By JERRY GRIT
The twread-thru Ulysses continues…
174. Horserace talk from Flynn. Chix dig cold noses&beards&dogs. LB likes wine w/sandwich, thinks can go home @ 6 & that we eat odd things.
175. Who 1st thought 2 eat oysters? People who eat tainted food, special food. LBs waiter fantasy. Sees flies doink. Wine is LBs #madeleine.
176. LB recalls doink’g MB on Dublin coast as goats watched. MB fed LB like a momma bird. Not anymore. LB ponders bar, curves, divine butts.
177. LB goes potty. Flynn & Boyle talk about LB, his mourning dress, MB’s a tasty piece. Flynn thinks LB rich b/c he’s a Mason. Bores Boyle.
178. Boyle says LBs decent, not a drunk. Reluctant Flynn agrees but that LB wont sign anything. Enter Leonard, Lyons, Rochford. Order drinks
179. More horserace talk. Lyons still thinks he got a betting tip from LB. LB exits potty, waves, exits pub. Sees dog eat, heads 2 library.
180. LB thinks opera, calculates future earning, silk petticoat gift 4 MB, but not 2day. Asks 2 help young blindman cross street, consents.
181. Helping 2 cross, sensitive 2 not condescend. LB ponders blind life: mistreatment, misunderstanding, how other senses become stronger.
182. Ponders blinds’ sex, dreams, life. Adjusts himself. Recalls NY General Slocum disaster. Sees judge Falkiner, only drinks vintage wine.
183. LB passes Mercer Hospital, recalls Handels Messiah presented as benefit 4 it. SEES BOYLAN. Averts eyes, heart races, checks pockets.
Had Robert Altman finally gotten around to directing Ulysses: The Movie, Steve Buscemi would have been cast as Nosey Flynn.
That said, the pace picks up in this reading and ends with a little drama. Joyce can do tension, too!
Bloom is still at Boyle’s pub (the Pandera to The Burton’s Ponderosa), enjoying his cheese sandwich and wine. Nosey is being nosey, asking about Molly’s upcoming tour and Blazes Boylan’s involvement. Bloom is polite, but a little unnerved thinking Nosey might know about the impending hook-up. But he also knows Nosey’s a little dense.
Bloom goes to the bathroom. Surprisingly, we don’t follow along this time. Instead, we’re privy to how the Dubliners talk about Bloom in his absence. Boyle likes him because he’s not a drunk. Nosey agrees, but has his reservations. He thinks there’s something sneaky with Bloom’s Masonic connections and that Bloom won’t sign any contracts. God forbid you have a social network and are circumspect to legally binding agreements.
Bantam Lyons and friends come into Boyle’s. He boasts that he has a tip on today’s race, having mistaken Bloom’s earlier comment about “throwaway” as a tip on the horse of the same name. Thus continues Joyce’s lame proto-Who’s-On-First gag.
Bloom exits, heads to library. He helps a young solemn and sloppy-looking man with troubled eyesight. Remind us of anyone? Remember, coming events cast their shadows before.
All the while, thoughts of Molly and her upcoming transgression with Boylan keep coming up (scheduled for 4pm, it’s 2pm). Bloom successfully distracts himself from the unpleasant thoughts, but then he actually sees Boylan and his stupid straw hat (again). Puts Bloom in a tizzy, and he does everything he can to avoid a confrontation with, or even an acknowledgment of, the douchebag.
He narrowly avoids any contact. Of course, with Joyce, the drama is in a conflict not happening. Fine. We take what we get.
Food and eating references proliferate throughout the reading. Will go into this in my funmary of the entire chapter tomorrow-sh!
Filed under: Reading Ulysses