A cloud blocks the sun, and Bloom thinks gloomily that the cycles of life—Dignam’s death, Mrs. Purefoy’s birthing—are meaningless. A.E. and a young, sloppily dressed woman, possibly Lizzie Twigg herself, pass Bloom.

Passing an optician’s shop, Bloom thinks again about parallax and eclipses. He experimentally holds up his little finger to blot out the sun. He remembers the night that he and Molly walked with Boylan under the moon—he wonders if Molly and Boylan were touching. Bloom passes Bob Doran, clearly on his annual drinking bender. Bloom thinks about how men rely on alcohol for social interaction.

Overwhelmed by hunger, Bloom enters the Burton restaurant. Bloom is immediately disgusted by the spectacle of many ill-mannered men eating. He leaves and heads toward Davy Byrne’s for a light snack instead.

Bloom enters Davy Byrne’s, and Nosey Flynn greets him from the corner. Flynn asks about Molly and her upcoming singing tour. Flynn mentions Boylan, and Bloom is unpleasantly reminded of Boylan’s impending visit to Molly. Flynn discusses the Gold Cup horserace. Bloom eats and is silently critical of Flynn.

Bloom looks above the bar at the tins of food. He ruminates about food: odd types, poisonous berries, aphrodisiacs, quirky personal favorites. Bloom notices two flies stuck on the window pane. He warmly remembers an intimate moment with Molly on the hill on Howth: as Bloom lay on top of her, Molly fed him seedcake out of her mouth, and they made love. Looking back at the flies, Bloom thinks sadly of the disparity between himself then and now.

Staring at the pleasing wood bar, Bloom contemplates beauty. He equates beauty with untouchable goddesses, such as the statues in the National Museum. He wonders if there’s anything under the statues’ robes and vows to sneak a look later today. Bloom finishes his wine and heads to the outhouse.