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The Corn Exchange The man with a good memory remembers nothing because he forgets nothing. —Augusto Roa Bastos The Corn Exchange was no castle unless you can fall for the idea that certain businesses are the new empires of our day and their offices, castles on the Rhine—follow me, please, don’t want you to get lost and fall hundreds of feet into an insurance claim against company and state. Looking for a free lunch ain’t the way to be in this day in which every person gets his chance to bounce on the trampoline. So through the gloom, the better parts of ourselves dancing on the gray walls and dark offices, closed for the night and for all eternity. The Corn Exchange was closed down awaiting demolition. Arthur had a friend working on the Irish Times who heard about a couple of the offices in the place which had been fixed up by this guy as a Parisian retreat from his damp marriage. More creative than most of them. Instead of turning to the bottle he found a girlfriend. A real live girlfriend who wanted to have an affair with a married man. It didn’t last and this guy told Arthur about the place and he knew Stan from Boston. How long have they lived in the Corn Exchange? Glad you asked the question. If you noticed when you came into the kitchen, which was the room you entered when you entered the offices, the flat, you noticed, to emphasis the point, a shower stall in the far corner . It is full of newspapers. The shower stall once worked but something happened and what the fuck, there are the public baths in Trinity. Some might think that a sufficient comment on an Irish state of affairs . Filled up the shower stall two times and were now on the third goaround . So, how long? Okay, you get a bundle like this . . . hands thrust out as if to indicate a woman has large breasts, now move the hands still cupped out a way and you have about three months of accumulated papers from my own experience of when I lived in Ely Place, never having taken them down to the street. St. Patrick’s Day ———— A lot of reading going on in the shower was the joke. We don’t want to be downbeat. Stanley says to put the coats in the other room and get ourselves into still another room and have a good time so a good time can be said to have been had by all and everyone is to have a good time with prawns on the way if what’s his name gets his ass in gear and I don’t mean a hayburner or whatever it is that they eat and gets himself in from Howth with a bucket of prawns which he promised me without fail, he said to me, without fail I’ll have you a bucket of prawns for St. Pat’s, without fail, even if it kills me. Those candles, surely they’re a fire hazard? You are right. But not tonight. There will be no tragedy to use the wrong word. Other details from the street to the offices? There was lettering on the office door. I didn’t catch it going in so I’ll catch it going out. This ain’t a ship of fools or even the Lusitania. Still in the kitchen or the room called the kitchen because it is where there is a sink, a hot plate, shower, table now loaded down with empty beer bottles, booze. At least I wasn’t shaking. Another one of those last times I was with Stanley up in Revere Beach we had been to see the original or second original Howard Johnson’s, drinking Michelob on warm empty stomachs and then for a look in at the trailer display sponsored by the Massachusetts Crime Commission: you get a chance to sit in the electric chair . . . but the shaking came later when Stan took me over to visit this Russian woman who he said would fuck me for free as a favor. I stood shaking and she wouldn’t have me so Stan told me to go down to the car because you can’t keep a woman waiting who is primed and ready. The empty bottles were filling up the kitchen table. Arthur’s wife moved through the rooms picking up empty bottles when she...


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MARC Record
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