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可怜虫

所属:成长励志 作者:网络转载 阅读:6602 次 评论:2 条 [我要评论]  [+我要收藏]

我和前妻坐在昔日客厅的地板上。除了我俩,房间里空空如也。这所房子是我俩婚姻瓦解的事发点,现在我们在给它做最后一次的例行打扫。我拿着把软刷和一块破抹布,沾上满是泡沫的消毒液在一点点清洁硬木地板,正朝前窗的位置挪去,从那可以看到外面整条街道的情景。我满手是肥皂和漂白粉的味道。我们得给新主人留下一个干净整洁的环境。售房合同上没有要求这点,但不知何故,我们还是回到这里去做这件事情。
 
我们俩都在这次主动请缨的任务中受了点伤:艾米莉今早在楼上擦洗窗户时从凳子上摔了下来,而我在清洗卫生间水池下面时头被排水管狠狠地撞了一下。当我听到艾米莉在楼上摔倒时,我只是冲楼上喊道问她有没有事,她回答说没有,当时我并没有跑上去看看她是否真的没事。
This co-worker, Jeffrey, befriended Emily soon after she had moved to San Francisco. An amateur guide and historian of tourist spots and dives, he showed her around the city, took her to the wharf and the Tenderloin District. He loved the city; he had had his first real taste of a possible future life there in that city, a potential hereafter of happiness. My wife-to-be and this Jeffrey rode BART over to Berkeley once and had a sidewalk vegetarian lunch—mock-duck tacos, she says—at a seedy little restaurant devoted to higher consciousness. On another day he drove her to Mount Tam in his rattly old blue VW. He'd brought sandwiches and wine and some pastry concoction he had made himself, as a picnic offering. They ate their picnic in the shade of a tree, the FM radio in his car serenading them with Glenn Gould. Why did he go to all this trouble? Emily says he was just being a friend, and then she pauses. "His boyfriend had left him a month before," she says, looking at her bare feet on the floor of our empty living room. "So he was lonely. And he was one of those gay men who have a latent hetero thing going on." How did she know this? She shrugs. She could tell by the way he looked at her sometimes. On a few rare occasions he looked at her the way a man looks at a woman.
在我和妻子闹分居的那段时间,这所房子好像也不甘寂寞的搅合进来。那些灯泡稍微一碰就从支架上分家了;墙上的壁画只要有人经过就做垂直落体运动,像框内的玻璃立马摔得粉碎。破坏随处可见。如果你不想让任何完好无缺的东西有所损坏那千万不要去惹它们。客厅里充斥着我俩相互对骂所散发的火药味。有时候我感觉好像有一股只有我才能看到的绿色致命毒气在茶几的上方漂浮。为了中伤对方我们两个无不尽其所能。家成了彼此痛苦的海洋,只要一踏进家门就会被伤心的潮水所湮没。
It's true, I haven't heard this story. "So?" I ask.
因此,这次大扫除就变的很有必要。我们两个都喜欢买我们房子的那对年轻人,看上去很单纯,笑容可掬的样子,带着一个一岁多点的婴儿,妈妈的肚子里还怀了一个。我们希望能给他们一个比较健康轻松的环境。我和艾米莉一起生活了八年,但没有小孩,幸还是不幸?谁知道呢!
So one day Jeffrey didn't show up for work. Or the next day or the day after that. He was sick, of course, with pneumonia, and after he recovered he came back to work for a few days and then disappeared again for another two weeks. Everyone knew he had the plague, and this was before all the antiretroviral drugs broke through to the population at large, so at work everyone avoided the subject of Jeffrey, someone they all liked.
其实也无关紧要了,现在我们在挥扫告别,曾经折腾的死去活来的爱巢现在也似乎冷静了下来。客厅的空气变得呆滞平和,那是一种了无生气的寂静,仿佛我们从未在这里住过似的。那些所有的不愉快逃遁的无影无踪。
By this time I am looking out the front window at our street. This is a nondescript neighborhood of similarly designed brick semi-colonials like ours, and as I watch, I see a guy in a Santa Claus suit come jogging by.
艾米莉现在坐在我对面角落的地板上,喘着气在片刻休息,脸色微红,因上午的摔跤而留在额头上的擦伤显而易见。T恤上有一小片看上去像字母Y那样的污迹。我可以闻到她身上的汗味,一种酸酸的,但令人心旷神怡的味道。她赤着脚,脚趾甲上有涂抹过光油的痕迹,一头深棕色的头发-那是她最为引人注目的特征-现在用一根橡皮圈扎成马尾巴挂在脑后,就像很多居家妇女在干家务活那样。她喝着啤酒,虽然现在只是下午两点。
"Look," I say. "It's Rolf, from down the block. He's wearing that goddamn Santa Claus suit again."
她说这很奇怪,只要一看到我就会让她感到悲伤 – 那是一种复杂的伤感,她对我说道。她在说这些话时脸上一副似笑非笑的神情,一半是幽怨一半是明白覆水难收后的坦然亲切。她又灌了一口啤酒。我知道她在努力想把我们的问题看着是一种比较容易处理的闹剧。我是劳莱,她是哈台;我是艾伯特,她是卡斯特洛(译者注:此两对分别是电影史上最著名的双人喜剧表演组合)。我们只不过在一项需要我俩一起完成的任务上失手罢了:我们的婚姻,仅此而已。但我从中找不到任何一点点喜剧色彩,即便是回忆往事。她说我常犯的一个错误就是我自认为懂她,但不是这样,事实上我从未真正了解过她,而且她可以证明此推断。这真是个老生常谈的话题,但我还是在听她说。但这次她更多的时间是盯着我头顶上方的墙壁而若有所思,似乎她面对的是一个线形数学方面的难题。
Emily glances out, lifting herself halfway. "He must not be taking his meds."
我几乎对她个性的麻木导致了她的悲伤,她现在直言不讳的坦白道。她很想知道是否我真的不了解女人还是只是不懂她。为佐证我是怎样的不了解她,她开始向我讲一个故事。不过在她正要开讲之时,我打断了她:“‘悲伤’!这是个老掉牙的用词。象我们这个年纪,除了你,没有人在用这样的词了。要么就是‘厌倦’,你是我认识的人当中唯一还在用这个词的人。即使你看上去一点也不厌倦的时候,你也会说,我很厌倦,但那只是急躁。还有‘宽容’,我还真他妈的不知道什么是宽容。‘宽容点’-这就是你经常挂在嘴边的。你到底在哪找到这些词的?”“你说够了没?”她问道。我们就像一对已经进行到十五回合累得快趴下的拳击手。
"It's not that," I tell her. "He thinks it's better for visibility than a running outfit. Drivers see him right away. 'You don't accidentally hit Santa,' he told me once. At least he hasn't tied on the white beard. At least he's not wearing the cap."
“‘我很烦,’这样说有什么不可以的呢?”我问她:“其他人都是这么说的。‘我很烦,’,‘我不爽,’‘我崩溃,’但你呢-你是个...老古董.”我试图逗逗她,但同时又不忘要刺激下她,所以我对她眨了眨眼。“我那时并没有崩溃,”她说到:“我只是感到悲伤,它们不一样。”我站起来跨到她身边一把把她手里的啤酒罐夺了过来,一口喝了个底朝天,然后打了个饱嗝。管它呢,我们是会离婚,但至少现在还是夫妻。
"Who're you kidding?" Emily asks me. "The guy's bipolar. The Santa comes out in him whenever he gets manic."
在我认识艾米莉之前,她从大学退学后搬到了湾区(译者注:旧金山的一个地区)。那时距离爱之夏(译者注:指1967年夏天嬉皮士发起的对美国文化和社会有着意义深远的谈情说爱集会运动)已经过去了好几年了,但对于艾米莉来说,不管是夏天也好,或者爱情也好,她都错过了。当时她租住在诺亚山谷一处简陋便宜的地下公寓,从窗外看去能欣赏到的景色就是人行道上行色匆匆的步伐,白天,她在恩波里姆百货公司的箱包部门上班。
"You could do worse," I say to her. "You've done worse."
我再次打断了她:“我知道这些,”我说:“这整个故事我都知道了。”“不,你不知道,”艾米莉回复我:“不是指这个。”当时她有个男同事,名字叫做杰弗里,长得高大英俊,尽管偶尔有些结巴,大部分时间还是个讨人喜欢的家伙,哦,对了,还是个同性恋。他是名优秀的销售员,俱备着活跃气氛和生动诙谐的魅力个性,有他的陪伴即使你在大出血购买那些高价贵重商品时依然可以心花怒放。
We sit there looking at each other for a moment, unsmiling. Neither of us says anything, and I hear the furnace come on. The light flaring through the window has that burnished autumnal warmth. The furnace creates a low hum. Outside in the yard the leaves could be raked, but I'm not going to do that now.
艾米莉搬来不久后很快就和他成了朋友。他充当业余导游和旅游景点讲解员的角色,领着她穿街走巷,带她去码头和腾德劳区(旧金山的心脏地带)。杰弗里喜欢这个城市,对于在这个城市将要展开的快乐生活他已经在开始切实体验了。有一次他同那时还不是我妻子的艾米莉搭乘电气火车到伯克利,在途中一个简陋的小餐馆吃了一份专门为佛教信徒准备的素食午餐-仿鸭玉米饼-她是这么说的。还有一天他开着他那部吱嘎响的蓝色旧大众车载着她到泰姆山。他准备了些三明治,红酒和一些自制的糕点,在一棵树荫下面,一边听着车内收音机传出的格伦.古尔德的古典音乐,一边享受着野餐。为何他会那样不怕麻烦的大献殷勤?艾米莉解释说他只不过是在做一个朋友所做的,然后她停顿了一会。“一个月前他男朋友离开了他,”她说道,低着头看着空荡荡地板上那双赤脚:“他很孤单。而且他不是个完完全全的同性恋。”她怎么会知道这个?她耸耸肩。她说这可以从他有时看她的眼神中感觉得到。偶尔,他看着她就像一个男人在盯着自己的女人。
"What happened to Jeffrey?" I ask, after another long pause. "He died, right?"
没错,我从没有听过这个故事。“然后呢?”我问道。
No, but he was in one of the Kaiser hospitals, where Emily went to see him. He didn't look good. "Wasted" is probably the right word. She tried to cheer him up, but he resisted her efforts. Still, he had one request. He wanted her to take some pictures of him, as a memento of how handsome he was despite his illness. He thought his looks had trumped the virus somehow. Beauty had staged its victory over infirmity, he thought. So she did it. She bought a camera and took some pictures of her friend sitting up in the chair next to the hospital bed, out of his hospital clothes and in his best: black jeans, leather jacket, etc. "You probably didn't know it," he said as she took his picture, "but I'm an aristocrat." He posed as if he were a rake and a bit of a snob, smiling an old-money smile.
然后就是有一天杰弗里没有来上班。一连持续了两天。那是因为得了肺炎,他病愈后上了几天班,然后又消失了两个星期。所有的人都知道他染上了瘟疫,那时抗病毒药物还没有被大规模的使用,于是,工作时所有的人都对杰弗里避而远之,一个曾经受欢迎的人。
But when the film was developed, the pictures proved unshowable: his skin wasn't just sallow, it was waxlike. His face seemed rigid, a staring mask. She didn't know what to do with these pictures. Ten years ago retouching photographs digitally wasn't as easy as it is now. But if the guy could tell lies to himself when looking in the mirror, she thought, maybe he could tell himself the same lies when he saw these photographs.
这是我透过窗户看着外面的街道。这是一片毫无特色的半殖民砖瓦结构的房子,同我们住的房子差不多样子。突然我看到一个穿着圣诞老人的衣服的人在慢跑。
She arrived at his apartment—he was convalescing at home by now—and sat down next to him at the dinette table. One by one the pictures were laid out like playing cards, like the hand he'd been dealt. With his reading glasses on, Jeffrey looked at these images of himself. As it happened, the pneumonia had hung on for a while and he had lost a considerable amount of muscle tone; in the photos his cheekbones were garishly visible, and his eyes, despite his smile, had that peering-into-the-void anguish—there, I used that word—that you see on the faces of the near-dead. So Jeffrey was sitting there, looking down at these photographs of his death sentence, and he began to cry.
“你看,”我说:“那是罗尔夫,正朝这边跑来。他又穿着那件讨厌的圣诞装。”
Emily tried to console him, but he turned away from her, shaking his head. He went into his bedroom, got dressed, and told her that they were going for a ride in the blue VW. He asked her to drive. He said that he had to have his hands free.
艾米莉稍微探起身朝外面看去。“他肯定是没有吃药。”“不是这回事,”我告诉他:“他认为这身打扮比慢跑服更醒目。那些司机可以一眼就看到他。‘你不会意外的撞到圣诞老人的,’他之前跟我说过这样的话,至少他没有沾上那白色的胡子,和戴上那顶帽子。”
He directed her down toward the Presidio and then onto the Golden Gate Bridge, and when they were about midway across the bridge, he took the photographs and held them up one by one outside the window. The wind seized these portraits of him; some of them fluttered over the side of the bridge into the bay, and some of them just lay there on the gridded pavement for other cars to drive over. Dust to dust. Emily told him that he could be ticketed for littering, but he didn't listen to her; he was too busy getting rid of these snapshots. "They won't arrest me," he shouted over the road noise. "Not after they get a good look at me."
“你在开谁的玩笑呢?”艾米莉问我。“这家伙有躁郁症。他一发狂就穿上了这套圣诞装。”
Then he instructed Emily to drive up the coast so that they could go whale watching. However, it was the wrong season: no whales that time of year. After a couple of hours they pulled over at a roadside rest area within sight of the Pacific. The two of them got out of the car. Though no whales were visible, Jeffrey, leaning against his car and staring out at the water, said he saw some. For the next half hour he described the whales swimming by, all the shapes and sizes and varieties of them, whale after whale, under the surface. He was like an encyclopedia entry: here were the humpback whales, and there the bottle-nosed, and the pilot and the beluga, the right whales and the blue. When he was finished with this harmless hallucinatory description, he got back into the car, and my wife—that is, then my wife-to-be and now my ex-wife—drove him back home, to his apartment on Clement. When they got back to his place, he was distracted and confused, so she undressed him and put him to bed, Good Samaritan that she is. And then—and this is the part I couldn't have imagined—she got into bed with him and put her arms around him until he fell asleep.
“你可能会更糟,”我对她说:“你已经糟透了。”
She's still sitting here in the living room, looking at me in silence, still unsmiling. The point of this story is that she loved this man—loved him, I think the phrase is, to death.
我们俩坐着相互看了下,表情严肃。谁也没有开口说话,这时我听到外面锅炉发动的声音。窗户外闪烁的火光将秋天的暖意照的更铮亮。锅炉发出阵阵低沉的嗡鸣声。院子里堆积了厚厚的一层树叶,但我现在不想去打扫。
"No," I say, "you're absolutely right. You never told me that story." My heart is pounding slightly, and I have to work to sound calm. "So you loved him. What happened to this Jeffrey?" I ask her.
“杰弗里后来怎么样了?”又是一阵长长的沉默后,我问道:“他死了,对吗?” 不,他现在在一家凯瑟医院,艾米莉曾去看过他。他的状态很不乐观。差不多是“废人”一个。她尝试让他振作起来,他不领情,但还是提出了一个请求。他希望她帮他拍一些照片留作纪念,疾疴缠身,魅力未减。他坚信自己的样子是不会被病毒摧残的,美好的东西总会占据上风.于是,她照做了.她带来了一部相机,替她朋友在病床旁边的椅子上拍了几张照片,他脱下了那身病人服,换上他最喜欢的装扮:黑色牛仔裤,皮茄克."你可能不知道吧,"在她拍照的时候他对她说:"我是个贵族."他就象个有点自命不凡的浪子,脸上带着种优越感十足笑容.
She looks at me. "Duh," she says. She removes her foot from my grasp. I hadn't realized I was holding on to it. I wonder what else she might have done for him that she hasn't told me, but I don't ask. "The thing is," she says, "I often dream about him. And these dreams—I often wake up from them, and they're terrible dreams, no comfort at all." She looks at me and waits. "They're really insane dreams," she says.
但是当照片洗出来之后,效果却惨不忍睹:他的肤色不单单是菜色,而是蜡白色;表情僵硬,像带了一个直勾勾看人的面具。她一时不知道该拿这些照片怎么办。在十年以前,要对照片做一番数码润色没有如今这么轻而易举。但是如果这个家伙可以坦然面对镜子中的自己,她想,也许他也会欣然接受照片中的他吧。
"How are they insane?"
她来到他住的公寓-他现在在家做康复性治疗-紧挨着他在餐桌上坐下。照片像扑克牌一样一张张被摊开,是他曾经抓到的那手牌。杰弗里戴上眼镜看着这些照片。拍照那会他的肺炎还没有好,身体消瘦了很多;从照片上明显可以看到他的两边颊骨朝外凸,眼睛流露出一种空洞的揪心-请注意,我用的是这个词-那是你可以从任何将死之人的脸上看到的表情。杰弗里坐在那一动不动的低头看着自己的死刑照片,他开始哭了起来。艾米莉试图去安慰他,但他摇摇头转过身去。他起身走到卧室穿上衣服,告诉她他想开车出去兜一兜。他让她来开,说他要腾出手来。
"Oh," she says, "let's not spoil it with words." But I know my wife, and what she means is that in these dreams she is still lying next to him. She glances out the window. "There goes Santa again." She laughs. It's not a good laugh—more like a fun-house laugh. I get up, make my way to the kitchen, open the refrigerator, take out two beers (we've cleaned out the refrigerator except for a twelve-pack), and bring one of them back to her. I open the other one and gaze out the window, but Santa has turned the corner and is no longer visible, to my great disappointment. It's getting to be late afternoon, the time of day when you could use some Santa and aren't going to get it.
他为她指路朝普蕾西迪奥开去,然后上到金门桥,到桥中央的时候,他拿出那些照片一张张朝车窗外面抛去,照片随风飘舞;有的在桥的一侧上空飘荡然后跌入到海湾,有的直接就落在桥面被其它汽车倾轧而过。源自尘土,回归尘土。艾米莉跟他说这样是乱扔垃圾会吃罚单的,但他没有理会,还是在继续忙于毁灭这些照片。“他们不会抓我的,”他对着外面大声喊道,声音盖过路边的喧嚣:“只要他们看到我的样子就不会抓我了。”
I take a good slug of the beer before I say, "No, you never told me that story. My God. Maybe it's true. Maybe we didn't know each other. Can you imagine that? We were married and we never knew the first thing."
随后他告诉艾米莉朝海岸开去,说是去看鲸鱼。但不好彩的是这是一个不合时宜的季节:这个时间没有鲸鱼。经过几个小时的行驶,他们把车停在一个可以看到太平洋的路边休息区。两人下了车。虽然没有看到鲸鱼的影子,杰弗里还是背靠着汽车看着水面。他说他看到了一些。后面的半个小时他在不断的描述那些在水下假想游过的鲸鱼,形状各异,大小不一,一条接着一条。他就像百科全书的条目那样介绍道:这是驼背鲸,那是瓶鼻鲸,还有巨头鲸,白鲸,脊美鲸,和蓝鲸。描述完这些无伤害的幻觉后,他回到车内,我妻子-那时还是准妻,现在成了前妻-开车送他回到克莱门特的公寓。到达后,他情绪很不稳定,心烦意乱,于是她为他宽衣,然后扶他上床,多么心地善良的姑娘。随后-这部分我甚至不敢去想象-她也躺下去挨着他,用手搂着他,直到他睡去。
"Spare me your irony," she says.
她还保持着这个姿势,坐在客厅的地板上,静静的看着我,面无表情。这个故事的意义所在是她爱着这个男人-爱他,(我想)直到他去世。
"I'm not being ironic. I'm telling you what you told me. But the thing is, your story isn't about you except on the sides, by comparison. You're a minor saintly character in that story. You're just the affable friend," I say, which isn't true, because that's not what the story has been about. I'm feeling a little competitive now, in this singing contest we're having. "After all, I've known plenty of people I've never described to you."
“没错,”我说道:“你对极了。你从没有跟我讲过这件事。”我心跳有点加快,必须努力让自己平静下来。“所以你还爱他。后来这个杰弗里怎么样了?”我问他。她看着我。“嗯,”她欲言又止。她把脚从我手中移开。我倒没有意识到什么时候我抓住她的脚了。我想知道她还为他做过什么事却没有告诉我,但我没有追问下去。“问题是,”她接着说到:“我经常梦到他,而且这些梦-经常让我惊醒,全部是恶梦,难过至极。”她看着我,停了一会。“真的是很可怕的梦,”她说道。
"I've heard that before," she says.
“是怎样的可怕呢?”
"Well, no, you haven't," I say. "Not exactly."
“嗯,”她说道:“我们还是不要说出来吧。”但我了解我的妻子,她的意思是在这些梦里她还躺在他旁边。她扫了一眼窗户外面。“圣诞老人又出现了。”她笑了起来。不是发自内心的喜悦-倒有点像游乐场的笑声。我起身走到厨房,打开冰箱,拿了两罐啤酒出来(我们清空了整个冰箱,就单单留了一箱12罐啤酒),我走回去递了一罐给她,随后打开我那罐并盯着窗外看,但令人很失望的是圣诞老人已过了街角看不到了。已是傍晚时分,
I am not an admirable man, and my character, or lack of character, accounts for my presence on this living-room floor on this particular day. If I am unadmirable, however, I am not actually bad, in the sense that evil people are bad. If I were genuinely and truly bad, my ex-wife wouldn't be sitting here on the floor with me, her ex-husband, after we'd cleaned the house for the next occupants.
我猛喝了一口酒然后说到:“是的,你从没有跟我说过这回事。我的上帝。也许这是真的。也许我们根本就互不了解。你能想象这是怎么一回事吗?我们竟然结婚了,我们根本就不了解。”
My trouble was that after our first two years together, I couldn't concentrate on her anymore. I was distracted by what life was throwing at me. I couldn't be—what is the word?—faithful, but actually that was the least of it, because unfaithfulness is a secondary manifestation of something we don't have a word for.
“你少讽刺我了,”她说到。
When I met Emily, I was a clerk in a lighting store; I sold lighting fixtures. I suppose this was a pretty good job for someone who majored in studio art during college. I know something about light. My little atelier was filled with life-study drawings and rolled-up canvases of nakedness. That was pretty much what I did: nudes, the human body—the place where most artists start, though I never got past it.
“我这不是讽刺。我只不过是在重复你告诉我的。但区别是你讲的故事主角不是你,你只是个旁观者。你在这个故事中是个无关紧要的无辜角色。你只是个和蔼可亲的朋友,”我说到,但这不是事实,因为这不是这故事的本来面目。 现在我感觉到一点压力,在这场正在进行的歌唱PK赛中。“毕竟,我也认识很多从没有说起过的人。”
I was always drawing and painting one particular woman, and, of course, it wasn't Emily. It was never Emily. The model was a woman I had seen for about two minutes waiting in line for coffee at one of those bookstore cafés. She had an ankle bracelet, and I could describe her to you top to bottom, every inch. I could do that, trust me—just take my obsession on faith. She had come into my life for two minutes, and when, that afternoon, I couldn't forget her, I began to draw her. The next day I drew her again, and the next week I began a painting of her, and a month after that I did another painting of her, and so on and so on.
“我之前听说过,”她接过话说道。
One Saturday—this was about two years after we were married—Emily came into my studio, sometime in midafternoon. I had college football playing on the radio. As usual, I was painting the woman I once saw standing in line at this bookstore café. Emily asked me again who this person was, and I told her again that it was just someone I caught a glimpse of once. It didn't matter who she was—she was just this person. Which was, of course, untrue. She wasn't just a person. Emily stared at what I was doing with the canvas, and then she unbuttoned her blouse and hung it on a clothes hook near the door. She took off her shoes and socks and stood there with her bra and jeans still on, and then she unzipped the jeans and unclasped the bra and off they went, onto the littered floor. Finally the underpants went, and she was in the altogether, standing in my studio just under the skylight, the smell of turpentine in the room. I interrupted what I was doing and eventually went over to her and took her in my arms, but that turned out to be the wrong response—so wrong that I can date the decline of our marriage from that moment. What I was supposed to do was look at her. I was supposed to draw her; I was supposed to be obsessed by her; and finally, I was supposed to be inspired by her.
“哦,不,你没有听过,”我说:“有些不同。”
But that's not how everyday love works. "I want to be your everything," Emily once said to me, and I cringed.
我不是个好男人,我的性格,或者我性格的缺失,决定了在今天这个特别的日子我还呆在客厅的地板上。虽说我不是个好男人,但如果坏男人是指那些品德败坏的男人,我也不在其中。如果我真的是一个十恶不赦的混蛋,那我的前妻也不会在大扫除结束后还同我这个没有任何瓜葛的前夫坐在地板上聊聊天。
The next time we made love, she was crying. "Please draw me," she said. "Dennis, please please please draw me."
我遇到的问题是在我们结合2年后,我再也无法做到眼中只有她。生活中的一次偶遇让我分心了。我没法做到-这个词是什么来的?-忠诚,但其实不是这么一回事,因为不忠对我们来说,是一个不屑谈起的无关紧要的坦白。
"I can't," I said. Although I may not be a great artist, I was not going to draw her just because she asked me to. She was my companion. We were getting through this life day by day, the two of us. I loved her, I'm sure, and she loved me, I'm sure of that, too; but she has never inspired me, and I have never been obsessed by her. All the things that followed, including the affairs, both hers and mine, were small potatoes compared with that: I couldn't draw her in good faith.
刚认识艾米莉的时候,我在一家灯具店上班,销售照明器材。这份工作对大学里主修绘画艺术的我来说是挺不错的。我对灯具也有一定的了解。我的小画室里推满了人体素描,和卷起来的裸体帆布油画。我画了很多这样的画:人体裸体-很多艺术家也是这样起步的,虽然我还未入门。
At night I would hug her and kiss her and tell her that I loved her, my flesh pressed against her flesh, but that just made her cry all the more. The poisons in the house grew. Emily was not my everything, not my muse and inspiration. I never knew why she wanted that role, but she did, and because she wanted it, and I couldn't lie to her about how she could never be what she said she wanted to be, I could fold my arms around her as we stood or lay quietly together but it was never enough. And because it was never enough, it was hateful.
在这些素描和油画中我画的最多的是同一个女人,当然,不是艾米莉。不可能会是她。这个女人模特是我在一家书店咖啡馆前排队时遇上的,也就两分钟的时间。她脚踝处戴有一条装饰链,我可以将她从头到脚描述出来,丝毫不差.我可以做到这点,相信我-只要看到我的痴迷.仅仅两分钟的时间她就走进了我生命,就在那个下午,我没有办法将她忘却,我开始将她诉于画布.第二天我又画了她,然后第二个星期我画了一张她的油画,一个月后我又画了另外一张,就这样乐此不疲.
We were like two becalmed sailing ships carrying sailors from different countries who shouted curses at each other as we drifted farther and farther apart.
在一个星期六-那时我同艾米莉已结婚两年-她走进我的工作室,大概是三点钟左右.收音机里正在直播一场大学足球比赛.同往常一样,我又开始在画这个在咖啡馆遇到的女人.艾米莉又问到我这女人是谁,我还是告诉她这只不过是我曾经碰到的那么一个人.她是谁根本不重要-她就是一个路人.当然,这不是真话,她不仅仅只是一个路人那么简单.艾米莉看着我在帆布上忙乎,一边脱下了她的外套,挂在靠近门的衣钩上.接着她脱下了鞋子和袜子,随后又解开牛仔裤和胸罩,让它们散落在地板上,最后是内裤,这时她已是一丝不挂的站在那,就在那天窗下面,整个房间弥漫一股松脂的味道.我中止了手中的活计,走过去将她搂在怀里,但这是一个错误的反应-错误到以致我可以清楚的知道我们的婚姻走向瓦解就是从这一刻开始.我应该要做的是看着她,然后开始画她,被她所吸引,最后,我的灵感应该要被她给点燃.
"No, right, sure, of course," she says, standing up and stretching. "Two ships." She turns toward me and loosens her hair so that it falls lightly over her shoulders and so that I can see her do it. Her eyes are glittery with a momentary thrill of distaste for me. No more housework today. "Right. You just told me stories and listened to the radio and painted your dream girl." She looks at me. "If you had been Picasso, everyone would have forgiven you."
但这是油盐米醋的爱情所做不到的."我要成为你的一切,"艾米莉曾经这样对我说过,但被我敷衍过去了.
Now, late in the afternoon, we go walking toward the park, a way of recovering our equilibrium before we get into our separate cars and drive off toward our separate residences. Anyone seeing us strolling past the piles of bright leaves on the sidewalk, the last light of the sun in our eyes, might think we were still a couple. Emily's wearing a little knitted red cap and a snug brown jacket, and she's squinting against the sun's rays; and because we are also facing a cool breeze from the west, her eyes fill with moisture—I refuse at this moment to think of it as tears—that she must wipe away before she says anything to me.
随后我们做爱了,她哭了."请画我,"她说道:"丹尼斯,我求你画我,求你,求你,求你了." "我做不到,"我说到。我虽然不是个有名的艺术家,但我还是不想因为仅仅是她要求我去画她,我就照做。她是我的伴侣,我们日复一日的呆在一起,就我们两个。我爱她,这点毫无疑问,她也爱我,同样我也深信不疑。但她从未激发我的灵感,我对她没有那种神魂颠倒的感觉。在这种情况下,所有事情,包括我和她各自的风流韵事,与这个事实比较起来都变得不值一提了,那就是:我没法全身心的投入去画她。
"It's true," she says. "Sometimes I forget the nicest things you did for me. Like that time you bought me flowers for my birthday."
在晚上,我拥抱着她,吻她,告诉她我爱她,我再一次的冲击着她,但这让她哭的更凶了。这种绝望的气氛在房间内滋生。爱米莉不是我的一切,不是我的缪斯女神,不是我的灵感源泉。我从未知晓为何她需要这个角色,但她要求了,也正因为她要求了,我无法不向她坦白她永远成为不了她想做的那个角色,我可以抱着她,不管何时何地,但这远远不够。因为不够,所以才伤人!
"Which birthday was this?" I ask. The sun is in my eyes, too.
我们就像来自不同国度的两艘沉默的帆船,越飘越远,而各自的水手在互相对骂诅咒对方。
"It doesn't matter," she says. "What matters is that you walked into the house with these six red roses clutched in your hand, and I smiled, and I saw from the puzzlement on your face that in your absent-minded way you had forgotten that you had bought roses for me and that you were holding them in your hand at that very moment. Imagine! Imagine a guy who buys roses for his wife and then carries them into the house and still forgets that that's what he's doing. Imagine being so fucking absent-minded. It's a form of male hysteria."
“不,对,没错,当然,”她站起来,伸展了下身体,说道:“是两艘船。”她转过身来对着我,我看到她解开扎着的头发,披散在肩膀。她的眼神闪过一丝对我厌恶之极的光芒。今天不再有家务活要干了。“是的,你只是跟我讲讲故事,听听收音机,画画你的梦中女孩。”她望着我:“如果你是毕加索,没人会记恨你。”
"Watch your language," I say, kidding her. "It's true," I say. "I was presenting you with roses that I had forgotten about."
时间已到了傍晚,我们朝公园走去,借此希望可以在钻进各自的汽车驶向不同的目的地之前平息下各自的心情.慢悠悠的走在堆满落叶的人行道上,夕阳的余晖洒落在我们的脸庞,任何人看到这幅情景肯定会以为我们还是一对。艾米莉戴着顶红色针织帽,穿着件修身的棕色夹克,在太阳的光线下她微眯着双眼;可能是因为还刮着凉飕飕的西风,她的双眼湿润润的-在这个时间我不去想这可能是眼泪-如果是的话她在同我说话之前肯定是偷偷的抹掉了。
"And what it meant," Emily tells me, as if I hadn't said anything, "was that your instincts, your—I don't know what you would call it … your unconscious still loved me, even if your conscious mind didn't. I thought, My husband, Dennis, still loves me. Despite everything. You could absent-mindedly get me roses on my birthday without knowing what you were doing. Somewhere in there you were still kindly disposed toward me. Your little love light was still shining, before its last flickerings."
“没错,”她说道:“有时候我是忘记了你对我的好,比如在我生日那天你送花给我。”
We arrive at the park. On our side of it is a small playground with a slide, a climbing structure, swings. One little boy is still playing, while his mother sits on a bench and reads the paper, but now, in the dusk, she's squinting in order to make out the print. She calls to her son, but he won't return to her quite yet. He won't follow her orders. Emily sits down in one of the swings, and I sit down next to her. She puts her shoes in the patch of dirt and slowly begins to swing herself back and forth. Behind us the woods seem to be breathing in and out.
“是哪个生日?”我问道。斜阳也溜到了我的眼中。
"I liked childhood," Emily says to me softly. "I liked being a kid. A lot of the other girls wanted to grow up, but I didn't. They wanted to go out on dates, the excitement of all that—boys, cars, sex, the whole scene. But not me. I didn't want to launch my little ship into adolescence. I didn't want my periods to start. I didn't want what was about to happen to happen. I had this dread of it. I wanted to stay a kid forever. I thought being an adult was the awful afterlife of childhood."
“哪个并不重要,”她回答:“重要的是你回家时手里抓着6支玫瑰,我笑了,你一脸茫然,显得心不在焉的样子,你显然没有意识到你带了玫瑰给我,而那些玫瑰那时候就在你手中握着。想想看!想象下一个丈夫买了玫瑰带回家给她的妻子,竟然不知道自己在做什么。想象下这该死的心不在焉吧。这是你们的一种癔症。”
I can't remember ever being afraid of growing up, so I don't say anything in response. Even at this late date Emily can still surprise me with what she says.
“注意下你的用词,”我开玩笑的跟她说道。
"And it was awful. I mean, it is awful. It's terrible, but of course you can learn to live with it, and it's okay after a while even if it's terrible, and besides, what choice do you have?"
“没错,”我继续说道:“我是没有意识到我在送玫瑰给你。”
"No choice," I say to her. The woman on the bench calls to her son again, and this time he comes down to where she's sitting, and he stands by her side and puts his hand on her arm as a signal that he's ready. She nods, briefly looking at him. Then she folds her paper, stands up, and takes his hand. These gestures are of such gentle, subtle sweetness that they feel like a private language to me, and my mind clouds up, given the weight of the day, given my own situation.
“这意味着,”艾米莉告诉我,好像我一直在保持沉默,“这是你的本能反应,你的-我不知道你是怎样说的-你的潜意识里还爱着我,即使你的意识并不认同。我以为,我的丈夫,丹尼斯,始终还爱着我。不管发生过什。你可以心不在焉的在我生日那天送我玫瑰,而自己却一无所知。说明在内心深处你还是善意的没把我给忘记。你那微不足道的爱情之光还在照耀着,直到完全熄灭。”
"You know," I say to Emily, as I swing back and forth in my swing, "I've been getting postcards. Anonymous postcards."
我们走到了公园。靠近我们这边有个小小的游乐场,那里有一个滑梯,一座攀登模型,几架秋千。一个小男孩正在玩得不亦乐乎,他的妈妈在旁边的长椅上看报纸,因天色已晚,她不得不眯着眼睛去看辨清那些字。她开始叫那男孩,但他显然还没有打算回家。他没有听从她的指挥。艾米莉在其中一架秋千上坐下来,我挨着另外一架坐下。她用脚抵着一块土堆,开始让自己慢慢的前后摇摆动起来。在我们身后那片树林好像在不断的被吸进吸出。
"Dennis," Emily tells me, "I don't have time for another story. I have to get home. I have a date tonight, if you can believe it."
“我喜欢童年,”艾米莉轻声的说道。
"No, listen," I say. "They've been arriving in the mail every few days. They're anonymous—I don't know who's sending them. Not to work but to my home address, the apartment. And they have these picture-postcard photographs on the flip side—Miami Beach, the Bahamas, the Empire State Building, the usual. But on the message side it's something else."
“我喜欢做一个小孩。很多其他女孩子总巴不得快长大,但我不想。她们想开始去约会,去尝试所有激动人心的事-男孩,汽车,性爱,所有的一切。但我不是。我不想把我的小船开进青春期,我不想踏入那个阶段,我不想让该来的要来。我对这充满恐惧。我希望永远是个小孩。我认为成年是童年时代可怕的来生。”
"Dennis, really," she says, "I have to go." But she's still sitting there, in the playground, in her swing. "I have to get ready," she says, in a flat, neutral tone.
我记不起来我是否也恐惧长大,所以我保持沉默。即使是在这最后一天艾米莉所说的还是让我感到惊讶。
But I'm going to finish, and I say, "And what it is, these messages—they're always handwritten, always in blue ink, always in large letters, uppercase, all of them. Short, punchy sentences. Condemnations of me. Judgments." I hold up my hand to suggest a headline, even though the words have to fit on postcards. "'Your work has come to nothing.' 'Your life is a disaster.' 'Someone is watching you.' 'Aren't you ashamed of yourself?' Now, who do you suppose would send postcard messages like that?"
“这很可怕。我是说这很可怕。非常恐怖,当然你可以尝试学会去面对,虽然当时是恐怖,但总会习惯的,而且,你还有其它选择吗?”
She looks over at me in the gathering dusk with a genuine expression of surprise, and I understand the moment I see her face that it's not Emily who has been sending me these postcards. All along I thought it would be her idea of retribution, these insane postcards. But she hasn't been mailing them, and this sends a brief shudder through me. Perhaps I knew all along. After all, I would know her handwriting even if she tried to disguise it. We're almost twins that way.
“没选择了,”我附和着她。长凳上的女人又开始召唤她的小孩,这次他下来回到了她身边,他站在她旁边,显然是告诉她他准备好了。她点点头,望了望他。然后她合起报纸,站起来,拿起他的手。这一连串的动作非常温馨,有种淡淡的甜蜜在里头,仿似她们之间爱的私语,但一想到今天的沉重和自己的处境,我的心情变得灰暗了起来。
"If you're thinking it was me," Emily says, "think again. It wasn't."
“你是知道的,”我对艾米莉说道,身体还在秋千上前后摆动,“我最近一直有收到明信片,匿名的。”
"'You are a perpetual outcast,' another postcard said. And last week I got one that said, 'Have you no remorse?'"
“丹尼斯,”艾米莉打断我:“我没有时间在继续另一个故事。我得回家了,今晚我有个约会,如果你能相信的话。”
"Well," Emily says after a pause, "whoever is sending them must know you. That's a good word—'remorse.' I could have used that word on you. A flea-market word, one of my grandparent words. You never used a word like that. Must be one of your little girlfriends sending these messages. Somebody who's a little obsessed with you, Dennis."
“不,你听着,”我说道:“它们每隔一小段时间就会寄过来。没有署名-我不知道是谁寄的。不是寄到我公司,而是到我家,寄到公寓的。他们的背面跟普通明信片没啥两样,就一些风景照片-迈阿密海滩,巴哈马群岛,帝国大厦,但在留言的那面却写了些东西。”
"Some poor devil," I say.
“丹尼斯,真的,”她又打断了我:“我要走了。”
"Yes," she says, "a poor devil. That sounds about right." She gets up out of the swing and goes over to the climbing structure. "Which one do you suppose it is?"
但她还是坐着没动,还是在操场的秋千上。“我得去准备了,”她干巴巴的说道,毫无表情。但我想早点结束了,我说道:“那些留言-全部是手写的,蓝色墨水,粗字,大写。句子短促。是对我的谴责。是审判。”我举起一只手来表达我的愤然,即使这些字眼是出现在明信片上。“‘你一事无成。’‘你的生活是一个灾难。’‘你会遭报应的。’‘你自己不感到羞愧吗?’你现在告诉我谁会发这些信息给我呢?”
"Well," I say, "I don't know." But actually I think I do know. Once, this woman and I were at dinner together, a woman who in her day had done a lot of drugs—the ones that give you dime-store visions. And out of nowhere she said, "I can see all your thoughts, you know. I can see them, and you don't even have to say them aloud, because I know what they are." She was holding her wineglass, this woman, and it had been a good evening until then, but when she said she could see my thoughts, it seemed time to get out of there. She sat up straight. "God and his archangels have taken a real dislike to you," she said, as I was motioning for the waiter. "They have a gun pointed at your head. I just think I should tell you that."
暮色中她一脸惊奇的望着我,看着她的脸那刻我知道我冤枉了她,这些明信片不是她寄的。一直以来我都认为这是她对我报复的一种方式,那些搞怪的明星片。但却不是她做的,这让我打了个冷颤。也许我早就应该知道不是她。至少我认识她的笔迹,就算不管她怎样伪装。在这点上我们基本一致。
"She really said that?" Emily asks, coming down from the play structure. "That God and his archangels had a gun pointed at your head?"
“如果你认为这是我干的,”艾米莉说道:“那你继续想想吧。不是我。”
"Yeah," I say. "Those were her exact words. But I can't imagine anyone's being obsessed with me. I have such a …" I can't think of the phrase.
“‘你是个永远的弃儿’,”有一张明星片是这样写的。上个礼拜我收到的那张是‘你没有自责过吗?’
"Where do you find these girls, Dennis?" she asks.
“喂,”艾米莉停顿了一下说道:“不管是谁寄的,她(他)一定认识你。‘自责,’-这个字真用的不错。我也可以这样说你。一个老土的字眼,老的快掉牙了。你从不会这么说的。肯定是你的一个小女友寄的·她对你有点神魂颠倒,丹尼斯。”
"Where everybody finds them. In the street, and so on."
“一些可怜虫,”我说到。
"You should look in different places."
“是的,”她说到。“一个可怜虫。听上去不错。”她从秋千上起身走到对面的攀登模型那。
"I don't know any different places." What are Emily and I talking about? I've completely lost the thread.
“你认为会是哪一个呢?”
"No," she says, "I suppose you don't." She waits. "Did you see that woman and her little boy? Did you see how … I don't know, how calm they were with each other? God, I loved seeing that. That calm. It makes you want to be a kid again. Of course, I always want that anyway."
“嗯,”我回答道:“我不知道。”到事实上我想我知道。我曾经和这个女人约会过,那是一个大白天也大量吸食毒品的女人-多的会让你以为是从廉价超市买回来的。她莫名其妙的说过:“我能看穿你的想法,你知道。我可以知道,你不需要把它们说出来,因为我知道你在想什么。” 她酒不离身,在这之前我们一直相处的不错,直到她说她可以看穿我的想法,时间仿佛凝固在那。她把身子挺了挺。“上帝和他的天使确实很讨厌你,”她说道:“他们正用枪指着你的头。我想我应该告诉你这些。”
I take her hand, and we walk back.
“她真的这么说?”艾米莉问道,一边从那模型上下来。“上帝和天使拿枪指着你的头?”
W hen we get to the house, my ex-wife is about to unlock her car and drive away, but she's left her purse in the kitchen. So together the two of us go in the front door, into the foyer, and step into the living room. They're completely dark—it's night by now—and only the streetlight is spraying a little bit of illumination into the room, barely enough to see by.
“是的。”我说道:“这是她的原话。但我想不出谁会对我着迷。我有这么一个...”我一时想不出这个词。
"Close your eyes," Emily says. "Could you find your way around in this place with your eyes closed? I bet you could."
“你在哪找到这些女孩的,丹尼斯?”她问道。
"Of course," I say.
“在所有人能找到她们的地方。街头,等等之类的地方。”
So I close my eyes and hold my arms out in the dark, and I walk all around the room where the lamps and tables and chairs once were where Em and I once lived, and I go into the dining room, still with my eyes closed, and I walk into the kitchen, past the counter and the dishwasher and then back out, taking my steps one at a time through these spaces I've come to know so intimately. While I'm walking through this dark house where Emily and I tried to stage our marriage, I have this image of Santa jogging—no, sprinting—away from me, and I probably have a grim look. It's right about then that I'm back in the living room and I bump up against Emily, whose arms have also been out in this game we're playing. In the story that I don't tell, we excuse ourselves but then, very slowly and tenderly, we are inspired by each other at last, and we embrace, and all the bad times fall away, and we kiss, and we mutter our apologies—our long-standing, whispered, complicated remorse—and perhaps we sink to the floor, and we make love in the dark empty living room, on the floor, understanding that maybe it will not be the last time after all. And as we make love, Emily makes her utterly familiar trembling cry when she comes.
“你应该在一些不同的地方找。”
That's the story I don't tell, because it doesn't happen, and couldn't, and would not, because I am unforgivable, and so is she. Two poor devils—what we don't feel is remorse, the word on that postcard. We bump into each other, two blind staggerers, two solitudes, and then, yes, we apologize. And that's when Emily goes into the kitchen, her eyes open, but still in the dark house that she knows, as they say, by heart, and she picks up her purse from where she has left it, and she comes out, sailing past me, and maybe she half turns in the dark and blows me a kiss. But probably she doesn't.
“我不知道还有其它什么地方。”我们俩这是在谈些什么呢?我完全是一片茫然。
She closes the front door behind her, absent-mindedly locking it, locking me into the house. And it's then, and only then, that I speak up. "Good-bye, honey," I say.
“不,”她说道,“我想你应该知道。”她停顿了一会。“你看到那个女人和她的小男孩吗?你看到她们有多...我不知道怎么说,她们彼此是多么冷静!上帝啊,我喜欢看到这些。冷静。这让你回到童年。当然,我经常做这样的白日梦。”
我牵起她的手开始往回走。
到达那房子后,我的前妻准备去打开车门驶离这个地方,但她把钱包落在了厨房。于是,我俩一起从前门经过休息室进入到客厅。屋内黑漆漆的-已到了晚上-只有外面的街灯投射些灯光进来, 仅让这一小片地方勉强可以看到。
“闭上你的眼睛,”艾米莉说道:“你可以闭上眼睛走吗?我猜你可以。”
“当然,”我回答道。
于是我闭上双眼,在黑暗中伸开双手开始穿过房间,那里曾经摆着地灯,桌子和椅子,是艾米莉和我生活过的地方,我已走到了饭厅,眼睛仍然闭着,继续进入到厨房,经过两个柜台,洗碗机,然后出来,我一个人迈着脚步穿过这个我曾经是那么熟悉的地方。当我穿过乌黑的房间-那是艾米莉和我试图上演婚姻的地方,我眼前闪过一个慢跑的圣诞老人-不,是快跑,我可能是一副很严肃的表情。刚好在我回到客厅时我撞到了艾米莉,她也伸开手在玩这个游戏。在这个故事里我没有告诉大家,我们互相原谅了自己,我们慢慢,温柔的的互相靠近,最后我们的激情被点燃,我们拥抱着,所有不愉快灰飞烟灭,我们接吻,喃喃的说着对不起-我们抱在一起很久,耳鬓厮磨,自责不已-最后我们可能倒在了地板上,在漆黑的空空的客厅里做爱,就在地板上,这应该不是我们的最后一次。艾米莉在她快到了的时候,颤抖的发出了久违的喊叫。
以上的情节我没有告诉大家,是因为它不曾发生,也不可能,更不会,因为我是不可原谅的,她也是。两个可怜虫-我们不知何为自责,就像明星片上写的那样。我们两个撞到了一起,两个孤独的盲眼游荡者,我们相互道歉后,随后艾米莉睁开眼睛走到厨房,但还是在黑暗中,正如他们所说,她用心在认路,她拿起钱包,随后出去,经过我身边,也许她有侧转过身给了我一个飞吻.也许没有,
她出去后关上了前门,漫不经心的锁上,将我独自留在在房间里。这时候,也只在这个时候,我开口说道:“再见,亲爱的!”
标签:可怜虫
43
2010-07-30 00:05 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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