Clay (Joyce)

From Wikisum
Disclaimer: This summary was generated by AI, so it may contain errors.
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A small, kind-hearted woman named Maria spent her evening preparing for a festive gathering at her friend's house, but her plans went awry when she lost a special gift she had bought for the occasion.

Maria, a small, kind-hearted woman, worked at a laundry and was well-liked by her colleagues. One evening, she was given permission to leave work early to attend a family gathering at her brother Joe's house.

Maria — small, kind-hearted woman with a long nose and chin; works at a laundry; peace-maker.

Before leaving, she bought a variety of cakes, including a special plum cake for her brother and his wife. On her way to the gathering, she had a pleasant conversation with a polite elderly gentleman on the tram.

Upon arriving at Joe's house, Maria was warmly welcomed by the family and their neighbors.

Joe — Maria's friend; married with children; kind and nostalgic; different when drunk.

The children were excited to see her and she distributed the cakes she had brought. However, she realized that she had lost the special plum cake and felt embarrassed and disappointed. Joe comforted her and they spent the evening reminiscing about old times.

But Maria said she didn't like nuts and that they weren't to bother about her.

The gathering continued with games, dancing, and singing. Maria was encouraged to sing a song from her youth, which she did with a quavering voice. The song moved Joe to tears, as he fondly remembered the past.

But I also dreamt, which pleased me most, That you loved me still the same.

Despite the lost plum cake, Maria felt grateful for the love and support of her family and the pleasant evening they shared together.