Monday, November 09, 2009

Gorman Bros. Apothecary

He walked from Appenzell Innerrhoden to Appenzell Ausserrhoden, stopping once to retie his shoe and enjoy a birdlike sandwich roll. After consuming the sandwich roll, delighting in the viands and fruity peppers, he turned and walked backwards, the early morning sun shining down on his cheery countenance. ‘what a day’ he said to himself, ‘...banal yet satisfying just the same’. Wrapping the crusts in the Gladtidings Weekly, Patrick O'Driscoll tourniquet to Honora Cahirgarriff, he retied his shoe a fourth time then set out for home, a static buzzing echoing in his ears.

The Gorman Bros. Apothecary carry face creams and foot oils, Dead Sea facial scrubs, for the woman who needs a leg up in the morning, sore throat lozenges and cough suppressants, lard candies and tasteless pastels, tar, ten-penny nails and truepenny screws, washers, bolts and bunghole mallets, levels and planes, mercurochrome bandages and syphilis tablets, one per customer. The morning he was born his father fell from a great height. He fell into the street below, the draymen catching him in a blanket.

What more can one say when one has said nothing? The man in the hat fell from a great height into the day, the draymen nowhere to be seen. Aarschot and Brabant stood admiring the Admiral’s Duffy unaware that the man in the hat was staring. At them. Walking backwards sideways he made his way towards the statue, stopping just long enough to gawk at the Admiral’s Duffy, the Admiral teething him a broad-faced smile. ‘perhaps I could interest you in a lozenge’ he said to Brabant, Aarschot staring at him suspiciously. Seeing as neither man cared for his solicitous manner, he himself lolling on a freshly unwrapped lozenge, he bolted sideways forwards and vanished into thinning air. ‘gladtidings my arse’ he grumbled, ‘never a truer penny trued’.

The morning he was born his da threw himself headfirst out the hospital window. The Seder grocer, noticing a slumping in his awning called out ‘my God an angle has fallen from the sky!’ ‘sure enough’ said a man picking through a bushel of apples. ‘...and straight as an arrow’ said another man, his hands shaking uncontrollable. Rolling himself off the slumping awning his da brushed off his jacket and hurried down the street, the grocer yelling ‘stop thief… you have an apple in your pocket!’

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"Poetry is the short-circuiting of meaning between words, the impetuous regeneration of primordial myth". Bruno Schulz

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