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亲爱的,我得了癌症 (1)(短篇小说)

(2007-03-04 00:07:55)
分类: 小说翻译

短篇小说

Honey, I Have Cancer

亲爱的,我得了癌症

by Ed Chinn

 

Just four words, spoken into a phone from her doctor’s office, converted into photons, coded, squeezed, digitized, and finally reassembled in my ear as the intimate, warm, South-Texas purr of my dear Joanne.

当我亲爱的乔安妮从医生办公室里打来电话,用她那亲密、暖人、南得克萨斯州式的颤音咕噜出这八个字时,它们变成了光子,被编码、被挤压、经过数字化,最后在我耳中重新聚集起来。

 

Four words pushed through technology to build a raging fire in my chest.

这八个字借助科技手段在我胸中燃起一团怒火。

 

And, they did something else. In a nanosecond, they completely reordered the priorities and perspectives of life. Four words blew all the smoke away from reality. Everything became crystal clear. For example, I had just been invited to appear on a nationally televised talk show. But, in that moment, all the emotions surrounding fame or the “chance to contribute to the debate” vanished. I would no more appear on television than nail my tongue to a tree. I didn’t even call the producer to explain. She ceased to exist.

是的,他们确实做了些别的事情。在一秒内他们完全将生命的优先权和设想做了重新安排。这四个字将现实生活中的一切幻想吹散。一切都变得清晰明了。例如,我刚刚受到邀请出席一个全国电视访谈节目。但是,在那一刻所有围绕名誉或有机会帮助辩论赛的思想感情都迅速消失。我不会在电视上露面了,只能对着一棵树讲话。我甚至没给制片人打电话解释原因。她活到头了。

 

In that moment, I only wanted to hold this woman I married 39 years ago.

在那一刻,我只想拥抱这个三十九年前与我结婚的女人。

 

Today (just eight weeks later), to our everlasting joy and gratitude, Joanne is cancer-free. The surgery removed this vile rebellion— completely. The doctor confirmed that no further treatment is necessary. “Enjoy life.”

今天(正好八周之后),我们无限喜悦,心存感激之情,乔安妮已经痊愈。外科手术已将这个坏透了的反抗分子切除掉——完全切除了。医生证实无需进一步治疗了。“享受生活”。

 

But, I’ve not forgotten — I trust I will never forget — what happened in that honey-I-have-cancer moment.

但是,我没忘记—— 我相信我永远也不会忘记—— 在“亲爱的我得了癌症”那一刻发生了什么。

 

Ironically, that moment came the day after Terri Schiavo died. Suddenly, all the “voices” surrounding that woman’s situation fell into a murmuring, meaningless noise. However, one phrase began to penetrate my mind.

具有讽刺意义的是,这一刻发生在特丽夏沃去世的第二天。突然间,所有关于这位女士境况的话语都落入一种抱怨的、无意义的噪声中。然而,一个短语渐渐进入了我的大脑。

 

Persistent vegetative state

持续性植物状态

 

How is it that we ever conceived such a phrase? Think about it; that is one audacious and insulting announcement to make about any person. Yet, in all words spoken or printed about Ms. Schiavo, I didn’t hear any outrage (or even a comment) about describing human beings that way. How did an old schoolyard slur — "Vegetable!" — worm its way into the medical lexicon?

我们到底是怎么想出这样一个短语?想想吧;这对任何人来说都是一个放肆无礼和侮辱性的宣言。然而,在所有关于夏沃女士口头和书面的言论中,,我没听到对那样描述人而表露出的愤怒之词(或甚至评论)。这个古老的校园诽谤——“植物”——是如何迂回地挤入医学词典的呢?

 

As I held my Joanne, I realized the absurdity of the way our culture has trained us to categorize life. We’re turning life itself into a consumer and convenience-driven category. “I’ll take some of that — this; uh, no, I don’t think I want any of that today.”

当我搂着我的乔安妮,我体会到我们的文化训练我们将生活分门别类的方法是多么荒谬。我们正把生活变成一个消费者,归于便于支配的东西。“我要买点儿那个——这个;唔,不,我想我今天不买那个。”

 

So, if we can catalogue the “nonpreferred” lives as medically-sanctioned outcasts, we can discard them, save our money and go on in our self-indulgence. The same thinking that produced microwave eating and Internet shopping just has to be behind that idea. It is, perhaps, significant that the first usage of persistent vegetative state was in the hedonistic ‘70s.

 那么,假如我们能把“不受人喜欢”的生命当作医学上认可的被抛弃的人编入目录的话,我们就能抛弃他们,省下钱,继续自我放纵。制造进餐用的微波炉和网上购物的类似想法只是必然出现在那个观点之后。也许,在快乐论的70年代,持续性植物状态的首次使用意义重大。

 

For society to even define quality of life is arrogant and judgmental. Where do we find the authority to make such assignments? Yet, we do it regularly. We grab that phrase to talk about the aged, the injured, the embryonic, the conjoined, the deformed and the dying.

针对社会来说,甚至给生活质量下定义也是自以为是和吹毛求疵的。我们到哪儿去找权威人士来做如此分配?然而,我们定期做。我们抢到这个短语来谈论老年人、受伤的人、未出生的人、连体儿、畸形的人和垂死之人。(未完待续)

 

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