Monday, April 21, 2008

Joyce Imitation: Master Dignam

Master Dignam approached home and could here ma’s voice and the chattering of the visitors, a colony of gulls. They noticed him enter and moved in toward him surrounding him to shower him with their sorrowwords. Master Dignam felt their presence closing in, smothering him as if with a thick blanket. He flicked his eyes toward Ma as if pleading for a rescue but her eyes were distant as if gazing at another world. He dealt with these intruders upon his house in the usual way if not longtime way. He listened, he nodded, he quivered in fear, he offered them his wallet hoping against hope that he would not be killed this very night and at last the danger had passed. The ruffians had left him alone without dignity, but with his life. If only his father had been in danger from vagrants such as these, where one’s body has a chance of life, due to, if not human compassion, human unpredictability. This is in stark contrast to the unfeeling, finality of a drowningwater.

Intoxicated as he was, he could sense the encroaching water in a small wave from a passing barge. He could feel its cold, probing fingers on his toes but the feeling was not unpleasant, they were as the fingers of a lover he had long missed, calling him to continue in and not just that, but to cover himself within her loving embrace. He longed to do so, so he complied. As his breathe wained he smiled as the euphoria overtook him.

He approached his ma and embraced her, able to sense the pain and suffering which his father had inflicted upon her. Master Dignam was sad for his mother. She was griefstricken over her husband and who was left to support her but him. He was nothing, not even truly a man he could depend on for himself, let alone a provider for his mother. This was a problem he could set out to solve, at least he could try. He left the gaggle of visitants hovering around his ma once more and set out to cure this one poxmark upon his manhood.

He had long considered what his prenticeship would be but the water had stolen him that possibility as apprentices don’t’ receive wages. This was a sad state of affairs no doubt, but easily surmountable right.

He picked up a box, this was quite heavy and unlike most of them, packaged well enough that nothing inside moved. This was a most interesting and unusual event so his mind clung to it, wondering at what could be inside this box that was so well packed. Maybe it was an expensive machine of some kind or maybe it was a body, bloated by water and returned to him in a nice little package. As his thoughts had quickly turned a poor direction as he again began his routine of thinking of nothing. Not even the emptiness of sleep makes time proceed at a velocity of blankthought. This is a technique one learns quickly being a slave to the docks.

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