seagull around the flesh of you

What’s wrong with you lassies? When you go parading your wares around, catching the flotsam-and-jetsam men in your wake, letting ’em pet and seagull around the flesh of you, do you ever, for a moment, think of Michael Murphy? He sits there, only wishing he were blind drunk, watching the whole sordid scene, worshiping you, seeing clear as day the filth attached to those men– so called, jackels more likely– who caught your scent. Michael Murphy! Asking me for a billy-club, grinding his poor teeth down to stumps, drowning, poor boy, drowning! And not even in drink! Do you spare a single thought for ‘im? This Michael Murphy, imperfect, unwanted, full of something as terrible but not quite love? Michael Murphy!?!

No, you don’t, do you? You carry on, innocent as saints, oblivious as the setting sun, slippery as sand, all smiles and laughter, don’t you? Meanwhile, Michael Murphy sees hell on earth, he does, the very harrowing of hell, right there on the floor of his local pub.

You should be ashamed, lassies. In my time, if we met a man like Michael Murphy, we blessed the day we were born, and the day after as well! Nowadays ‘e’s condemned! Unloved and doubtless sleeping in filthy sheets as no woman is there to keep ’em clean. The world’s gone topsy-turvy. If I were thirty years younger I’d show you a thing or two. So he drinks too much- that’s just men! These tee-tot-allers, fancy, sober gents acting like the goddamned English all the time, not men those, gov’ners more like. And worse, these boors, these Americans, drinking less but drunk more, and worse, and without the fight in them! As bad as a woman on the bottle I say.

Oh, Michael Murphy, you were born outside of your day! Had we known ye, Micahel Murphy, you’d be a prince…

(She trails off here, and the author begs apology for the voice inside of him. She came unbidden.)

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