame! O!
Mr Bloom watched her as she limped away. Poor girl! That's why she's left

on the shelf and the others did a sprint. Thought something was wrong by

the cut of her jib. Jilted beauty. A defect is ten times worse in a woman.

But makes them polite. Glad I didn't know it when she was on show. Hot

little devil all the same. I wouldn't mind. Curiosity like a nun or a

negress or a girl with glasses. That squinty one is delicate. Near her

monthlies, I expect, makes them feel ticklish. I have such a bad headache

today. Where did I put the letter? Yes, all right. All kinds of crazy

longings. Licking pennies. Girl in Tranquilla convent that nun told

me liked to smell rock oil. Virgins go mad in the end I suppose.

Sister? How many women in Dublin have it today? Martha, she. Something

in the air. That's the moon. But then why don't all women menstruate

at the same time with the same moon, I mean? Depends on the time

they were born I suppose. Or all start scratch then get out of step.

Sometimes Molly and Milly together. Anyhow I got the best of that.

Damned glad I didn't do it in the bath this morning over her silly

I will punish you letter. Made up for that tramdriver this morning.

That gouger M'Coy stopping me to say nothing. And his wife

engagement in the country valise, voice like a pickaxe. Thankful for small

mercies. Cheap too. Yours for the asking. Because they want it themselves.

Their natural craving. Shoals of them every evening poured out of offices.

Reserve better. Don't want it they throw it at you. Catch em alive, O.

Pity they can't see themselves. A dream of wellfilled hose. Where was

that? Ah, yes. Mutoscope pictures in Capel street: for men only. Peeping

Tom. Willy's hat and what the girls did with it. Do they snapshot

those girls or is it all a fake? LINGERIE does it. Felt for the

curves inside her DESHABILLE. Excites them also when they're. I'm all

clean come and dirty me. And they like dressing one another for the

sacrifice. Milly delighted with Molly's new blouse. At first.

Put them all on to take them all off. Molly. Why I bought her the violet

garters. Us too: the tie he wore, his lovely socks and turnedup trousers.

He wore a pair of gaiters the night that first we met. His lovely

shirt was shining beneath his what? of jet. Say a woman loses a charm with

every pin she takes out. Pinned together. O, Mairy lost the pin of her.

Dressed up to the nines for somebody. Fashion part of their charm. Just

changes when you're on the track of the secret. Except the east: Mary,

Martha: now as then. No reasonable offer refused. She wasn't in a hurry

either. Always off to a fellow when they are. They never forget an

appointment. Out on spec probably. They believe in chance because like

themselves. And the others inclined to give her an odd dig. Girl friends

at school, arms round each other's necks or with ten fingers locked,

kissing and whispering secrets about nothing in the convent garden. Nuns

with whitewashed faces, cool coifs and their rosaries going up and down,

vindictive too for what they can't get. Barbed wire. Be sure now and write

to me. And I'll write to you. Now won't you? Molly and Josie Powell. Till

Mr Right comes along, then meet once in a blue moon. TABLEAU! O, look

who it is for the love of God! How are you at all? What have you been

doing with yourself? Kiss and delighted to, kiss, to see you. Picking

holes in each other's appearance. You're looking splendid. Sister souls.

Showing their teeth at one another. How many have you left? Wouldn't lend

each other a pinch of salt.
Bloom speculates that Gerty is having her period.
Devils they are when that's coming on them. Dark devilish appearance.

Molly often told me feel things a ton weight. Scratch the sole of

my foot. O that way! O, that's exquisite! Feel it myself too. Good to rest

once in a way. Wonder if it's bad to go with them then. Safe in one way.

Turns milk, makes fiddlestrings snap. Something about withering plants I

read in a garden. Besides they say if the flower withers she wears she's a

flirt. All are. Daresay she felt 1. When you feel like that you often meet

what you feel. Liked me or what? Dress they look at. Always know a fellow

courting: collars and cuffs. Well cocks and lions do the same and stags.

Same time might prefer a tie undone or something. Trousers? Suppose I

when I was? No. Gently does it. Dislike rough and tumble. Kiss in the dark

and never tell. Saw something in me. Wonder what. Sooner have me as I am

than some poet chap with bearsgrease plastery hair, lovelock over his

dexter optic. To aid gentleman in literary. Ought to attend to my

appearance my age. Didn't let her see me in profile. Still, you

never know. Pretty girls and ugly men marrying. Beauty and the

beast. Besides I can't be so if Molly. Took off her hat to show

her hair. Wide brim. Bought to hide her face, meeting someone might

know her, bend down or carry a bunch of flowers to smell. Hair

strong in rut. Ten bob I got for Molly's combings when we were on

the rocks in Holles street. Why not? Suppose he gave her money.

Why not? All a prejudice. She's worth ten, fifteen, more, a pound. What? I

think so. All that for nothing. Bold hand: Mrs Marion. Did I forget to

write address on that letter like the postcard I sent to Flynn? And the

day I went to Drimmie's without a necktie. Wrangle with Molly it was put

me off. No, I remember. Richie Goulding: he's another. Weighs on his mind.

Funny my watch stopped at half past four. Dust. Shark liver oil they use

to clean. Could do it myself. Save. Was that just when he, she?
O, he did. Into her. She did. Done.
Mr Bloom with careful hand recomposed his wet shirt. O Lord, that little

limping devil. Begins to feel cold and clammy. Aftereffect not pleasant.

Still you have to get rid of it someway. They don't care. Complimented

perhaps. Go home to nicey bread and milky and say night prayers with the

kiddies. Well, aren't they? See her as she is spoil all. Must have the

stage setting, the rouge, costume, position, music. The name too. AMOURS

of actresses. Nell Gwynn, Mrs Bracegirdle, Maud Branscombe. Curtain up.

Moonlight silver effulgence. Maiden discovered with pensive bosom. Little

sweetheart come and kiss me. Still, I feel. The strength it gives a man.

That's the secret of it. Good job I let off there behind the wall coming

out of Dignam's. Cider that was. Otherwise I couldn't have. Makes you want

to sing after. LACAUS ESANT TARATARA. Suppose I spoke to her. What about?

Bad plan however if you don't know how to end the conversation. Ask them a

question they ask you another. Good idea if you're stuck. Gain time. But

then you're in a cart. Wonderful of course if you say: good evening, and

you see she's on for it: good evening. O but the dark evening in the

Appian way I nearly spoke to Mrs Clinch O thinking she was. Whew! Girl in

Meath street that night. All the dirty things I made her say. All wrong of

course. My arks she called it. It's so hard to find one who. Aho! If you

don't answer when they solicit must be horrible for them till they harden.

And kissed my hand when I gave her the extra two shillings. Parrots. Press

the button and the bird will squeak. Wish she hadn't called me sir. O, her

mouth in the dark! And you a married man with a single girl! That's what

they enjoy. Taking a man from another woman. Or even hear of it.

Different with me. Glad to get away from other chap's wife. Eating off his

cold plate. Chap in the Burton today spitting back gumchewed gristle.

French letter still in my pocketbook. Cause of half the trouble. But might

happen sometime, I don't think. Come in, all is prepared. I dreamt. What?

Worst is beginning. How they change the venue when it's not what they

like. Ask you do you like mushrooms because she once knew a gentleman

who. Or ask you what someone was going to say when he changed his

mind and stopped. Yet if I went the whole hog, say: I want to, something

like that. Because I did. She too. Offend her. Then make it up. Pretend to

want something awfully, then cry off for her sake. Flatters them. She must

have been thinking of someone else all the time. What harm? Must since she

came to the use of reason, he, he and he. First kiss does the trick. The

propitious moment. Something inside them goes pop. Mushy like, tell by

their eye, on the sly. First thoughts are best. Remember that till their

dying day. Molly, lieutenant Mulvey that kissed her under the Moorish wall

beside the gardens. Fifteen she told me. But her breasts were developed.

Fell asleep then. After Glencree dinner that was when we drove home.

Featherbed mountain. Gnashing her teeth in sleep. Lord mayor had his eye

on her too. Val Dillon. Apoplectic.
There she is with them down there for the fireworks. My fireworks.

Up like a rocket, down like a stick. And the children, twins they must be,

waiting for something to happen. Want to be grownups. Dressing in

mother's clothes. Time enough, understand all the ways of the world. And

the dark one with the mop head and the nigger mouth. I knew she could

whistle. Mouth made for that. Like Molly. Why that highclass whore in

Jammet's wore her veil only to her nose. Would you mind, please, telling

me the right time? I'll tell you the right time up a dark lane. Say prunes

and prisms forty times every morning, cure for fat lips. Caressing the

little boy too. Onlookers see most of the game. Of course they understand

birds, animals, babies. In their line.
Didn't look back when she was going down the strand. Wouldn't give that

satisfaction. Those girls, those girls, those lovely seaside girls. Fine

eyes she had, clear. It's the white of the eye brings that out not so much

the pupil. Did she know what I? Course. Like a cat sitting beyond a dog's

jump. Women never meet one like that Wilkins in the high school drawing a

picture of Venus with all his belongings on show. Call that innocence?

Poor idiot! His wife has her work cut out for her. Never see them sit

on a bench marked WET PAINT. Eyes all over them. Look under the bed

for what's not there. Longing to get the fright of their lives.

Sharp as needles they are. When I said to Molly the man at the corner

of Cuffe street was goodlooking, thought she might like, twigged at

once he had a false arm. Had, too. Where do they get that? Typist

going up Roger Greene's stairs two at a time to show her understandings.

Handed down from father to, mother to daughter, I mean. Bred in the

bone. Milly for example drying her handkerchief on the mirror to

save the ironing. Best place for an ad to catch a woman's eye on a

mirror. And when I sent her for Molly's Paisley shawl to Prescott's

by the way that ad I must, carrying home the change in her stocking!

Clever little minx. I never told her. Neat way she carries parcels

too. Attract men, small thing like that. Holding up her hand, shaking it,

to let the blood flow back when it was red. Who did you learn that from?

Nobody. Something the nurse taught me. O, don't they know! Three years

old she was in front of Molly's dressingtable, just before we left Lombard

street west. Me have a nice pace. Mullingar. Who knows? Ways of the

world. Young student. Straight on her pins anyway not like the other.

Still she was game. Lord, I am wet. Devil you are. Swell of her calf.

Transparent stockings, stretched to breaking point. Not like that frump

today. A. E. Rumpled stockings. Or the one in Grafton street. White. Wow!

Beef to the heel.
A monkey puzzle rocket burst, spluttering in darting crackles. Zrads

and zrads, zrads, zrads. And Cissy and Tommy and Jacky ran out to see

and Edy after with the pushcar and then Gerty beyond the curve of the

rocks. Will she? Watch! Watch! See! Looked round. She smelt an onion.

Darling, I saw, your. I saw all.
Did me good all the same. Off colour after Kiernan's, Dignam's. For

this relief much thanks. In HAMLET, that is. Lord! It was all things

combined. Excitement. When she leaned back, felt an ache at the butt of my

tongue. Your head it simply swirls. He's right. Might have made a worse

fool of myself however. Instead of talking about nothing. Then I will tell

you all. Still it was a kind of language between us. It couldn't be? No,

Gerty they called her. Might be false name however like my name and the

address Dolphin's barn a blind.
Bloom’s thought turn to women and Molly’s superiority predominates.


Place made me think of that I suppose. All tarred with the same brush

Wiping pens in their stockings. But the ball rolled down to her as if it

understood. Every bullet has its billet. Course I never could throw

anything straight at school. Crooked as a ram's horn. Sad however because

it lasts only a few years till they settle down to potwalloping and papa's

pants will soon fit Willy and fuller's earth for the baby when they hold

him out to do ah ah. No soft job. Saves them. Keeps them out of harm's

way. Nature. Washing child, washing corpse. Dignam. Children's hands

always round them. Cocoanut skulls, monkeys, not even closed at first,

sour milk in their swaddles and tainted curds. Oughtn't to have given

that child an empty teat to suck. Fill it up with wind. Mrs Beaufoy,

Purefoy. Must call to the hospital. Wonder is nurse Callan there still.

She used to look over some nights when Molly was in the Coffee Palace.

That young doctor O'Hare I noticed her brushing his coat. And Mrs Breen

and Mrs Dignam once like that too, marriageable. Worst of all at night

Mrs Duggan told me in the City Arms. Husband rolling in drunk, stink of

pub off him like a polecat. Have that in your nose in the dark,

whiff of stale boose. Then ask in the morning: was I drunk last

night? Bad policy however to fault the husband. Chickens come

home to roost. They stick by one another like glue. Maybe the

women's fault also. That's where Molly can knock spots off them. It's the

blood of the south. Moorish. Also the form, the figure. Hands felt for the

opulent. Just compare for instance those others. Wife locked up at home,

skeleton in the cupboard. Allow me to introduce my. Then they trot you out

some kind of a nondescript, wouldn't know what to call her. Always see a

fellow's weak point in his wife. Still there's destiny in it, falling in

love. Have their own secrets between them. Chaps that would go to the dogs

if some woman didn't take them in hand. Then little chits of girls,

height of a shilling in coppers, with little hubbies. As God made them he

matched them. Sometimes children turn out well enough. Twice nought makes

one. Or old rich chap of seventy and blushing bride. Marry in May and

repent in December. This wet is very unpleasant. Stuck. Well the foreskin

is not back. Better detach.
Other hand a sixfooter with a wifey up to his watchpocket. Long and

the short of it. Big he and little she. Very strange about my watch.

Wristwatches are always going wrong. Wonder is there any magnetic

influence between the person because that was about the time he. Yes, I

suppose, at once. Cat's away, the mice will play. I remember looking in

Pill lane. Also that now is magnetism. Back of everything magnetism. Earth

for instance pulling this and being pulled. That causes movement. And

time, well that's the time the movement takes. Then if one thing stopped

the whole ghesabo would stop bit by bit. Because it's all arranged.

Magnetic needle tells you what's going on in the sun, the stars. Little

piece of steel iron. When you hold out the fork. Come. Come. Tip. Woman

and man that is. Fork and steel. Molly, he. Dress up and look and suggest

and let you see and see more and defy you if you're a man to see that and,

like a sneeze coming, legs, look, look and if you have any guts in you.

Tip. Have to let fly.
Wonder how is she feeling in that region. Shame all put on before

third person. More put out about a hole in her stocking. Molly, her

underjaw stuck out, head back, about the farmer in the ridingboots and

spurs at the horse show. And when the painters were in Lombard street

west. Fine voice that fellow had. How Giuglini began. Smell that I did.

Like flowers. It was too. Violets. Came from the turpentine probably in

the paint. Make their own use of everything. Same time doing it scraped

her slipper on the floor so they wouldn't hear. But lots of them can't

kick the beam, I think. Keep that thing up for hours. Kind of a general

all round over me and half down my back.
Wait. Hm. Hm. Yes. That's her perfume. Why she waved her hand. I

leave you this to think of me when I'm far away on the pillow. What is it?

Heliotrope? No. Hyacinth? Hm. Roses, I think. She'd like scent of that

kind. Sweet and cheap: soon sour. Why Molly likes opoponax. Suits her,

with a little jessamine mixed. Her high notes and her low notes. At the

dance night she met him, dance of the hours. Heat brought it out. She was

wearing her black and it had the perfume of the time before. Good

conductor, is it? Or bad? Light too. Suppose there's some connection. For

instance if you go into a cellar where it's dark. Mysterious thing too.

Why did I smell it only now? Took its time in coming like herself, slow

but sure. Suppose it's ever so many millions of tiny grains blown across.

Yes, it is. Because those spice islands, Cinghalese this morning, smell

them leagues off. Tell you what it is. It's like a fine fine veil or web

they have all over the skin, fine like what do you call it gossamer, and

they're always spinning it out of them, fine as anything, like rainbow

colours without knowing it. Clings to everything she takes off. Vamp of

her stockings. Warm shoe. Stays. Drawers: little kick, taking them off.

Byby till next time. Also the cat likes to sniff in her shift on

the bed. Know her smell in a thousand. Bathwater too. Reminds me of

strawberries and cream. Wonder where it is really. There or the armpits

or under the neck. Because you get it out of all holes and corners.

Hyacinth perfume made of oil of ether or something. Muskrat.

Bag under their tails. One grain pour off odour for years. Dogs at

each other behind. Good evening. Evening. How do you sniff? Hm. Hm.

Very well, thank you. Animals go by that. Yes now, look at it that way.

We're the same. Some women, instance, warn you off when they have their

period. Come near. Then get a hogo you could hang your hat on. Like

what? Potted herrings gone stale or. Boof! Please keep off the grass.
Perhaps they get a man smell off us. What though? Cigary gloves long

John had on his desk the other day. Breath? What you eat and drink gives

that. No. Mansmell, I mean. Must be connected with that because priests

that are supposed to be are different. Women buzz round it like flies

round treacle. Railed off the altar get on to it at any cost. The tree

of forbidden priest. O, father, will you? Let me be the first to.

That diffuses itself all through the body, permeates. Source of life.

And it's extremely curious the smell. Celery sauce. Let me.
Mr Bloom inserted his nose. Hm. Into the. Hm. Opening of his

waistcoat. Almonds or. No. Lemons it is. Ah no, that's the soap.
O by the by that lotion. I knew there was something on my mind.

Never went back and the soap not paid. Dislike carrying bottles like that

hag this morning. Hynes might have paid me that three shillings. I could

mention Meagher's just to remind him. Still if he works that paragraph.

Two and nine. Bad opinion of me he'll have. Call tomorrow. How much do

I owe you? Three and nine? Two and nine, sir. Ah. Might stop him giving

credit another time. Lose your customers that way. Pubs do. Fellows run up

a bill on the slate and then slinking around the back streets into

somewhere else.
Here's this nobleman passed before. Blown in from the bay. Just went

as far as turn back. Always at home at dinnertime. Looks mangled out: had

a good tuck in. Enjoying nature now. Grace after meals. After supper walk

a mile. Sure he has a small bank balance somewhere, government sit. Walk

after him now make him awkward like those newsboys me today. Still you

learn something. See ourselves as others see us. So long as women don't

mock what matter? That's the way to find out. Ask yourself who is he now.

THE MYSTERY MAN ON THE BEACH, prize titbit story by Mr Leopold Bloom.

Payment at the rate of one guinea per column. And that fellow today at the

graveside in the brown macintosh. Corns on his kismet however. Healthy

perhaps absorb all the. Whistle brings rain they say. Must be some

somewhere. Salt in the Ormond damp. The body feels the atmosphere. Old

Betty's joints are on the rack. Mother Shipton's prophecy that is about

ships around they fly in the twinkling. No. Signs of rain it is. The royal

reader. And distant hills seem coming nigh.

Share with your friends:
1   ...   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   ...   29

The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2020
send message

    Main page