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与一盘豌豆有关的故事

所属:听力板块 作者:颜麦粥 阅读:5390 次 评论:2 条 [我要评论]  [+我要收藏]

小编摘要:豌豆还是五美元?幼年的作者,会为了五美元而选择了我这辈子都不想吃的豌豆,其结果是图一时之财,一生都生活在豌豆的阴影下。

 

当我还是一个小男孩的时候,我的祖父去世了。从那以后的每一年里,祖母每年会与我们一起呆六个月左右的时间。她住在一间大房间里,大约是父亲办公室的两倍大,我们常常称作“后房”。她身上有一种很浓的香味。我不知道她使用香水的品牌,但知道那是一种双管的、非九十年代的、可拆装的,令人头昏目眩而且可以杀死麋鹿的香水。她把香水放在一个很大的雾化器里,经常很随意地就喷一些。进了她的房间几乎不能保持正常的呼吸。当她跟莉莲阿姨一起住其余六个月的时候,母亲会和姐妹们一起把窗户打开,接下床罩,并把窗帘和地毯拿出。在接下来的几天里,他们会把这些东西洗干净,试图把上面刺鼻的味道除去。
My grandfather died when I was a small boy, and my grandmother started staying with us for about six months every year. She lived in a room that doubled as my father's office, which we referred to as "the back room." She carried with her a powerful aroma. I don't know what kind of perfume she used, but it was the double-barreled, ninety-proof, knockdown, render-the-victim-unconscious, moose-killing variety. She kept it in a huge atomizer and applied it frequently and liberally. It was almost impossible to go into her room and remain breathing for any length of time. When she would leave the house to go spend six months with my Aunt Lillian, my mother and sisters would throw open all the windows, strip the bed, and take out the curtains and rugs. Then they would spend several days washing and airing things out, trying frantically to make the pungent odor go away.
这是我的祖母,在那次丢脸的豌豆事件中的祖母。
This, then, was my grandmother at the time of the infamous pea incident.
故事发生在巴尔的摩酒店,在我八岁的头脑里,那里只是在普洛维敦士可以吃饭的奢华地方。我和母亲,祖母在上午逛完街后在那里享用午餐,我大手大脚地点了一份索尔兹伯里牛排,足够自信地认为这种花哨的名字实际上只是一个很棒的多汁汉堡。当放到餐桌之后,还有一盘豌豆也伴着摆了上来。
It took place at the Biltmore Hotel, which, to my eight-year-old mind, was just about the fancies place to eat in all of Providence. My grandmother, my mother, and I were having lunch after a morning spent shopping. I grandly ordered a salisbury steak, confident in the knowledge that beneath that fancy name was a good old hamburger with gravy. When brought to the table, it was accompanied by a plate of peas.
我现在不喜欢吃豌豆,曾经也不喜欢,一直很讨厌。我一直很好奇为什么有人会心甘情愿地去吃豌豆。不管是在家还是再饭馆,我都不会吃。而且,我现在当然也不会吃。
I do not like peas now. I did not like peas then. I have always hated peas. It is a complete mystery to me why anyone would voluntarily eat peas. I did not eat them at home. I did not eat them at restaurants. And I certainly was not about to eat them now.   
把你的豌豆吃了。”祖母说道。
"Eat your peas," my grandmother said.  
祖母没有回答,但她眼光一闪,露出严厉的表情,这种神情就标示着她不会轻易屈服。她向我靠过来,看着我的眼,说了一句改变我一声的话:“如果你吃了那些豌豆,我给你五美元。”
"Mother," said my mother in her warning voice. "He doesn't like peas. Leave him alone."
“母亲,”我母亲用警告的声音说道。“他不喜欢豌豆,别管他了!”
My grandmother did not reply, but there was a glint in her eye and a grim set to her jaw that signaled she was not going to be thwarted. She leaned in my direction, looked me in the eye, and uttered the fateful words that changed my life: "I'll pay you five dollars if you eat those peas."
我对即将到来的厄运全不知晓。当时的我只知道五美元是一笔巨款,尽管豌豆让我恐怖,现在的选择只是一盘豌豆和拥有五美元。我开始把强迫吞下这些令人讨厌的豌豆。
I had absolutely no idea of the impending doom. I only knew that five dollars was an enormous, nearly unimaginable amount of money, and as awful as peas were, only one plate of them stood between me and the possession of that five dollars. I began to force the wretched things down my throat.
母亲脸色铁青。祖母则现出一种得意的表情,因为她刚刚用杀手锏制服了我:“我可以做我想做的,艾伦,你是不能阻止我的”。母亲瞪着她母亲,又瞪着我。没有人能像母亲一样瞪人,如果有一个瞪人奥运会,她无疑会赢得金牌。
My mother was livid. My grandmother had that self-satisfied look of someone who has thrown down an unbeatable trump card. "I can do what I want, Ellen, and you can't stop me." My mother glared at her mother. She glared at me. No one can glare like my mother. If there were a glaring Olympics, she would undoubtedly win the gold medal.
当然,我一直不停地往嘴里塞豌豆。愤怒的目光让我有些紧张,每颗豆子都会让我想吐,但那五美元的神奇形象又浮现在我面前,终于,我把所有豆子都吃完了。祖母一挥手给了我五美元。母亲则继续沉默不语地怒视着。这个故事就结束了。或者说我是这样认为的。
I, of course, kept shoving peas down my throat. The glares made me nervous, and every single pea made me want to throw up, but the magical image of that five dollars floated before me, and I finally gagged down every last one of them. My grandmother handed me the five dollars with a flourish. My mother continued to glare in silence. And the episode ended. Or so I thought.
之后,祖母到莉莲阿姨那里住了几周。那天晚上吃晚餐时,母亲做了我一直喜欢的两种食物:肉饼和土豆泥。随之,还有一大碗煮豌豆。她给了我一些,而我则在我无知的年轻岁月里的最后一刻拒绝了。母亲冷眼等着我,她,在最后时刻我无辜的青年,拒绝。我母亲冷冰冰地看着我,她在我的盘子里对了一大堆豌豆。之后她说的话在我耳边萦绕了好多年。
My grandmother left for Aunt Lillian's a few weeks later. That night, at dinner, my mother served two of my all-time favorite foods, meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Along with them came a big, steaming bowl of peas. She offered me some peas, and I, in the very last moments of my innocent youth, declined. My mother fixed me with a cold eye as she heaped a huge pile of peas onto my plate. Then came the words that were to haunt me for years.
“你吃了他们的钱,”她说。”你可以吃他们的爱。”
"You ate them for money," she said. "You can eat them for love."
哦,绝望!哦,毁灭!现在一切都太晚了,我意识到自己已经不明智地进入了一个不可能逃脱的炼狱。
Oh, despair! Oh, devastation! Now, too late, came the dawning realization that I had unwittingly damned myself to a hell from which there was no escape.
“你可以为钱吃豌豆,你也能为爱吃下它们。”
"You ate them for money. You can eat them for love."
我能有什么可能的理由让我鼓起勇气反驳?什么也没有。我吃了豌豆了吗?你想得到,那是当然的。我那天吃了豌豆,从那以后,每隔一段时间都会吃。五美元很快就花完了。几年后,祖母去世了。但豌豆一直留在我的生活里,直到今天。如果我在看到豌豆时稍微撅一下嘴(因为,毕竟我还是讨厌那些恐怖的小东西),母亲则会重复一遍遍重复那句恐怖的话:“你可以为钱吃豌豆,”她说。“你也能为爱而吃下它们。”
What possible argument could I muster against that? There was none. Did I eat the peas? You bet I did. I ate them that day and every other time they were served thereafter. The five dollars were quickly spent. My grandmother passed away a few years later. But the legacy of the peas lived on, as it lives on to this day. If I so much as curl my lip when they are served (because, after all, I still hate the horrid little things), my mother repeats the dreaded words one more time: "You ate them for money," she says. "You can eat them for love."
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2011-09-02 10:32 编辑:颜麦粥
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