THE ADDENDUM is a showcase of my favorite writings. My personal hope is that others will be able to enjoy and appreciate these works, and possibly serve as a hook for other writings by the authors.
<< addendum index
by James Joyce
Every morning I lay on the floor in the front
parlour watching her door. The blind was pulled down to within an
inch of the sash so that I could not be seen. When she came out
on the doorstep my heart leaped. I ran to the hall, seized my books
and followed her. I kept her brown figure always in my eye and,
when we came near the point at which our ways diverged, I quickened
my pace and passed her. This happened morning after morning. I had
never spoken to her, except for a few casual words, and yet her
name was like a summons to all my foolish blood.
Her image accompanied me even in places the most hostile
to romance. On Saturday evenings when my aunt went marketing I had
to go to carry some of the parcels. We walked through the flaring
streets, jostled by drunken men and bargaining women, amid the curses
of labourers, the shrill litanies of shop-boys who stood on guard
by the barrels of pigs' cheeks, the nasal chanting of street-singers,
who sang a come-all-you about O'Donovan Rossa, or a ballad about
the troubles in our native land. These noises converged in a single
sensation of life for me: I imagined that I bore my chalice safely
through a throng of foes. Her name sprang to my lips at moments
in strange prayers and praises which I myself did not understand.
My eyes were often full of tears (I could not tell why) and at times
a flood from my heart seemed to pour itself out into my bosom. I
thought little of the future. I did not know whether I would ever
speak to her or not or, if I spoke to her, how I could tell her
of my confused adoration. But my body was like a harp and her words
and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires.
One evening I went into the back drawing-room in which the priest
had died. It was a dark rainy evening and there was no sound in
the house. Through one of the broken panes I heard the rain impinge
upon the earth, the fine incessant needles of water playing in the
sodden beds. Some distant lamp or lighted window gleamed below me.
I was thankful that I could see so little. All my senses seemed
to desire to veil themselves and, feeling that I was about to slip
from them, I pressed the palms of my hands together until they trembled,
murmuring: `O love! O love!' many times.