Bloomsday

Oops, I missed Bloomsday, which was June the 16th.   Bloomsday is celebrated as the day Leopold Bloom wandered Dublin in the James Joyce novel,  Ulysses.

I had tried twice to read Ulysses but only got part way through.    One Bloomsday in Vancouver, a local actress sat in a downtown bookstore and read the whole book aloud.   I listened to her for about 40 minutes and she inspired me to try it again.   I bulldozed through an old paperback version, finished it, then threw the book away in celebration. 

I was visiting  Ireland a long time ago when I stopped by Dublin to see my ex-boyfriend G.   He was living in squalor, working as an actor.    He casually mentioned that he had got a good acting gig .  

“I’m going to be your man, Leopold Bloom.”  said G.,  “Walk around Dublin on Bloomsday.  I’m not going to do it without a minder (bodyguard), though.”

“Good idea.”  I said, while flipping through magazine or something.   G. got the job probably because he had red (or ginger) hair, like Bloom.   Years later, I realized that this was likely something of an honour and G. had casually slipped it into the conversation, hoping for an enthusiastic response.   Oh, well.   That’s probably why the relationship didn’t last.

The ending of the book is beautiful – when Molly Bloom says yes to life –  but the humourous line that somehow stayed with me (don’t know which character said it) was: 

 “Scruff off the top of your head – cheapest lunch in town.”

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