Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/219

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203
Hunger

I had no remedy for it, and it wouldn't heal of its own accord. I washed it, dried it carefully, and put on the same shirt. There was no help for it, it . . .

I sit there on the bench and ponder over all this, and am sad enough. I loathe myself. My very hands seem distasteful to me; the loose, almost coarse, expression of the backs of them pains me, disgusts me. I feel myself rudely affected by the sight of my lean fingers. I hate the whole of my gaunt, shrunken body, and shrink from bearing it, from feeling it envelop me. Lord, if the whole thing would come to an end now, I would heartily, gladly die!

Completely worsted, soiled, defiled, and debased in my own estimation, I rose mechanically and commenced to turn my steps homewards. On the way I passed a door, upon which the following was to be read on a plate—"Winding-sheets to be had at Miss Andersen's, door to the right." Old memories! I muttered, as my thoughts flew back to my former room in Hammersborg. The little rocking-chair, the newspapers near the door, the lighthouse director's announcement, and Fabian Olsen, the baker's new-baked bread.