By James Joyce
Chapter 1: Telemachus
Up fast there Mulligan, the stately shaving cream monster coasts a phallus due for friction. Ay there’s the rub! Or so the bard would say twixt the tête - à – tête of man and appendage the merry action replete with guilty conscience flaws.
Dragged out of sticky greying sheets, Ole mulligan staggered to the stair well, the shaving implements arranged in best pentangle fashion he intoned:
“Cthulhu Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu.”
All being well with the saintly squid asleep, he descended to the breakfast chatter. Solemnly he came foreword to the rail, and shouted down the piss wet stairs:
From the depths came a reply:
“Mulligan, are you drunk?”
Applying the shaving cream to his bristled face. He screamed a retort, a threat, in fact
“Do ya want me knuckles brown in yer dentals-aspect and be spitting gritty-bone all o’er the oaken floor by The lord I’ll task ye with a fist if you so mush as touch me Guinness, where is me Guinness anyhow?”
“You drank all the Guinness, out of the toilet; you thought it was a ‘whores behind’”
Mulligan scowled indignant. Intolerant of these lies. He added more cream and warbled in a preachers tone: -- For this, O dearly beloved, is the genuine Christine: body and soul and blood and ouns. Slow music, please. Shut your eyes, gents. One moment. A little trouble about those white corpuscles. Silence, all.
He peered sideways up and gave a long low whistle of call, as he gently pissed on the floor, his even white teeth glistening here and there as he listen to the drip drip drip of urine down the floorboards. Chrysostomos. Two strong shrill whistles answered through the calm.
Thanks, old chap, he cried briskly. That will do nicely. Switch off the current, will you? I’m poorly from too much electric. See me sneeze?
He slipped off the gunrest and looked gravely at his watcher, gathering about his legs the loose folds of his paper gown. The lardy jowled face and sandpaper skin recalled a prelate, patron of ‘arts’ in the middle ages. A pleasant smile broke quietly over his lips. The mockery of it! he said gaily. Your absurd name, an ancient Greek! It’s funnier than cancer.
He pointed his gangrenous finger in friendly jest and went over to the parapet, laughing to himself: “Ha ha ha ha hi hi ha hi ha h a? ha hi Ho who ha?.”
Stephen Dedalus stepped up, followed him wearily halfway and sat down, he was tired of this sozzled cretins huulabalopaloika gibberish and whished he’d not had turps for breakfast. It gave him liver bloat. Why not cocaine like sensible folk? He mused awhile, watching him still as he giggled hysterically.
“Hu hu ho he he he te he he he hi he ha ha aaaarrgghhhhh.” He cut his flesh with the implement and swore:
“Bloodyfeckers!thebastardsarseonmefacethetwatI’llsitonhismothercometuesdayandfuckerher-blind.” Mulligan propped his mirror on the parapet, dipped the brush in the bowl and lathered cheeks and neck. Buck Mulligan's gay voice went on.
My name is absurd too: Malachi Mulligan, two dactyls. Fucking crazy. I don’t know how I don’t digest my own head from the pressure of living up to such a name. But it has a Hellenic ring, hasn't it? The excitement! Tripping and sunny like the buck himself. We must go to Athens! POST-HASTE. Will you come? If I can get the aunt to fork out twenty quid? The wrinkled crone, I’ll avoid her herpes. He laid the brush aside
and, laughing with delight, cried:
Will he come? The jejune jesuit!
Ceasing, he began to shave with care.
Tell me, Mulligan, Stephen said quietly.
Yes, my love?
How long is Haines going to stay in the tower?
Buck Mulligan showed a shaven cheek over his right shoulder.
God, isn't he dreadful? A right Smuf depositor, He said frankly. A ponderous Saxon. He thinks you're not a gentleman. Says you don’t know the first thing about boating, and fancy hats and stealing policemen’s helmets, your no better then a street weevil and twice as ugly. Said you’ve never been rear-ended by a 4th form master, and are not inclined to try!
“God, these bloody English! Bursting with money and indigestion. Because he comes from Oxford, he thinks he “knows a thing or two about cucumber matters.” You know, Dedalus, you have the real Oxford manner. You’re a tweedy- turd yourself, why don’t you give me a fiver. I’ll sell you a photo of T.S Eliot; you can pretend it’s your mother.”
He can't make you out. O, my name for you is the best: Kinch, the cock sheath.
He shaved warily over his chin.
He was raving all night about a black panther, Stephen said. Where is his guncase?
A woful lunatic! Mulligan said.
Were you in a funk?
-- “I was.” Stephen said with energy and growing fear. Out here in the dark with a man I don't know raving and moaning to himself about shooting a black panther. You saved men from drowning. I'm not a hero, however. If he stays on here I am off. POSTE-HASTE. Don’t want to be locked in with a psycho Prozac-job limey, especially when it’s raining. Christ the rains depressing, I need some ether. “Do you have some ether?”
Chapter two: Nestor
Swathed in black, like a Guinness-piss nightmare. The Headmaster’s pedagogic air clung close and around him. Pig faced and soup ladel brown, his cuttlefish scowl griped his mouth reeling from his deisel breath. Selecting an appropriatly foreboading gramaphone record. He slid it benath the stilus, he paused ‘fore a moment’, to compose himself for a suitably grand entrance. Todays was to be particularly spectaular. All night he had remained awake, ironing his best cape to crisp perfection.
As a matter of course he hated children, which is why he ate them. The wretched milkbottle white skin, the dandruff clouds on huched sholders. Seeing them made him dribble for flesh in a most unsavory way. The saliva mingled with his perfuse coat of sweat, making him appear wetter than usual. It unerved him, it made him think “O’ me back me back, O’ the feckers goat.” Which made him loath himeself, and the Jesus-guilt did give him fearful shakes o’ the night. Sweat terrors boils pimpled his nose and prose an flowsopiss did clogg his bladderbucket. “Assil me googilies!” He thought “A jesuits the remidy for this predicament.”
And so to a curates ear he went, he went and saw father Crudden about it. He hated himself for going, he did, he did hate telling the preist that he hated telling priests about how he hated going to church, and eating children, and sleeping with Preists, who knew he ate chirdren, so blackmailed him for it.
They were all in need of a healthy dose of wanking-guilt. That’s what the papers say, he told himself. “And who am I to doubt the papers.”
And so, Slicing through dust cloud air past the rows of pupils with clotted marmalade snot and greased over chip pan hair, he strode to the pulpit. He reached the pulpit. He tripped over the pulpit. He kicked the pulpit, and bit the face of the pupil who laughed when it fell on him. Grabbing him by the scruff’o the neck he unsheathed his discipline stick.
Smug little bastard, I’ll teach him the value of a frenchmansfiver! He told himself as he split the offenders face across the cane. Suddenly a distraction, a terrible thought snake-wrangled his cerebrum and scrot twisted the train tracks of his after-thought belied:
He concentration gone he shifted balance slightly, he cane stroke failed to remove the final finger from the fugitives hand. O the shame! The suppressed giggles sprouted without.
“A limp wristed, sailor fiend to be sure.” The silent whisper of their minds conveyed, as one. Though one would dare out loud to speak it. Ay there’s norepectfor amanthats wronged.
His trousers filled up with anguish, or urine. He was embarrassed. Like gull who shat on Hectors head. A torrent o the flattest anger rhythms clock scattered present time, and into his skull fluttered o the wake o reason Aye. Anon O’ the mighty watshisfacethefecker Ho! I Feltlikehimonce on a goodfriday morn ere O’ ear the wax is drippininthepissbuket fetch the dishcloth for me gumeye nose vandal o the Prospero scented night the vanity transcends is the hell for which ourfatherfoughtinahole the master mused fore was hiswant of a morning lieitwasnowthat I am writing it Presence to dream, no such lucktowankerschildren O’ Gamsic what has those pleasureableyellsgone till the night a cumin a’coming back top a me to tee to tem top to her to arrggh I knowe it would I know I know would it? Yes I know I wanted but the paperbasket skin o ricepudding crinkles spreadsme face to thin on the ‘Guinness’aye methinksa Archimedes draught for this ones bladder. -“Aye a funnybuncobishopbasherhavewe-here.” Bethought the lern’edrehtorichor
Tar, tar black puddingonastckdrippin, in the W.C reservoir on the golden liquid of which idrankthenightbefore though of a different spring: mewifeaye-twas, floaters writhers receded- fore the basin twas urinals peril receded fortunes glass. And so to work aback he came.
Regaining composure he to the task at hand his mind returned. He dropped the boy:
They sat. He raked the embers of his mind adrift the Haddock bladder. Someone sneezed: Introibo ad altare Dei. And de ipso facto. He had no idea what those words meant, so he never used them, still it was comforting to know they existed. Why he found it comforting I can’t actually or adequately explain, look I’ve been drinking, that doesn’t help the creative process. I’m barely coherent at the best of times without the feckers turd wrangler on me batter nail bosom, in the snot potted whiskey flower. Haveyaseenthetime-me mother! Histepnine curds the old grey Fletcher pulls. Anon the viniger crusts do flow the pissducts- pleasure released. Hastening to the point, he spoke the ode:
“Today.” He said.
Thought twixt it was the mulligans blommpop plummitute.
“I was going to give you an underserved pleasure.”