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The Hundred Secret Senses - Written by Amy Tan

(2008-05-07 06:06:39)
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杂谈

The Girl With Yin Eyes

 

My sister Kwan believes she has yin eyes. She sees those who have died and now dwell in the World of Yin, ghosts who leave the mists just to visit her kitchen on Balboa Street in San Francisco.

我的邝姐姐相信自己具有阴眼。她看得到那些已经去世、现在住在阴间的鬼,那些鬼会从冥界来拜访她位于旧金山巴尔博亚街的厨房。

"Libby-ah," she'll say to me. "Guess who I see yesterday, you guess." And I don't have to guess that she's talking about someone dead.

“利比—阿,”她对我说,“猜猜看昨天我看到谁了,猜猜看。”而我根本不必猜就知道她在谈的是某个死者了。 

 

Actually, Kwan is my half sister, but I'm not supposed to mention that publicly. That would be an insult, as if she deserved only fifty percent of the love from our family. But just to set the genetic record straight, Kwan and Tommy, and I were born in San Francisco after my father, Jack Yee, immigrated here and married our mother, Louise Kenfield.

邝实际上只是我的半个姐姐,不过我可不想把这事到处加以宣扬,那将是一种侮辱,仿佛她从我们家里只得到了一半的爱。可把遗传记载摊开来说,也就这些:邝和我有着一个共同的父亲。她出生在中国,而我的兄弟凯文和汤米以及我,却是在我们的父亲——杰克·伊——移居到这儿并娶了我妈妈露易丝·肯菲尔德后,出生在旧金山的。 

Mom calls herself "American mixed grill, a bit of everything white, fatty, and fried." She was born in Moscow, Idaho, where she was a champion baton twirler and once won a county fair prize for growing a deformed potato that had the profile of Jimmy Durante. She told me she dreamed she'd one day grow up to be different - thin, exotic, and noble like Luise Rainer, who won an Oscar playing O-lan in The Good Earth. When Mom moved to San Francisco and became a Kelly girl instead, she did the next-best thing. She married our father. Mom thinks that her marrying out of the Anglo race makes her a liberal. "When Jack and I met," she still tells people, "there were laws against mixed marriages. We broke the law for love." She neglects to mention that those laws didn't apply in California.

妈妈称她自己是“美国炙什锦——一些肥肥的、白白的、煎炸过的东西”。她出生在爱达荷州的莫斯科市,是那儿第一流的军乐队女指挥,还曾经因为种出过一个轮廓像杰米·杜兰特的变形马铃薯而获得过县里博览会的奖项。她告诉我,她曾梦想有一天会长得与众不同——苗条、洋气、高贵,就像在《美好的地球》里因扮演奥兰而获得奥斯卡奖的露丝·雷纳一样。当妈妈搬到旧金山来住而且又变成了一个普普通通的女孩子后,她做了件稍逊于最佳的事:嫁给了我爸爸。妈妈觉得她在盎格鲁种族之外的婚嫁使得她成了一个自由党人,“在杰克和我相遇时,”她一直在告诉人们,“还有着禁止种族间通婚的法律呢,我们为爱情冲破了法律。”可她忘了提起这些法律并未在加利福尼亚州实施过。 

None of us, including my mom, met Kwan until she was eighteen. In fact, Mom didn't even know existed until shortly before my father died of renal failure. I was not quite four when he passed away. But I still remember moments with him. Falling down a curly slide into his arms. Dredging the wading pool for pennises he had tossed in. And the last day I saw him in the hospital, hearing what he said that sacred me for years.

在邝十八岁以前,我们——包括我妈妈在内——还没人见过她。事实上,直到我们的父亲死于肾衰竭之前不久,妈妈甚至都不知道有邝的存在。父亲去世时我才不到四岁,但我依然还记得与他在一起的时光:东倒西歪地向前挪着步子倒在他的臂弯里;在浅水池里摸索寻找他扔进去的硬币;还有他去世的那天,我在医院里看到了他,而听了他说的事则吓得我多年以后都不得安宁。 

Kevin, who was five, was there. Tommy was just a baby, so he was in the waiting room with my mom's cousin, Betty Dupree - we had to call her Aunt Betty - who had moved out from Idaho as well. I was sitting on a sticky vinyl chair, eating a bowl of strawberry Jell-O cubes that my father had given me from his lunch tray. He was propped up in bed, breathing hard. Mom would cry one minute, then act cheerful.I tried to figure out what was wrong. The next thing I remember, my father was whispering and Mom leaned in close to listen. Her mouth opened wider and wider. Then her head turned sharply toward me, all twisted with horror. And I was terror- struck. How did he know? How did Daddy find out I flushed my turtles, Slowpoke and Fastpoke, down the toilet that morning? I had wanted to see what they looked like without their coats on, and ended up pulling off their heads.

凯文也在那儿,他当时五岁。而汤米还只是个婴儿,所以他与我妈妈的亲戚贝蒂·杜普利——我们必须叫她贝蒂婶婶,她也是从爱达荷州迁居过来的——一起待在接待室里。我当时坐在一张硬塑椅子上,吃着我父亲从他的午餐托盘里拿给我的一碗草莓果冻;父亲则被撑高躺在床上,沉重地呼吸着。妈妈是一会儿哭,一会儿又快活地忙乎着。我竭力想弄清楚有什么不对头。我所记得的下一件事就是我父亲在低声说着什么,而妈妈则俯身贴近倾听着。她的嘴巴张得越来越大,接着她的脑袋猛地朝我扭过来,满脸都恐怖得变了形。我也被吓坏了:他怎么会知道的?父亲怎么会发现那天早晨我把我的乌龟或慢慢地戳着,或快速地戳着给冲下马桶去了的呢?我曾想看看它们没了龟甲会是个什么样,而弄到最后却是拉断了它们的头。 

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