Why Mr. Bloom hadn’t experienced luck in what seemed decades is an unrelated, circuitous story. Suffice to say his past two months, riddled with blood clots in his left foot and an outburst of warts on his nose, were, indeed, unpleasant ones. That he felt persecuted by fate and believed he had earned the right to self-pity was reasonably justified. But in no way was his current state of absolute mourning for his decrepit, physical self warranted. After all, he had the use of his mind and limbs, though admittedly, he now walked with a limp.
Leaning against the dock railing, Mr. Bloom considered how he should spend his day as an invalid. Had he access to other invalids, he might have considered himself fortunate by comparison; but instead he picked up a round, grey stone and threw it into the shallow waves, never considering he was able to throw further than most young girls.
Presently, he turned to an approaching shadow, that of Mr. Oberdimer, a man of considerable fortune. To say Bloom was envious was to say little, since Bloom’s jealousy sprung from a recess deeper than the most bilious bladder.
“Hey ho,” the young Englishman, in fashionable cap and tweed, called. “And there is Sir Bloom. My word, but I haven’t seen you in numberless years, it seems. What are you up to now, old man?”
Bloom believed his best recourse might be to pretend deafness, and so he stared further out to sea, contemplating the way stronger fish consumed the weaker, and whether he was to become one of those victims of nature.
There was no escape, however, as became apparent when Oberdimer came closer.
“Hallo, Bloom,” said Oberdimer, louder, thumping a polished walking stick on the damp boards. “You seem in bad spirits. Anything wrong?”
Resigning himself to his current social fate, Bloom looked up with a countenance as pitiful as a floating sea bass. “Hallo, Oberdimer. No, I suppose we have not run into one another.”
“Well, then, how is business progressing? Met your goals, as you put it last time?”
“I’ve fallen upon a bit of bad luck.”
“Oh? How is that?”
Surely, Bloom thought, the man needed a new pince nez.
He decided to end the conversation (or at least attempt to) by shock, thrusting his warty face directly into the young man's.
If Bloom were deaf, then Oberdimer was most certainly blind.
“So sorry to hear that,” said the young man, oblivious to Bloom's blights, and now in obvious haste to relay his own social news.
“Say, do you recall meeting Francois that time in Paris? Well, he wrote me, and….”
At this intelligence, in which he seemingly evinced little interest, Mr. Bloom gazed abstractedly for the space of a half a second or so in the direction of a bucketdredger, rejoicing in the farfamed name of Eblana, moored alongside Customhouse quay and quite possibly out of repair, whereupon he observed evasively:
"Everybody gets their own ration of luck, they say."