a quiet drink at the ship

Enuresis was a fear that plagued Lattimore; he had known a chap that pissed at the most malapropos moments. He would be standing, say in a bank when suddenly his pants would steam and a puddle would form around his shoes….”


by paul kavanagh



“Now the best scenes of pissing are to be found in Dutch art, I don’t know why, it might have something to do with the repudiation of the Pope and all that, and that we will not get into,” said Sean Coamhanach, he wiped the spit off his lips and continued, “now for along time I believed Peter Breughel painted what I considered was the paradigm of pissing, that is until I saw David Teniers the Younger’s Boors Carousing, that scene is perfect; I can almost hear the cascade and smell the ejecta…”

“I’m off to the rest room,” interjected Lattimore standing up.

Sean Coamhanach shook his head disapprovingly, Lattimore was always interrupting, jesus the man had two barrels of piss in his belly. Enuresis was a fear that plagued Lattimore; he had known a chap that pissed at the most malapropos moments. He would be standing, say in a bank when suddenly his pants would steam and a puddle would form around his shoes. The man to stop the opprobrium used a string to tie the end and stop the leakage. He turned yellow and died. Lattimore never held in his piss.

Drops of blood discolored the water. The drops of blood dripped from his rectum. His arse throbbed. He couldn’t defecate without a darting pain. The pain pulsated through his body. It was a debilitating pain.

“On the way to Jerusalem the crusaders consumed dog, said Sean Coamhanach picking a scab off the tip of his nose, “after dog they had horse, and after horse they devoured human flesh, now nothing tastes like human flesh, after human flesh, one can’t simply go back to beef, that’s why the Moslems proscribe pork, because it’s the next best thing after human flesh.”

Lattimore thought about the night before. He could not move his head off the pillow. The desire to drink gin was strong but the bottle was at the other end of the room. Lattimore suddenly found himself staring at the landlady. It was dark but a ray of light cut through the room from the window. Beads of sweat coruscated upon her naked body. Her paps were pendulous. Her nipples were erect and excited. The mass of pubic hair was wet and glistened. Her eyelids were heavy. Her breath was like she had a cigarette in her mouth. She was looking down upon Lattimore. He didn’t know what to say or do. He lay paralyzed. She turned and looked longingly out of the window. Her back was scratched. She had bite marks upon her neck, her arms and legs. Upon her hip was a superficial laceration. Lattimore pulled the sheets over his head and prayed.

“Darwin wrote about flowers and animals but this was just camouflage,” said Sean Coamhanach swallowing the dregs of his Guinness. “Darwin was really thinking about man when he wrote about the survival of the strongest. What he was really saying was that man like a flower or a fly adapts to his surroundings and from the surroundings subtracts his victuals. The flower or the fly will destroy the competition. So must man. Now, man eradicates man, not because he hates but because it’s to do with survival.”

Lattimore shot up abruptly. He told himself that never again would he shit in the pub. Form this moment on he would shit before and shit after but he would never shit in between. If the need to shit stirred he would run back to the house and shit in peace and without the fear of staining the bowl. He rocked from bony cheek to cheek, this had an easing effect. Though the downside to this was that once his flesh left the porcelain it cooled down immediately. Thus the arse was perpetually touching cold porcelain. Lattimore chewed upon a sheet of toilet paper. He filled his mouth with much spit. He worked the toilet paper into a ball with his teeth and gums. Once he found that he had achieved his goal of a globule of paper and spit he corked his anus. He flushed the toilet more than twice and made sure all the specks of blood were removed from off the white and yellow porcelain. He had forgotten to zip up his pants.

“Me arse cuts jewels like a lapidarian,” said Lattimore lifting up the glass to his mouth. “Me turds are works of art.”

“I nearly got meself a fuck,” said Maggie McQuilan, her veins glowed neon, “I wish I could get a surgeon on to this, and these.” When she said these she grabbed her sagging paps and held them up.

“Was he blind?” joked Sean Coamhanach.

“He was a gentleman,” shot back Maggie McQuilan belligerently eyeing the cigarette.

“Virile,” said Lattimore.

“A woman can fuck well into her hundreds,” said Maggie McQuilan proudly.

“Two pints,” said Lattimore to the barmaid, “and a glass of gin for the lady.”

“Now this is the thing about Hogarth’s Rake’s Progress,” said Sean Coamhanach. “It is not so much the pandial orgy that is taking place, nor the pilfering of Rakewell’s money by that toothless poxridden whore, what really makes the painting, is the knowing that a doxy will strip and dance naked with a burning candle jutting out of her vagina.”

Originally published:
Issue Fifty-One
January 2008



Paul Kavanagh lives in Charlotte. He is happy. His wife is happy. Together they are happy. His book, Everybody Is Interested In Pigeons, has found a home and so it too is happy.

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