He crossed Westmoreland street when apostrophe S had plodded by. Rover cycleshop. Those races are on today. How long ago is that? Year Phil Gilligan died. We were in Lombard street west. Wait: was in Thom’s. Got the job in Wisdom Hely’s year we married. Six years. Ten years ago: ninetyfour he died yes that’s right the big fire at Arnott’s. Val Dillon was lord mayor. The Glencree dinner. Alderman Robert O’Reilly emptying the port into his soup before the flag fell. Bobbob lapping it for the inner alderman. Couldn’t hear what the band played. For what we have already received may the Lord make us. Milly was a kiddy then. Molly had that elephantgrey dress with the braided frogs. Mantailored with selfcovered buttons. She didn’t like it because I sprained my ankle first day she wore choir picnic at the Sugarloaf. As if that. Old Goodwin’s tall hat done up with some sticky stuff. Flies’ picnic too. Never put a dress on her back like it. Fitted her like a glove, shoulders and hips. Just beginning to plump it out well. Rabbitpie we had that day. People looking after her.
Happy. Happier then. Snug little room that was with the red wallpaper. Dockrell’s, one and ninepence a dozen. Milly’s tubbing night. American soap I bought: elderflower. Cosy smell of her bathwater. Funny she looked soaped all over. Shapely too. Now photography. Poor papa’s daguerreotype atelier he told me of. Hereditary taste.
He walked along the curbstone.
Stream of life. What was the name of that priestylooking chap was always squinting in when he passed? Weak eyes, woman. Stopped in Citron’s saint Kevin’s parade. Pen something. Pendennis? My memory is getting. Pen …? Of course it’s years ago. Noise of the trams probably. Well, if he couldn’t remember the dayfather’s name that he sees every day.
The fire at Arnott’s department store destroyed the original 300,000 square foot building located behind the GPO. A new building was constructed the next year.