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Dark Angle(翻译连载十一)

(2010-01-08 09:15:25)
标签:

翻译

连载

小说

文化

分类: UNCLE赵&他国际事务部的同事们

I did something I had never done before in my life. I bribed a doorman. Not the doorman who had confronted me the day I arrived, and not the doorman I remembered – he would have retired. No, a new doorman, young, spruce, knowing, and amenable, who eyed me in a way his forevears would never have done.

 

“They’re not answering.” He replaced the telephone receiver. “I told you. Apartment’s closed up.”

 

I might have tried flirtation, I suppose; I preferred the twenty-dollar bill. I was expecting rebuff. To my astonishment, it slipped from my palm to his with the greatest of ease and disappeared into a pocket of his smart maroon uniform.

 

“Okay.” He gave a shrug. “Go right on up. They won’t answer. Fifth floor-“

 

“I know it’s fifth floor. I used to live here.”

 

“If anyone asks” – he shrugged-“ you sneaked past, okay? I didn’t see you.”

 

This is patently ridiculous. This was not the kind of apartment building in which people slipped past the doorman.

 

“Who else did’t you see today, apart from me?”

 

“What’s that?”

 

“Miss Shawcross, for instance. Have you seen her?”

 

“No way. Not in weeks. I told you-“

 

I was making him nervous, I could see that. One more question and despite the twenty-dollar bill he might change his mind, refuse to admit me.

 

I took the elevator to the fifth floor. I walked along quiet red-carpeted corridors. Without a great deal of hope I pressed the bell for Constance’s apartment. To my astonishment the door at once swung back.

 

I looked in, to my old home, to Constance’s celebrated hall of mirrors. The glass on the right wall reflected the glass on the left; it created an illusory passage of space, reflections to infinitude.

 

“Count,” Constance had said to me, that first day I came here. “Count. How many Victorias can you see? Seven? Eight? There are more than that – look more closely. You see? They go on forever.”

 

“Constance,” I said, thirty years later, and stepped forward. “Constance, it’s me, Victoria-”

 

“No here. No here.”

 

我做了一件我生平从未做过的事。我贿赂了一个看门人。不是我上次来到时遇到的那一个,也不是我记忆中的那个——他应该已经退休了。这个新来的看门人年轻、整洁、精明而又容易屈服,他看我的眼神是他的前辈们从没用过的。

 

“没人接电话。” 他放下电话听筒说道:“我说过了,房间里没人。”

 

我想我也可以跟他调调情,但我宁愿给他20美元钞票。我以为会遭到拒绝。令我意外的是,钱轻而易举地从我的手里一下子滑到他的手里,并迅速地消失在他时髦的栗色制服口袋中。

 

“好吧。” 他耸耸肩“上去吧,5楼,但可不会有人在-”

 

“我知道是5楼,我以前就住在这。”

 

“如果有人开门”他耸着肩说:“你就说你偷偷溜进来了,好吧?别说我见过你。”

 

这太可笑了。这栋公寓以前可不是随便让人溜进来的。

 

“除了我,你今天还‘没’看见过谁了?”

 

“什么?”

 

“比如说,Shawcross小姐。你见过她吗?”

 

“没有。好几个星期没见过了,我不是跟你说过吗?”

 

看得出来我的钞票让他很紧张。再多问一句他可能就不让我进来了。

 

我走进电梯上了5楼,传过安静的铺着红地毯的走廊,怀着微薄的希望,我按下了Constance的门铃。令我意想不到的是,门马上就打开了。

 

我朝我昔日的家望进去,是Constance著名的镜子走廊。两边的玻璃互相照映,给人一种奇幻的空间错觉,仿佛两边有无穷无尽的映像。

 

“数数看。” 当我第一天来到这的时候,Constance曾对我说过。“数数看。看你能看到多少个Victorias?7个?8个?你会看到更多的,再仔细瞧瞧。看到了吗?她们无穷无尽。”

 

“Constance,”事隔30年后,我叫道,并往前走了几步,“Constance,是我,Victoria”

 

“这里没有这人。没有这人。”

 

 

——吴昱宏

 

From behind the tall door a figure emerged. A Lilliputian maid, Filipino, dressed in a neat gray uniform. She stared in apparent astonishment, as if she had expected someone else. Then she barred my way with an anxious ferocity.

 

“No here,” she said again, shaking her head from side to side. “Miss Shawcross – gone away – all closed up – no visitors.” She gave me a tiny push.

 

“No, look, please – wait,” I began. “I just want to ask, when did Constance leave? Where can I reach her?”

 

“No number. No address. No visitors-” Another tiny push. “All closed up now. Closed for the… for the summer.”

 

“Then may I just leave a note? Please? It won’t take a moment. Look, if you’d just let me in, Constance is my…godmother. It’s urgent I see her –”

 

At the word godmother, clearly misunderstood, the maid’s tiny features became very fierce.

 

“No children here – never any children here –”

“No, not now – but there used to be. I lived here as a child, with Constance. Look, surely you must have some number, some address-”

 

“Police.” She gave me a more effective push. “You go right away now, or I call police, call them very quick – look, alarm button, right here –”

 

She leaned back a little as she spoke. She kept one hand on the doorjamb; the other reached for a small box on the wall.

 

“Panic button – you see?” The maid drew herself up to her full height, which was, at most, about four feet ten inches. She looked up at me – I am a great deal taller than that – and stamped one diminutive foot.

 

“Wait,” I began, backing off a little, wondering when Constance (who never kept staff long) had hired this little spitfire. To have backed away was a mistake. A look of triumph came upon the maid’s face. The door slammed shut. There was the sound of bolts, chains, locks being fastened.

 

 

从高高的门后面走出一个穿着灰色整洁制服的矮小菲佣。她吃惊的看着我,显然她在等其他人的到来。接着她恶狠狠地挡住我的去路。

 

“没有这个人。”她摇着头说。“Shawcross小姐走了,这里关闭了,谢绝来访。”她轻轻地推开我。

 

“不,请等一下。”我说,“请问一下,Constance什么时候离开的?我去哪能找到她?”

 

“没有电话号码,没有地址,没有来访者。”她又轻推了我一下“这里关闭了,这个...这个夏天都关闭了。”

 

“那我能不能留张纸条?不会花很长时间的。Constance是我的教母,能不能让我进去。我着急着要见她。”

 

她显然误解了教母的意思,她开始暴怒起来。

 

“这里没有小孩,从来就没有过!”

 

“现在没有,但是以前有。我小时候就跟Constance一起住在这。你肯定有电话号码或者地址什么的。”

 

“我叫警察啦!”她更大力地推了我一下,“你马上离开,否则我立刻报警。很快的,瞧,报警铃就在这。”

 

她一边说一边身子往后倾斜,一手扶着门框,一手伸向墙上的一个小盒子。

 

“看到了吧,应急按钮。”她一边说一边勉力地挺直身子,尽可能拉高自己的身高(充其量也就4英尺,我比她高得多了)。她仰望着我,抬起她娇小的脚跺了一下。

 

“等一下,”我一边说一边后退了一些。Constance向来跟仆人都处不久,真奇怪她怎么会雇用这么个烈性子。事实证明,我后退一些的举动是错误的。菲佣的脸上闪过一丝胜利的神情,门砰的一下就关上了。紧接着就听到门闩、门锁被迅速地锁上了。

 

——覃永征

 

 

 

 

I had come up to the fifth floor in one elevator; I went down in another. As soon as its doors closed upon me, I tensed. Those primitive, residual instincts we all still possess made the skin on the back of my neck prickle.

 

The elevator was not large, and the air inside it was close. There was a lingering humidity and also a lingering scent. I sniffed a familiar ambiguity: the fresh greenness of ferns with the earthier undertones of civet. Constance’s scent, the one she invariably used. As memorable as her eyes or her voice. I felt a rush of the past to the head.

 

The descent seemed impossibly slow. I was convinced, even so, that she must have been just ahead of me, descending in the left elevator while I mounted in the right. It was for that reason the maid had answered the door with such alacrity. Constance must have just left, and the maid assumed she had reached the elevator, forgotten something, and returned. A matter of seconds: Constance might still be in the lobby, on the sidewalk outside.

 

The lobby was empty; the doorman’s eyes were bent upon his desk. I ran out to the heat of the street. I scanned the faces of the passersby. I looked uptown, toward the entrance to the park, the route Constance and I had taken almost daily, all those years before, with Bertie.

 

I think for one moment I almost expected to see not only Constance but also myself, a child, holding on to Constance’s arm, the two of us laughing, chattering, and Bertie lifting his great head in anticipation as we approached the entrance to the park.

 

我从一部电梯上了五楼又从另外一部下去。电梯门关山的一瞬间我全身紧了一下,原始的直觉让我感觉到颈部一阵刺痛。

 

电梯里不大的空间充斥着紧张的气氛。有一种残余的潮湿的香味,我闻到一种蕨类的味道,类似带着泥土香夹杂着淡淡麝猫香的气味。那是我记忆中Constance的味道,记忆一下又涌进我的脑袋里。

 

电梯仿佛下降得很慢,我确信她应该就在我前面离开,应该就在我从右边的电梯上去的时候她从左面的电梯下来了。所以那个女佣才能那么快地应门。Constance一定是刚刚才走,女佣也确信她进了电梯,也许忘了什么东西,又走了回来。几秒之前,Constance也许就在客厅里或者过道里。

 

客厅空荡荡的,门卫的眼睛盯着他的桌子。我冲进熙攘的街道,扫视着每一张路人的脸。我朝着公园的方向望去,这是那些年Constance跟我每天都一起走的还有Bertie。

 

我不单只希望见到Constance还有我自己,那个曾经挽着Constance的手臂一路走一路笑的孩子。而Bertie就会在公园的门口向我们仰起他的头。

 

——许越

 

 

Time passes. The people on the side walk did not see our ghosts; I did not see Constance. No quick, small figure, no gesturing hands. I had sensed her in the air, and into the air she had evaporated.

The sense of loss was acute. I stood there, staring blindly across at the park. Then, because one sense of loss brought other losses close, I did something else for the first time – something much more foolish than bribing a doorman. I crossed the avenue and began to walk west, toward a street and an apartment block I had been careful to avoid for eight years.

Nothing had changed, which hurt. Seventy-sixth Street between Amsterdam and Columbus, the third building along on the left, heading west: a shabby red-brick, in a neighborhood Constance despised. I used to live there; the man in Conrad Vickers’s photograph used to live there with me. Our apartment was on the top floor; on that fire escape, up there, we used to sit on summer evenings. Manhattan- watching, Manhattan-listening.

I looked up. The fire escape was empty. A dish towel fluttered on an improvised clothesline; someone else would live there now, some other couple.

I turned away. I was shaking. To believe you have cured yourself of the past and then to discover that its ill effects continue, that its pains recur like malaria-that, perhaps, is always a shock.

I went back to the hotel. I locked the door. I splashed water on my face. I watched the faucets weep.

Then I lay down on the bed, to will the past away. It refused to go, of course. It whispered with the air conditioning. It crept closer, then closer still, all the circuitous paths of my life, all of which led back to Constance.

The landscape of my past: It reminded me of home; it reminded me of England. All those paths through the woods. I dreamed of Winterscombe when I slept.

时间一点点地流逝。路边行人看不到我们的灵魂,而我也找不到Constance。我已经在空气中感觉到她的存在,而她却像人间蒸发一样,消失得无影无踪。

失落感十分强烈地刺激着我。我站在那里,两眼漫无目的地往公园那边看来看去。因为一种失落感带来了另一种失落感,我第一次选择去做一件比贿赂看门人还要愚蠢得多的事情。我穿过大街,沿着马路向西走,往一条街和一个间公寓走去,那是八年来我一直避免走近的地方。

那里竟然没有一点变化,这使我很难受。第七十六街位于阿姆斯特丹和哥伦布之间,沿着街往西走,左手边的第三栋楼房,是一间破旧的红砖屋,Constance以前很看不起的这个街区。我过去就住在那里,Conrad Vickers相片里的人以前就在那里和我一起住。我们的公寓在顶楼;晚上,我们常常坐在走火通道那里,看着曼哈顿,听着曼哈顿。

我抬头看。走火通道已经空了。一条临时的晾衣绳上飘着一条洗碗布。现在,可能有其他的人,其他的夫妻住在那里。

我转身走了。我浑身在颤抖。我曾经以为我已经从过去的阴影走出来了,但现在才发现原来过去仍影响着自己,这种伤痛就像疟疾,或者,永远是一种打击。

我回到酒店,锁上门,把水泼到脸上。我看着水从水龙头里一滴滴地落下。

我躺在床上,希望过去的事情能远离我。但无疑的是,它不肯离开。它和空调在低声说话。它悄悄走近,萦绕着我的生活,我所有回忆都与Constance有关。

我看到过去生活的景象:它使我想起家,想起英格兰,所有通向树林的小路。睡觉的时候,我梦见Winterscombe。                                         —— 罗荻飞

 

 

Imagine a valley, an English valley, and a clement one. The hills slope gently; the woods are of oak and beech and ash and birch. There is no indication, when you are in that valley, that—just a few miles to the south—the landscape changes abruptly to the chalk downs of Salisbury Plain.

想象一个山谷,一个英国式的山谷,一个宽大的山谷。山坡缓缓倾斜,树林里种满了橡树、岑树和桦树。当你身处这样的山谷,你根本不会意识到-向南几英里的地方,风景突然变得像粉笔画的索尔兹伯里。

This valley is not windswept; it is a sheltered place. Over the centuries its natural beauties have been refined by man. The course of its river, which abounds in fish, has been diverted, so its waters spill out into a lake, ornamental and felicitous.

这个山谷并不多风,却很平静。在过去几百年中,它被人类变得越来越美。充满各种鱼类的小河,突然改变方向,一头扎进湖中,特别漂亮。

On one side of the lake the woods begin. Drives have been cut through them are maintained; they lead to clearing or to eminences, some of which are left to nature, some of which are defined, in pleasing ways, with a statue, an obelisk, or a gazebo.

在湖的另一边就有树林了。树林中的道路被人们精心的维护着。他们被人们设计的空旷、高贵,一些与自然融为一体,一些以赏心悦目的方式装饰着,例如雕像、石塔、眺望台。

On the other side of the lake the hand of man is more obvious. There is a park and a small, somewhat ugly church, perched on a hill and endowed by my grandfather. There are lawns and grass tennis courts, herbaceous borders and a rose garden. There are, to one side, the walls of the vegetable garden and a glint of glass, which is the roofs of the hot-houses where the gardeners, diminished now in numbers, still grow black grapes and melons and white peaches, which are rare and easily bruised and must never be picked by children.

在湖的另一边,人工的痕迹更加明显。这里有一个小公园,和一间由我爷爷捐建在一座小山上并有点丑的小教堂。这里有草坪和几个网球场,一些绿色栅栏和一个玫瑰花园。在另一面,这里有蔬菜花园的墙,和暖房屋顶闪烁的玻璃,玻璃上长着黑色的葡萄、柠檬以及白桃,这样孩子们就不敢去摘了。现在,园丁们已经把玻璃数量减少了一些了。

You can see woodsmoke, which comes from the houses in the estate village, where some cottages are still occupied; you can see the gleam of the golden cockerel who rides the clock tower in the stables. Turn your eyes to terrace and you will see my grandfather’s house, which he built with my great-grandfather’s money.

你能看到从附近村庄房屋中飘出的烟,那些小村舍到现在还有人住;你可以隐约看到钟楼塔顶那金色的小公鸡。再往远处看,你就可以看到我祖父的房子,那房子是由我曾祖父修的。

Everyone I know complain about that house: My mother says it is too large, that it was built for another world, and is now preposterous. My father says it eats money, because the rooms are so large and their ceilings so high, and the roof leaks and the windows rattle and the plumbing protests and wheezes and whistles. You can see the house eating money if you go down to the cellars and the boiler room and watch Jack Hennessy stoking the boiler with coke. The boiler is huge-it looks big enough to turn the turbines on an ocean liner-and Hennessy says that if he shoveled day and night he still couldn’t satisfy its appetite. In go the shovels of coke-which I see as pound notes, for I’ve been taught to understand about economy-and out comes, upstairs, a wheezing and a rattling from miles of snaking pipes. The pipes are lukewarm; the radiators are lukewarm; the bathwater is lukewarm.

我认识的所有都抱怨过这房子:我妈妈说它太大了,简直是为另一个世界修建的,现在看来是荒谬的;我爸爸说它太费钱,房间太大、房屋太高、屋顶经常裂缝、窗户经常嘎嘎直响。当你走下地下室锅炉房看杰克用焦炭烧锅炉就会知道它为什么费钱了。这个锅炉简直大的像用来推动远洋巨轮的涡轮。杰克说就算他白天黑夜的干,都满足不了这锅炉的胃口。顺着焦炭的铲子,我看见一些提示,通过这些我学会了如何节约-结果是蛇一样的管子缓缓的伸出、上楼。这些管子凉凉的,暖炉也凉凉的,洗澡水也凉凉的。

 

                                                           ----------张恒阁

“This is not central heating—it’s peripheral heating,” my father says in a despairing voice; so the fires are lit as well and we all sit next to the fire, with hot fronts and cold backs.

This is how the house happened: My great-great-grandfather made a fortune, first from soap and then from patent bleaches. This fact is regarded as inconvenient by most of my family, especially my grand-aunt Maud, who is grand and old and was once famous for her parties; only my father ever refers to bleaches or soaps, and then only when he wants to tease Aunt Maud or Uncle Steenie. My great –grandfather made even more money from his bleaches and his factories, which were close to those factories, I think, and perhaps he, too, preferred not to be reminded of bleach, because he moved his family south, went into politics, purchased a barony, became the first Lord Callendar, and sent my grandfather, Denton Cavendish, to Eton.


My grandfather Denton was famous for his pheasants and his tempers and his American wife, my grandmother Gwen, who was beautiful but penniless. My grandfather built this house and created these gardens and enlarged these estates, and my father and his there brothers, like me, were born in it.

 

When my grandfather Denton built it, it was the acme of fashion. It was finished in the 1890s, when Queen Victoria was still on the throe, but in spirit and in design it was an Eswardian house. There it is, huge, crenellated, opulent, and absurd, made for the long summer days before the first war, made for a procession of house parties, made for billiards and bridge-playing, for croquet matches, for shooting weekends, and the discreet diversions of leisured adultery: Winterscombe, my home. I never cared if it ate money, and neither, I suspect, in their heart of hearts, did my father and my mother. They loved it; I loved it; I loved them. When I think of it now, it is always autumn; there is always a mist over the lake( which needs dredging); there is always woodsomke; I am always happy. Naturally.

 

When I was older, and I went to live with Constance in New York, I learned to love a faster life. I learned to value the charms of caprice and the pleasures of whim; I learned the luxury of carelessness.

 

“这房子不是集中供暖,是外围加热,”我的父亲绝望的说,所以我们只能把壁炉的火开到最大,围坐在火的旁边。尽管这样,也是靠火的那面是热的,但后背冰凉。

 

这房子是怎么来的:我的曾曾祖父先从肥皂然后又从专利漂白剂那发了财。虽然家里的大多数人认为这造成了他们的困扰,尤其是我那地位高、老,并且一度以她办的那些聚会出名的大姑婆Maud。只有我的父亲对漂白剂或肥皂感兴趣。我的曾祖父从漂白产业和他的工厂中挣到了更多的钱,但是我想,也许他也不愿提起漂白剂这档子事。因为后来他把全家搬到南部,开始从政,买了一个爵位成为第一任Callendar大人,并把我的祖父Denton Cavendish送到了伊顿。
 

我的祖父Dento因为他的野鸡、脾气和他的美国妻子——我那美丽但是身无分文祖母Gwen——而出名。就是我的祖父建造了这所房子,建造了这些花园并扩大房屋,我的父亲和他的兄弟还有我,都是在这里出生。

 

我的祖父Denton造这所房子时,这里可以算作是时尚的尖端。房子于19世纪90年代完工,当时维多利亚女王仍然在痛苦时期,但从灵魂和设计方面,这是一个Eswardian房子。这里是巨大的,锯齿形,华丽的,荒谬的。我的家Winterscombe,它为第一次世界大战前的漫长夏日,为家庭聚会,为台球和桥梁,为槌球比赛,为周末的拍摄,以及谨慎的转移私通而建造。我从来不关心,这里是不是花了大把的钱,我怀疑,在内心深处,我父亲和我的母亲他们很喜欢这样,我也很喜欢这样,我很爱这样的生活。现在回忆起来,想起的都是这里秋天,湖面上总是泛着薄雾;总有wood somke,我总是本能的开心着。

当我长大了,去纽约和Constance一起住,我爱上了快节奏的生活。我体会到了任性的价值和随心所欲的乐趣,我知道了疏忽有多么奢侈。

 

At Winterscombe I never experienced such things, and I loved their opposites. Others might judge our family life dull; I liked the safeness of its rituals, and the sure knowledge when I went to bed that the next day would be almost precisely the same as the day before. Like my parents, I was, I suppose, very English.

 

In the mornings, I woke at seven, when Jenna, who was my nurse, brought up the copper jug of hot water and a boiled washcloth. She scrubbed my face and my neck and the back of my ears until my skin glowed, and then she brushed my hair, which was red and curly-I hated it –for exactly fifty strokes. Then it was plaited into neat tight braids in an effort to subdue it, and fastened with elastic bands and ribbons, which were changed every day to match the blouse I was wearing. It was Jenna’s religion to be orderly.

 

My clothes used to arrive twice a year, in white boxes from London; they were sensible and they never varied. In summer I wore sea island cotton undershirts and, in winter, woolen ones with sleeves. I wore long socks or woolen stockings in winter, and short cotton socks in summer. I had three kinds of shoes: stout brown lace-ups, stout brown sandals, and flat pumps, made of bronze kid, which were reserved for parties, although I went to very few parties. In summer I wore cotton frocks and cardigans Jenna Knitted; in winter I wore gray flannel pleated skirts and gray flannel jackets. I had a succession of Harris tweed overcoats with velveteen collars, all of which were identical; a succession of identical pudding –basin hats that clipped under the chin with elastic. I hated the scratchy winter vests, but apart from that, I never thought about my clothes a great deal, except when I went to visit my great-aunt Maud in London.

 

在Winterscombe我从来没有经历过这种事情,我喜欢他们的对立面。其他人可能会觉得我们的家庭生活枯燥,我喜欢这种仪式带来的安全感,以及当我上床睡觉时清楚地知道,第二天几乎和前一天完全相同。与我的父母一样,我想,我也是,很英国式的。

 

在早上,我7时醒来,珍娜,我的护士,拿来一个铜水罐热水和一个煮过的毛巾。她擦洗我的脸、脖子和耳朵,直到我的皮肤发热,然后她梳理我那红而曲的头发,令人讨厌的整整50下。然后珍娜把它扎成整齐紧绷的辫子,用胶带和丝带绑起来。胶带和丝带每天更换,以配合我的上衣。珍娜认为一切必须井然有序。

 

我的衣服每年两次,用白色盒子的盒子装着,从伦敦送达;我可以预见他们是怎么样的,他们从来没有改变过。夏天,我穿海岛棉汗衫,冬天则是有袖的羊毛衫。我在冬季穿长袜子或羊毛袜,夏天穿短棉袜。我有三种鞋:褐色系带短帮鞋,啡色凉鞋和派对上穿的啡色小山羊皮平底舞鞋,虽然我很少参加派对。夏天,我穿着棉上衣和珍娜织的开衫;冬天,我穿灰色法兰绒打褶短裙和灰色法兰绒外套。我有系列的Harris斜纹软呢大衣,他们的衣领都是仿天鹅绒的,所有的这些都是完成一样的;一致的布丁一样圆圆胖胖,下巴位置下面有弹性的帽子。我讨厌那种令人觉得发痒的冬季背心,但除此之外,我从来没有想过我的衣服着装是一件多么了不起的大事,除了当我去拜访在伦敦的莫德姑婆。

                                                                             ——黄冬

Aunt Maud did not like my clothes and she said so, roundly. “The child looks drab,” she would pronounce, fixing me with a stern eye. ”I shall take her to Harrods. She has…possibilities.”

I wasn’t sure what those possibilities were. When I peered in my looking glass I could see that I was tall and skinny. I had big feet, which looked even larger in the brown lace-up shoes, which Jenna polished until they shone like chestnuts. I had freckles, of which I was very ashamed. I had eyes of an indeterminate green. I had that horrible curly red hair, which reached halfway down my back, when all I wanted was to have short straight black hair and tempestuous blue eyes like the heroines in Aunt Maud’s favorite novels.

No possibilities there that I could see, and the often-promised visits to Harrods never seemed to materialize. I think Aunt Maud, who was old by then and somewhat vague, may simply have forgotten; on the other hand, my mother, who found fashion frivolous, may have intervened. “I love Maud dearly,” She used to say, “but she can go too far. One has to put one’s foot down.”

It is true that on one of my birthdays-my seventh-Aunt Maud did, as she would say, push the boat out. Aunt Maud’s finances were a mystery, but as far as I could understand, she lived off paintings: a collection of paintings once given her by a very dear friend. Most of these paintings had been sold some years before, but a few had been kept in reserve-“For a rainy day,” Maud said.

 

莫德姑婆很正经地说她不喜欢我穿的衣服。她会盯着我说:“这孩子穿得太土了,我要带她去哈洛斯百货,或许那里有合适她的衣服。”

 

我不知道那些“或许合适的衣服”会是怎样的。我凝望着玻璃镜中的自己,很高很瘦。不小的脚在珍妮擦得闪亮的棕色蕾丝边鞋子的衬托下显得更大。脸上有着自己讨厌的雀斑。我希望自己能像莫德姑婆喜欢的小说中的女主角一样有着乌黑的短直发、坚定有神的蓝眼睛,而不是我现在那神情恍惚的蓝色眼睛和及背的特卷红长发。

 

我看不到任何“可能”,莫德姑婆经常说要去哈洛斯百货,但最终也没有实现过。莫德姑婆那时年纪已经很大了,意识有点模糊,我想或许她已经忘记了。不过,我妈妈则认为时尚并不是特别重要。她过去常说,“我很爱你的莫德姑婆,但是她真是走太远了,人生应该脚踏实地。”

 

莫德姑婆的确在我7岁生日时,兑现自己的诺言,给我送了一条哈洛斯百货买的裙子。莫德姑婆的经济状况是个谜,在我的印象里,她是靠卖画为生的,她那些画都是她一个好朋友送的。几年前她已经把部分画卖了出去,但她还留着一部分——“以防下雨天”莫德姑婆说。

                                                                ——罗丹

 

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