Prior to March 17, I was thinking I’m going to spend Saint Patrick’s day in the stereotypical way that New Yorkers do, chugging on bottles of beers with my buddies, wearing green, watching the parade etcetera.
That didn’t happen. Most probably because I was celebrating a couple of friends’ birthday parties the week before and at some point things got awfully wrong.
Nevertheless the weekend was great. I spent quality time with my fellow Romanians and instead of drinking beer for St Patrick’s day, we dined out at a nice restaurant and had a couple of glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon, laughing and chatting.
Now I’m trying to imagine how would the Irish festive day have looked in a joycean universe. What would Stephen Dedalus have done on March 17.
And I can’t seem to figure it out.
I reckon he would’ve started drinking early, maybe at noon. He would’ve wandered on the streets of Dublin and he would’ve maybe looked up some books in an old library.
Later on he would meet his friends in a Irish pub with sticky floors smelling like stout.
They would talk about Shakespeare’s private life, including many allusions from the Cynics that I probably wouldn’t get.
After a couple of pints of beer, he would sarcastically start mocking the people around him using his endless erudition.
At night, after a considerable libation, he would pass by a brothel and then take a long walk through the city of Dublin. And I asked myself if I could be his companion on this late stroll, just like Poldy Bloom. Maybe I could join him, but not talk to him, that’s the best I could do. Because I would be scared of him. I would be scared of how much he knows and how uncultured I am. There would be so many questions to ask him and yet my best words would be my silence.
I wonder if he had people to talk to , apart from Ezra Pound, his wife and a very few others. I wonder how Hemingway talked to him, since Joyce was outsmarting everyone.
I wonder what were his thoughts on religion, on happiness, on death.
And I have to keep on wondering.
Happy belated Saint Patrick’s day!