The readership had practised. 3 Sunday afternoons. Plates were brought as you do to an Irish house, in this case Declan’s daughter’s flat. Phyllis a whopping carroty sausage roll and club sandwiches with the crusts off, Brian a family pie, bakery bought before the dawn. Nothing from me, the poormouth herald of the Wake but notions: let us pronounce the thunderwords, well
trovarrrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk, at least and let there be music, the Ballad of Finnegans Wake, which is how come Peter joined us on the second Sunday, bodhran at the ready to accompany me, had I been able to play the thing on the alto recorder. Utterly unable, I tee up a pipe practise with Peter at his place. He lends me his Soodlums penny whistle in C. He gives me a potted history and symbological explication of the bodhran and a mnemonic to remember its name, 2 cups of tea. He whacks on the Clancy Bros with Tommy Makem, reminisces of the heygomad, bushdancing days of the 80s. Pity its a bit early for a Bushmills.
Happily the Joycewords go play in the traffic in the back of my mind. For days Im in the frontal parlour obsessively tootling Tim Finnegans jig. Get it down. But in vain. On The Day a death in Peter’s family, he has to confront the real thing, no bodhran, no singer, no wry-necked pipe, no
Whack fol the darn-o
Dance to your partner
Whirl the floor
Your trotters shake!
Mortality. Smell of. Fuckit said the Unquenchable Spirit of Man in the shape of Marcus, lawyer, towsel-headed, out of the office for Bloomsday, Ill sing a verse and a chorus with you, sez he. And so we sit in the high & glassy interior of the Nicolas building to read Declan’s last minute redaction with a will. I am pleased to see the cold in Declan’s eye is healing nicely.