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En Route It is imagination that loses battles. —Joseph de Maistre The door shuts behind me. I am standing on the sidewalk. The noise is in there and I am out here and wishing I was in there though I now have the job of walking along Grafton Street remembering earlier walks— on Grafton Street I turned away or she turned away or we both turned away—along the street . . . A sad time of it was had by all. A momentary lull as I think to cross Grafton Street again, not knowing still which end is top or bottom: I want to be heading toward Duke Street but only get a few steps from McDaids and this guy with a worn black leather jacket is standing in a doorway and saying he had been listening to me go on this afternoon with that tub of wind Liddy. Tub of guts you mean? Tub of wind. He ain’t here enough to be a tub of guts, just a tub of wind without any stink, that’s your man. Nothing to respect in or about him, bragging his first boyfriend at Glenstal is chief defense counsel for the IRA . . . Liddy published a good magazine and his poetry is okay. I don’t read that muck. What does he care about the working people. I have yet to meet them in Dublin. I am one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked for a living. Not very hard, I’ll warrant you or bet you or any other affirmation you wish. I have. Good for you. I’ve been out working since I was twelve. I had a newspaper route, I said, when I was twelve. And a nice Mommy and Daddy at home, he said, smiling, how you Americans are always smiling. Don’t get me wrong. I like the American people, it’s just the pictures we see of them and what their politicians do in their name. It’s the same in this country—probably worse because fewer people have got a cut of the pie. St. Patrick’s Day ———— A piece of the pie? That’s the phrase, but I don’t like using phrases like that, the ears just slide over them and people don’t hear them but they must one of these days hear them. What are you doing? I work out at Fiat. Putting together them fucking cars and trying to build some sort of union mentality. Most people have about as much mentality as picking your nose. But I don’t blame ’em, I’m just the same except I read books when I get the chance and am not vulnerable to the depression Have you lurched into a socialist novel? What’s your name? Pat of all names. But I wear it as a badge now after four years in London . Nothing like English life to make you really Irish. As if one ever doubts these things, if one is thinking. A lot of ifs. Yes, your man Pat was the guy named Joe, Joseph, met earlier— something like that: what’s in a name? I know, it’s the ifs paralyzing one’s will. So back into the pub, a pint then? How should I know how to overcome it—you people with your fancy education and all the time in the world that have to give us some hope, some reason for going on: because when we stop the whole show stops. I don’t think it’s as bad as all that. Worse, worse, mark my words. Every man jack of them is for sale. He just hasn’t found a buyer yet. You Americans have a slogan: there’s a sucker born every minute. That terrible American optimism. More like every second, if you ask me. You said you were organizing. 2 fans kill selves over Lennon death I am not for a moment gonna suggest I didn’t know this conversation was on the horizon. It was there all along. When am I gonna ———— 135 say something about what Pat looks like. The wrinkles on Pat’s eyelids say he is much older than I would have at first guessed. I should have stayed in America, Pat is saying. I was living in Los Angeles, are you from California by chance? No, I’m from Patchogue, it’s a village about sixty miles from New York City. Don’t get me wrong. I loved...


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Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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