Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Pigeon House Road Constabulary

The hospital sent his grandmother a threatening letter saying that if she didn’t pay her husband’s hospital bill in full they would be forced take legal actions. His grandmother responded by burning the letter and tossing the still smouldering ashes in the hospital executive’s face. The following day his grandmother received a letter with the added caveat that the hospital executive was seeking damages for the second degree burns he had received due to his grandmother’s uncalled for reaction to the first letter. The following day his grandfather started drinking quart bottles of Stout like the fish he delivered for the Mercury Fish Co., the hawsehole in his stump weeping sebaceous green puss. The following day his grandfather fired the disagreeable whore for reneging on her promise to let him stick his hawsehole up her twat. Jenkin's Rule allowed for at least one post-surgical sodomy, his grandfather demanding that provenance to the rule be recognized. Solomon Whorl, barrister and craps enthusiast, took on his grandmother’s case, preparing a counterattack claiming that the litigant, under coercion and grieving the loss of her husband’s leg, had had her rights levied and therefore was in no way responsible for anything, payment of her husband’s bill included. His grandmother lost the case, Solomon Whorl nowhere to be found on the day of the litigation. Some say he was seen down at the docks throwing craps, others that he wasn’t a lawyer at all but a simpleton, his mother, her breasts sagging like two hanged men, suckling him well into his teens. His grandfather stopped talking after they sawed off his gangrenous leg leaving him with one leg and a stump, respite from the spectral throbbing coming in quart bottles and hook-tooth whores.

Armed with wooden truncheons the Pigeon House Road constabulary charged the mob head on, taking out whomever got in their way, the tallest keeping watch over the heads of his brothers, the shortest cutting his way through the mob on his hands and knees. Poldy watched the mêlée from behind a mountain of rotting oranges, the mob dispersing like cattle-prodded sheep, the shortest constabulary, caught between the legs of a fat woman with a bleating child, struggling to free himself. That day everything, children bound in plaster, poles separating unformed legs, hips swivelling on ball bearing hinges, feet skipping over every crack in the sidewalk, hands clutching at mothers’ apron strings, things barely alive, fell apart, all the dreams and happy times to come falling with it. By force of habit Poldy scratched his ear, a whaler’s needle of cartilage causing him no end of itchiness and discomfit. Expecting the worst, and with the mob making its way towards the front of the Seder grocers and the mountain of rotting oranges, he recited a line from a book he had read as a flog-toughened boy, “Besides, being very young, he had found the occupation of keeping his heart completely steeled against the worst so engrossing that he had come to feel an overpowering dislike towards any other form of activity whatever”.(Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski, Typhoon). As luck would have it the mob passed him by and continued up the street, a few stragglers, hooligans by nature, looting whatever they could get their hands on, the Pigeon House Road constabulary lowering their truncheons and wiping their brows with satisfaction.

Awakening from a night of stormy weather, his lean-to leaking like a washerwoman’s hopes, her fingers worked to the bone cleaning other people’s filth, he felt a rat-tat-tat-rat-tat-tat in his head, long-forgotten memories ricocheting around in his skull, his thoughts firing like an autocannon, sleep-numb legs dancing in the wake of night’s expulsion. He was reminded of the funeral of a friend, a man with an oblong face and claw-hammer jaw, his teeth chiselled and honed on hock bones and pig’s knuckle, a man who when he put his mind to eating, which he did with great relish, could finish off an entire picnic ham or an pot roast without loosening a notch, a man of such great stature and pride that when a call to arms was proclaimed he dropped whatever he was doing and took the oath of allegiance, leaving behind a fine-looking wife and a dozen cherub-face children.

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