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比尔.克林顿《我的生活》中英对照 第六章 (1)

(2009-06-05 05:46:59)
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克林顿

教育

杂谈

文化

英语学习

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分类: 学习

SIX

母亲和老爸再婚

 

I don’t know how Mother handled it all as well as she did. Every morning, no matter what had happened the night before, she got up and put her game face on. And what a face it was. From the time she came back home from New Orleans, when I could get up early enough I loved sitting on the floor of the bathroom and watching her put makeup on that beautiful face.

我不知道母亲是如何处理好那么多事务的,但是她做到了。每天早晨,无论昨天夜里发生了什么,她都会精神抖擞地起床开始化妆。她看起来确实非常精神。自从她从新奥尔良回家后,只要起得够早,我都喜欢坐在卫生间地板上望着母亲用化妆品描画她那张漂亮的脸。

 

It took quite a while, partly because she had no eyebrows. She often joked that she wished she had big bushy ones that needed plucking, like those of Akim Tamiroff, a famous character actor of that time. Instead, she drew her eyebrows on with a cosmetic pencil. Then she put on her makeup and her lipstick, usually a bright red shade that matched her nail polish.

她得花上很长时间,很大程度上是因为她眉毛很稀疏。她常常开玩笑说,她要是有那种又长又粗、需要经常拔拔的眉毛该多好,就像艾金.塔米罗夫,当时一个著名的性格演员的眉毛那样。她的眉毛则要靠眉笔画出来。接下来,她就扑粉、涂口红,通常是鲜红的那种,和她的指甲油颜色一致。

 

Until I was eleven or twelve, she had long dark wavy hair. It was really thick and beautiful, and I liked watching her brush it until it was just so. I’ll never forget the day she came home from the beauty shop with short hair, all her beautiful waves gone. It was not long after my first dog, Susie, had to be put to sleep at age nine, and it hurt almost as badly. Mother said short hair was more in style and more appropriate for a woman in her mid-thirties. I didn’t buy it, and I never stopped missing her long hair, though I did like it when, a few months later, she stopped dyeing the gray streak that had run through the middle of her hair since she was in her twenties.

我十一二岁前,母亲总是留着长长的鬈发。头发很密、很美,我喜欢望着她梳头,直到梳得很妥帖。我至今还记得很清楚,有一天,她从美发店回家时头发剪短了,原先那头美丽的鬈发不见了。此前不久,我的第一条狗苏希,在九岁时不得不让它“安乐死”,我这时的心情几乎和那时一样糟。母亲说,时下就兴短发,而且短发也更适合她这种三十五六岁的女人。我不爱听,我总是怀念她那一头秀发。但几个月后,当母亲不再染她20多岁起中间就开始花白的头发时,我却感到很高兴。

 

By the time she finished her makeup, Mother had already run through a cigarette or two and a couple of cups of coffee. Then after Mrs. Walters got there, she’d head off to work, sometimes dropping me at school when our starting times were close enough. When I got home from school, I’d keep busy playing with my friends or with Roger. I loved having a little brother, and all my pals liked having him around, until he got big enough to prefer his own friends.

化完妆后,母亲已经抽掉了一两枝烟,喝掉了两三杯咖啡。沃特斯夫人一进门,她就离家去上班。如果我们离家的时间差不多,她就会顺路把我带到学校。放学回家后,我就只顾着和朋友或罗杰玩。有一个小弟弟真好。我的朋友们个个都喜欢和他在一起,直到他长大,更喜欢和他自己的朋友去玩为止。

 

Mother usually got home by four or five, except when the racetrack was open. She loved those races. Though she rarely bet more than two dollars across the board, she took it seriously, studying the racing form and the tout sheets, listening to the jockeys, trainers, and owners she got to know, debating her options with her racetrack friends. She made some of the best friends of her life there: Louise Crain and her husband, Joe, a policeman who later became chief and who used to drive Daddy around in his patrol car when he was drunk until his anger died down; Dixie Seba and her husband, Mike, a trainer; and Marge Mitchell, a nurse who staffed the clinic at the track for people who had health problems while there and who, along with Dixie Seba, and later Nancy Crawford, Gabe’s second wife, probably came as close as anyone ever did to being Mother’s real confidante. Marge and Mother called each other Sister.

母亲常常在下午四五点钟下班回家,除了赛马场开放的时候。她喜欢看赛马。尽管她下注极少超过两美元,却总是认认真真,研究赛马经和小道资料,注意听自己必须知道的骑师、教练和马主的情况,并和赛马场的朋友争论该如何下注。在那里,她交了几个一生中最好的朋友:路易丝.克雷恩和她的丈夫,后来当了警长的乔。乔常常在老爸醉酒时开着警车带老爸兜风,直到他的怒气消散。此外还有迪克西.塞巴和她的驯马师丈夫迈克,以及护土玛琪.米切尔。米切尔在赛马场的诊所工作,照料那些在赛马场上身体不适的人。和其他人相比,米切尔、迪克西.塞巴,后来还有加伯的第二任妻子南茜.克劳福德,她们几个也许是母亲真正的密友。玛琪和母亲还互称姐妹。

 

Shortly after I came home from law school I had the chance to repay Marge for all she’d done for Mother and for me. When she was dismissed from her job at our local community mental-health center, she decided to challenge the decision and asked me to represent her at the hearing, where even my inexperienced questioning made it obvious that the termination was based on nothing but a personal conflict with her supervisor. I tore the case against her to shreds, and when we won I was thrilled. She deserved to get her job back.

我从法学院回家不久就有了报答玛琪的机会,报答她为我和母亲所做的一切。在被当地社区精神健康中心辞退后,玛琪决定提起申诉,并要我代表她出席听证会。听证会上,即使我缺乏经验的质询都清楚地表明,除了玛琪与她上司的个人冲突外,辞退她是毫无道理的。我把对玛琪的指控驳得体无完肤。胜诉后,我着实很兴奋。她应该赢回自己的工作。

 

Before I got Mother into politics, most of her friends were involved in her work—doctors, nurses, hospital personnel. She had a lot of them. She never met a stranger, worked hard to put her patients at ease before surgery, and genuinely enjoyed the company of her co-workers. Of course, not everybody liked her. She could be abrasive with people she thought were trying to push her around or take advantage of their positions to treat others unfairly. Unlike me, she actually enjoyed making some of these people mad. I tended to make enemies effortlessly, just by being me, or, after I got into politics, because of the positions I took and the changes I tried to make. When Mother really didn’t like people, she worked hard to get them foaming at the mouth. Later in her career, it cost her, after she had fought for years to avoid going to work for an MD anesthesiologist and had some problems with a couple of her operations. But most people did like her, because she liked them, treated them with respect, and obviously loved life.

在我把母亲卷入政治前,她的多数朋友都和她的工作有关,其中包括医生、护士、医院职员等等。母亲有很多这种朋友。她从不和生人交往,工作勤奋,手术前总能让病人轻松入睡,和同事们一起也真的很开心。当然,并不是所有人都喜欢她。对于那些她认为想要对她指手画脚的人,或是想利用自己的职位处事不公的人,她的态度就会很生硬。和我不一样的是,母亲实际上很喜欢故意气气那些人。我往往不知不觉就树了敌,仅仅是因为我这个人,或是我开始从政后所处的立场,以及我努力想要带来的变化。母亲要是真不喜欢什么人,她就会想尽办法,激得他们口吐白沫。为此,她付出了代价。在她后来的职业生涯中,她一连好多年都奋力抗争,拒绝为一位麻醉医生工作,在几个手术中也出了些问题。不过多数人还是喜欢母亲,因为母亲也喜欢他们,尊重他们,而且显然地,她热爱生活。

 

I never knew how she kept her energy and spirit, always filling her days with work and fun, always being there for my brother, Roger, and me, never missing our school events, finding time for our friends, too, and keeping all her troubles to herself.

我从来也不清楚,母亲是如何保持自己的精力与精神的。她总是让每一天都保持忙碌、充满欢乐,总是在我和弟弟罗杰需要的时候出现在我们身边。学校有什么活动也总是一次不落。她总是抽出时间和我们的朋友相聚,而把烦恼全部留给自己。

 

I loved going to the hospital to visit her, meeting the nurses and doctors, watching them care for people. I got to watch an actual operation once, when I was in junior high, but all I remember about it is that there was a lot of cutting and a lot of blood and I didn’t get sick. I was fascinated by the work surgeons do and thought I might like to do it myself one day.

我很喜欢去医院看母亲,看那些护士和医生,看他们照顾病人。初中时,我还见识了一场真正的手术。不过我现在记得的只是好多切割和流血的场面,但我并不感到头晕。对于外科医生的工作我很着迷,心想也许有一天我也会从事这项工作。

 

Mother took a lot of interest in her patients, whether they could pay or not. In the days before Medicare and Medicaid there were a lot who couldn’t. I remember one poor, proud man coming to our door one day to settle his account. He was a fruit picker who paid Mother with six bushels of fresh peaches. We ate those peaches for a long time—on cereal, in pies, in homemade ice cream. It made me wish more of her patients were cash poor!

母亲对她的病人十分关心,无论他们付不付得起钱。在实行保健医疗和医疗补助之前的那些日子里,有很多人付不起看病的钱。我记得有一天,一位贫穷但很要面子的男人来我家结账。他的工作是摘水果,所以付给了母亲六蒲式耳的新鲜桃子。这些桃子我们吃了好长时间——搅和在麦片中,做在馅饼里,掺在自己做的冰淇淋里。我在想,要是再有几个穷病人付不起现钱该多好啊!

 

I think Mother found enormous relief from the strains of her marriage in her work and friends, and at the races. There must have been many days when she was crying inside, maybe even in physical pain, but most people didn’t have a clue. The example she set stood me in good stead when I became President. She almost never discussed her troubles with me. I think she figured I knew about all I needed to know, was smart enough to figure out the rest, and deserved as normal a childhood as possible under the circumstances.

我觉得,通过工作、交朋友还有赌马,母亲的婚姻压力得到了巨大的缓解。一定有很多日子里,母亲在心里哭泣,也许甚至是因身体的疼痛。但多数人并没有察觉到。她树立的榜样在我当上总统后起到了很大作用。她几乎从没和我谈论过她的烦恼。我想她准是认为需要知道的我已经知道,剩下的我自己也能想明白,因为我并不傻。在当时的情况下,我应该值得拥有一个正常的童年。

 

When I was fifteen, events overtook the silent strategy. Daddy started drinking and behaving violently again, so Mother took Roger and me away. We had done it once before, a couple of years earlier, when we moved for a few weeks into the Cleveland Manor Apartments on the south end of Central Avenue, almost to the racetrack. This time, in April 1962, we stayed about three weeks at a motel while Mother searched for a house. We looked at several houses together, all much smaller than the one we lived in, some still out of her price range. Finally, she settled on a three-bedroom, two-bath house on Scully Street, a one-block-long street in south Hot Springs about a half mile west of Central Avenue. It was one of the new, all-electric Gold Medallion houses with central heat and air—we had window-unit air conditioners back on Park Avenue—and I think it cost $30,000. The house had a nice living room and dining room just left of the front entrance. Behind it was a large den that connected to the dining area and kitchen, with a laundry room off it just behind the garage. Beyond the den was a good-sized porch we later glassed in and outfitted with a pool table. Two of the bedrooms were to the right of the hall, to the left was a large bathroom, and, behind it, a bedroom with a separate bathroom with a shower. Mother gave me the big bedroom with the shower, I think because she wanted the big bathroom with its larger makeup area and mirror. She took the next biggest bedroom in the back, and Roger got the small one.

我15岁那年,事情发生了变化,沉默战略不再奏效。老爸又开始喝酒,又开始暴虐。母亲只好带上我和罗杰离开。几年前我们已经这么做过。那时我们搬进中央大道南端邻近赛马场的克利夫兰庄园公寓楼住了几个星期。这次是在1962年4月,在母亲到处找房子的期间,我们在一家汽车旅馆住了大约三周。我们一连看了好几处房子,都比我们现在住的小得多,有些也超出了她能承受的价格范围。最后,她终于看中了斯卡利街上一幢三居室两卫的房子。斯卡利街只有一个街区那么长,在温泉城南边,在中央大道以西半英里。这是一幢新式全电气化的“金牌”住房,有中央供暖和空调——而我们在帕克大街上的房子只有窗式空调。我想这幢房子得花费三万美元。房子还有一个很棒的起居室和餐厅,餐厅就在进大门的左手边。再往后去是一个很大的书房,同吃饭的地方和厨房相连。房子突出来的地方是个洗衣间,就在车库后面。书房后面是一个很大的门廊,后来我们在这里装上玻璃,摆了张台球桌。门厅右边是两间卧室,左边则是个很大的卫生间,后面是一个带卫生间可以洗淋浴的卧室。母亲让我住带淋浴间的大卧室,我想这是因为她要一个大卫生间,可以让她有更多空间摆放她那些化妆品和镜子。母亲住在后面第二大的卧室里,罗杰住最小的那间。

 

Though I loved our house on Park Avenue, the yard I worked hard to keep up, my neighbors and friends and familiar haunts, I was glad to be in a normal house and to feel safe, maybe more for Mother and Roger than for me. By then, even though I knew nothing of child psychology, I had begun to worry that Daddy’s drinking and abusive behavior would scar Roger even more than it would scar me, because he’d lived with it all his life and because Roger Clinton was his natural father. Knowing my father was someone else, someone I thought of as strong, trustworthy, and reliable, gave me more emotional security and the space necessary to see what was happening with some detachment, even sympathy. I never stopped loving Roger Clinton, never stopped pulling for him to change, never stopped enjoying being with him when he was sober and engaged. I was afraid even then that little Roger would come to hate his father. And he did, at a terrible cost to himself.

尽管我喜欢我们在帕克大街上的房子,喜欢我费了很大劲儿打理的院子,喜欢我的邻居、朋友和那些常去的熟悉地方,但也很高兴搬进了一个正常的家,拥有了一种安全感,也许母亲和罗杰更需要这种安全感。那时,尽管我对于儿童心理一窍不通,但已开始担心,老爸的酗酒和暴虐行为会吓坏罗杰,会比对我造成的影响更深。因为罗杰生下来就生活在这个环境中,而且罗杰.克林顿是他的亲生父亲。我父亲则是另一个人,一个在我心目中坚强、值得信赖、靠得住的人。一想到这点我就有了更多情感上的安全感,拥有了必要的距离感,比较超然甚至是带点儿同情地看待眼前所发生的事情。我从没停止过对罗杰.克林顿的爱,我从没停止过给他打气,希望他改变;在他清醒与忙碌的时候,我一直都感觉和他在一起很开心。我那时就担心,小罗杰将来准会仇恨他父亲。事实的确如此,这让他付出了惨重的代价。

 

As I relate these events from long ago, I see how easy it is to fall into the trap Shakespeare’s Marc Antony spoke of in his eulogy for Julius Caesar: allowing the evil that men do to live after them, while the good is interred with their bones. Like most alcoholics and drug addicts I’ve known, Roger Clinton was fundamentally a good person. He loved Mother and me and little Roger. He had helped Mother to see me when she was finishing school in New Orleans. He was generous to family and friends. He was smart and funny. But he had that combustible mix of fears, insecurities, and psychological vulnerabilities that destroys the promise of so many addicts’ lives. And as far as I know, he never sought help from those who knew how to give it.

在讲述这些发生在很久以前的事情时,我明白,要落人莎士比亚笔下的马克安东尼为裘力斯.恺撤所作的悼词中讲到的圈套是多么容易:“如果人们做了恶事,死后免不了遭人唾骂,可是他们所做的善事,往往随着他们的尸骨一齐人土。”就像所有我知道的酒精和药物上瘾者一样,罗杰.克林顿从本质上说是一个好人。他爱母亲,爱我,爱小罗杰。母亲在新奥尔良上学时,他曾帮助母亲回来看望我。他对家人和朋友慷慨大方。他头脑灵活,幽默诙谐。但他身上也有一种由恐惧、缺乏安全感、心理脆弱等成分组成的易燃混合物。这种物质毁掉了多少瘾君子的生活希望。就我所知,他从没向那些知道如何帮助他这类人的人们寻求帮助。

 

The really disturbing thing about living with an alcoholic is that it isn’t always bad. Weeks, sometimes even whole months, would pass while wed enjoy being a family, blessed with the quiet joys of an ordinary life. I’m grateful that I haven’t forgotten all those times, and when I do, I’ve still got a few postcards and letters Daddy sent to me and some I sent to him to remind me.

和一个嗜酒如命的人一起生活,真正令人不安的是,这种生活并不总那么糟糕。几个星期,有时甚至是几个月,我们都会在一起享受家庭的天伦之乐,沉浸在普通生活的平静欢乐中。我很庆幸自己没有忘却那些日子。即使忘了,我还有老爸寄给我的几张明信片和几封信,以及我寄给他的几封信件,让他记得我。

 

Some of the bad times tend to be forgotten, too. When I recently reread my deposition in Mother’s divorce filings, I saw that in it I recounted an incident three years earlier when I called her attorney to get the police to take Daddy away after a violent episode. I also said he’d threatened to beat me the last time I stopped him from hitting her, which was laughable, because by that time I was bigger and stronger than he was sober, much less drunk. I’d forgotten both instances, perhaps out of the denial experts say families of alcoholics engage in when they continue to live with them. For whatever reason, those particular memories remained blocked after forty years.

有些痛苦的时光往往也会被忘却。最近我重读了母亲离婚档案上的证词。我发现在证词中,我详细讲述了三年前发生的一件事。当时在老爸施暴后,我立即给母亲的律师打电话,让他叫警察来把老爸带走。我还声称上次我阻止他殴打母亲时,他竟威胁说要打我。这句话很好笑,因为那时我已长得比他高大壮实,他就是在很清醒、不那么醉的时候也不是我的对手。这两件事我不记得了,也许正如专家们所说的那样,家庭成员如果还要和家中的嗜酒者继续生活下去,他们就会故意忘记以前发生的不快。无论什么原因,40年后,这些特别的忆仍然被深深埋藏。

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