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An Turas Fada – Part 2

An Thuras Fada Part 2 – Tony Kennedy’s re-imagining of Ulysses continues as Mickey continues his long journey

For Part One Click Here

Mikey heard the bell strike ten as he left the block after ensuring that the coast was clear. Ebullient on painkillers and power, Mikey had something of a skip in his step. With €55 in his pocket and a buzz, Mikey had the thing that warriors like him often sought, time. Time to relax. To be sure, the ambrosia would still be needed, but he was fortified enough to allow himself an hour or so to do something not out of necessity.

Im quite peckish now, I think I might take a walk towards the old cafe just up along the canal. It’s been quite some time since I could dine. Sure I eat, but that is merely fuel, enough to keep me going on my quests. Plus my appetite, when at leisure is quite vociferous. Surely it is ok to indulge. A fry, ah, I haven’t eaten a fry in a long oul time. The porcine sacrifice in this fair land is never appreciated. Every day, ol’ Snowball and Napoleon take their final walk to the abattoir. They see their blissfully ignorant companions ramble up the catwalk, and must think to themselves “why has the muck become solid”. And then before they know it, adios mes amigos, their wares shorn from their body by disinterested skill. They have become products. And those who consume narey give a fuck how the rashers they’re shoving into their mouths became rashers. When the indjuns hunted buffalo and turned them to food, there was an understanding of sorts. A respect. They gave thanks to the animal. It’s sad in a way. We have lost that ancient unifier. It’s as if we are the product now, and the nameless faces of industry keep us in a prison of contentment. “Ah, we’ll do that for ya, you just relax” they say. We are more useful to them if we just remain in stasis with our collective….oh I might get some fried bread as well. Yeho. ol Snowball and Napoleon were bollixes anyway.

Mikey walked into the cafe and strolled into the queue. He hated queues with a passion. He felt they domesticated him to much. But Mikey conceded that for the moment, the aroma of butter, oil and flesh would outweigh his proclivity for permanent revolution. Plus he was still high so it wasn’t that bad really. However he soon became distracted by the mastication of the people in the cafe.

WHY CAN’T THESE ANIMALS EAT WITH THEIR MOUTH CLOSED? Slurping and chomping like that makes me sympathise with the pig again. They can’t help being pigs, after all. Yet here we have homo sapiens, the pinnacle of evolution, eat like they still haven’t left the trees. No thank you. Ta me amach. I think I will head to the Spar just back a bit. It’s been quite some time since I had a deli sandwich. And then I may take a small paramble along the Grand canal. It feels warmer now, I might just have a sit down on a bench and eat.

He knew that he shouldn’t have felt so excited about something as pedestrian as eating a deli sandwich on a canal bench. But things had actually been quite tumultuous for Mikey recently. His girlfriend, Leanne was looking very rough recently. Mikey was always content with the ambrosia alone, he was able to maintain himself. He went on quests, acquired what he needed for the day, see Mr Stone, and spend his time on Mount Olympus. It wasn’t easy, but Mikey had found his niche. Leanne was different. She was in Ambrose’ sweet embrace also. But she also had a serious love of crack cocaine.

And Mikey hated it. He hated to see his Leanne wired all the time. He hated how her face, once so beautiful had been worn to bone, replete with craters  from her picking at old festering abscesses. He hated how her once flowing golden hair, oh he could write poetry for years about her her hair, how her golden hair had become a dirty nest, all tangled and angry. He hated how her teeth seemed to commit suicide,jumping from her mouth one after another so they wouldn’t have to bear witness to the catastrophe that was now her face. He lamented what she had to do to pay for her habit. And most of all he hated how she was now just a stereotype, a crackhead. Of course Mikey knew, deep down, he too was a wretched mess, but he was somehow able to maintain his warrior soul. Leanne was a slave.

And while Mikey continued to endure tremendous guilt over Leanne’s broken arm, the truth was that it wasn’t really his fault. He had pushed her hard, that much was true. But in reality Leanne had lunged at him after Mikey refused to share his Ambrosia with her. She slapped him four or five times in the face before he reacted, grabbing her by the wrists, and throwing her forcefully toward the ground. Leanne, being in such an enfeebled state broke her wrist as she tried to break her fall. What frightened Mikey the most however was that weird sense of power he felt as he looked at her on the ground, crying. “That’s your fault ye stupid bitch ye” he screamed. “I didn’t mean to hurt you, but ye kept hitting me and I told ye”. But all he was met with was Leanne’s loud sobbing. The noise itself, even when stripped of purpose stirred a base anger in Mikey. He thought to himself “Im the victim here, she tried to take my shit, and she hit ME, and now she is wrecking me head with that crying”. He had flipped over the table beside where Leanne fell and grabbed her by the throat, not hard enough to choke, but enough to grab her undivided attention. He yelled through gritted teeth; “SHUT UP WHINGING OR I’LL GIVE YE SOMETHING TO CRY ABOUT”. But his grip loosened when he looked into Leanne’s eyes. Behind the tears he could see nothing but hunger. She wasn’t crying because Mikey pushed her, she was crying because Mikey wouldn’t give her drugs. He backed away slowly, eyes fixed on her. The anger in his voice replaced by a cosmic sadness. The power he felt had gone. He managed to hold back tears as he reached the door and said; “I have to go, I don’t know you anymore” as Leanne begged through the hyperventilated sobs “Ple…ple…please Mikey, don….do…..dont leave me”.

Mikey walked into the Spar and up to the deli counter. The woman behind the counter asks him; “what can I get ye love?” Looking down at the various items, then looking back up;

“Can I get a roll please?”

“Brown or White?”

“White, and can I just get ham cheese and tomato on that?”

“What type of ham do you want?”

“What do ye mean what type of ham?”

“Well we have serano, black forest, capicola an…”

“Do ye not just have normal ham ham?”

“Well the black forest is the closest, do ye want that?”

“Whatever”

“And what cheese do you want, we have ched..”

“Cheddar”

“And normal tomatoes ye?”

“No, give me sundried, you should never assume” he said smiling in a playful way.

The woman smiled back and began making the roll.

She’s not a bad looking woman all the same. Even in the uniform you can tell she’s in good nick. And a pleasant personality also. She has a smile that seems unpolluted by reality. She is everything Leanne is not. She is stable, i’d imagine anyways.

Are yis busy this morning?” Mikey asked, trying to make conversation.

“Ah it’s still fairly early, so not yet, in around lunch time, we do be swamped” she replied.

“I’d say it’s a rough oul job when the kids are on their breaks, is it?” Mikey followed up.

The deli women, as she finished making roll, looked up a Mikey and said, “ah I don’t mind it to be honest. They can be little bastards, but they remind me of me when I was a kid, plus when its busy, the days fly in”.

“Do they still eat potato wedges, with cheese and mayo? That was the business when I went to school, or mitched for that matter”

“Ah big time, its our most popular seller with kids”

“Yano what? Mikey said “Can I get a box off ye, I feel like indulging in my youth again”.

“Nothin wrong with that love, here is your roll, I make ye the wedges now”.

“Thanks, I’m Mikey by the way, what’s yours?”

“Rachel” said the woman as she handed him the roll and box of wedges.

“Nice to meet you Rachel, I’ll talk to you again. Thanks.”

“See ye later hun”.

Ugh, “hun” she barely knows me, and she is throwing around diminutive pronouns. How typical. Still though, seems nice.

As Mikey was walking towards the till, he noticed the off licence. In particular, he seen a large bottle of Corona. The glass frosted from the cold, as glaciers of ice and water trickled down the side of the bottle. The bubbles all converging at the mouth of the bottle just waiting for liberation, from its glass prison.

The sign on the off licence fridge says “We do not sell alcohol before 11am”

Good job I’m not buying it then. Said Mikey as he kept his own sketch and hid the bottle between the waist of his bottoms and t-shirt. He then went to the counter and paid €3.75 for his roll and he walked out of the shop.

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