• Hopdance


- 6 -

The consulate flags hung limp in the rain, as if shamed by the moral
force of their frail protest. You were given a placard to carry, reading
Make Babies Not Freakshows, and you felt foolish. As though you had any
acquaintance with babies, as though a sodden handful of students outside
the U.S. consulate-general, in a dwarfish and absurd province, was likely to
fend off nuclear armageddon, was not in itself a sad little freakshow,
Falshaw, student journalist, fat and pustular, confronts you with his round
red comedian face, on the picket line.

-How’s the daemon lover, then?

-Depends. Is it some daemon who loves me, or me who’s supposed to

love some daemon?

-Both in your case, I'd say.

-How about the revolution?

-Delayed for the time being, on account of industrial action, listen,

you haven’t joined the Labour Club yet, people are beginning to talk.

-I prefer writing to joining.

-What you are, Toshy, is what I call a gut socialist. You feel it deep
down but you don't think it through, that's okay, we need your type in the
movement too.

-I may have a couple of instincts that I'm prepared to credit. I'm not
prepared to institutionalise them, though, not quite yet.

-Bourgeois individualism very big danger, artistic types much prone to
it. Beware.

A gnarled and greasy man, his eyes balefully magnified by slablike
glasses, passed by on a circuit of his own, counterclockwise to theirs, clad
in a sandwich-board proclaiming Christ Said, Ye Must Be Born Again.

-Christ was the first socialist, you know, Falshaw told the man as he

Stewart Parker
Consulate, Socialist
Linen Hall Library, "Parker008", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Sat, 03/02/2024 - 09:49, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/parker008