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哀悼:阿瑟,再也打不通你的电话了!

(2013-02-26 23:09:09)
标签:

阿瑟

哀悼

分类: 记忆



    晚上,Toastmaster英语俱乐部的朋友Robert 发信息来:Our freind Arthur passed away on 22,Feb.very sad! (我们的朋友阿瑟2月22号去世了,非常难过!)看到信息,心理猛然一惊,随即给Robert将电话打过去,他说他是今天收到一个邮件才知道的。

    Arthur,阿瑟,是我在英语俱乐部的朋友,省工业大学的外教,美国人,在法国呆二十年,在中国呆了七年,一辈子没有结婚,今年64岁,单纯、可爱、孤单的老头。
    2月2号时候,我曾收到他在国外旅游发来的邮件,说是身体不舒服检查出来是肝癌,之后,我曾给他打过电话,但手机一直没有开机,我以为他在国外治疗,昨天,我还给他打电话,想到学校已经开学,他应该回学校了。没想到那么快就离开了我们,而且没有见上他最后一面。

       

    这么个朋友,孤单的外国人,就这么悄悄地走了,哀伤不禁袭来。

    过去的一幕幕都浮现。

    在俱乐部时,我常常把我的发言稿写出来,阿瑟在的时候,就请他帮我修改,总是改的非常地道又有文采。

    记得大约是两年前。俱乐部的朋友们曾经想给孤单的阿瑟找个女朋友,他对我们说:“国外有句谚语,结婚的人活着像条狗,死了像皇帝;单身的人,活着像皇帝,死了像条狗”,大概这句话是对他的孤单生活的宽慰,然而,看着他那么孤单地一个人在遥远的他乡生活,就对他有种说不出来的心疼,想到他生病了怎么办?谁照顾他?他说他很喜欢中国,将永远在中国呆下去。大家想给他找个伴,但是他不懂汉语,懂英语的又符合条件的真不好遇到。

    有一次,我和大妖还有明基去他住的地方看他,大概是明基出国办理一些手续请他帮忙翻译,大妖发现阿瑟文字很好。租住的房屋离他学校较近,屋里很简单冷清,好像没有什么家具物品,彷佛是一个在路上的行人的歇脚地似的,打扫得很干净:一个床,一台电脑。墙上挂着老毛的头像,他说他很崇拜老毛。给我们看他翻译的书,他懂法语,可以英语法语互译。那天,他请我们在陇海路上的火锅店里吃火锅。

    孤单的阿瑟还十分幽默。一年的夏天,俱乐部结束后几个朋友经常一起吃晚餐,阿瑟总是一直抽烟,只喝啤酒,很少吃菜。一次吃饭时,我对依旧一直抽烟不吃菜的阿瑟说:“阿瑟,你不是单身,你有两个老婆!”,他听了眼睛瞪的老大地看着我,“一个是你的烟,一个是啤酒!”,他听完,立即说:“No,不是两个,是三个,还有电脑!”的确,每次来俱乐部,他都会带着他的手提电脑。

    有一年的元旦,我请几个朋友去郑州市艺术宫听新年音乐会,也叫上阿瑟去了。音乐会中间休息期间,他迫不及待地跑出去吸烟,回到座位上时,还咳嗽得厉害,我就对他说:“阿瑟,看你咳嗽得那么厉害还抽烟,以后不要抽烟了”,他立即回答我:“ok,Mother!”听到这位老先生竟然叫我妈妈,很是吃惊,接着他告诉我,活在这个世上,只有他的妈妈这么对他说过,不要他抽烟。原来如此。

    问:你还和你妈妈联系吗?

    答:不知道她的联系方式。

    嗯?

    她去了天国了,1984年就走了。

    你有兄弟姐妹吗?

    没有。

    你父亲呢?

    好多年就失去联系了。

    就那次对话,知道了他的孤单,也或许因为他的那一句Mother,让我在潜意识当中真的把他当做我的孩子了。后来,看演出或朋友聚会时,我就会叫上他,他也像个孩子似的,不论多远多晚,都会打车赶过来。春节前一次朋友聚会,也叫他来了,知道他每逢放假就会出去旅游,就对他说,我春节时将带团去台湾演出,他是否也去台湾。他问我们怎么办手续,大家想到,我们去台湾办手续非常麻烦且耗时长,而他是个美国人,大概不需要办手续。后来他发信息问我们是否还去台湾,认为我们可能是随便说说而已,而那段时间我大抵是忙得焦头烂额,好像也没有给他回信。

    元月6号,我去安阳审查春节去台湾的节目,从安阳回来就病倒住院至今,台湾当然也没有去成,并因为没有去台湾,我想今年过年,让他到我们家来一起。而阿瑟却去了天国,我们再也见不到他,他的手机再也联系不上了。

    愿他在天国安息!

  附上他的照片及2013年2月2号他给大家发送的最后一封信:

  Dear Friends, Frenemies and Others,


First, apologies to Chinese, French and Swedish readers for providing only an English version.

Moving on to the substance of this email, my holidays had started off very pleasantly in Kuala Lumpur, a city I wish everyone finds a chance to visit some day. Then a bit of right abdominal pain started making a pest of itself so I went down to the nice university hospital and told a skeptical young physician it was likely a stone stuck in my urinary canal, which I was about due for again. He frowned to stress the sincerity of his concern for the well-being of my innards, as all young doctors do, and modestly suggested it might be a gallstone, which I found more interesting. At all events, I went on to get this ultrasound tummy rub that caused that physician to use up over half of his big fat tube of gel. Presumably thinking them more knowledgeable, he called in two more colleagues and I got another tummy rub. As he was using up the last of his gel, the imaging caused the trio to frown in concert. Finally, one of their number just said "It doesn't look good."

So the ultrasound report said it was cirrhosis, which I later staged at III or IV after fishing around on the Net for a few minutes.

And next came a CT scan. The machine wasn't as big, shiny and eye-catching as the ones you see on TV, so I could only submit and presume it worked. Anyhow, after they set you up on your back, everybody suddenly disappears behind heavy doors or lead glass and the machine starts humming and beeping away cheerfully. As I'm lying there looking around, I can't avoid noticing a dozen or so bloodstains on the ceiling. The experience feels a little like somebody putting you through an automatic carwash, but hey, if it saves your life, why quibble?

So the conclusions of that report bleakened the outlook even further right from the start by mentioning secondary cancers of the liver and lungs and the idea is now to confirm it, so I'm going into hospital somewhere between Feb 3 and 5 and we'll see what happens.

Generally, cancers of the lungs, liver and pancreas develop very silently until you've only something like one to six weeks left.

 
Still, it's well worth mentioning that my bosses have promised to cover the medical costs, which is way above the call of duty: my contract stipulates that if I'm ill for over 30 days, the school can abrogate and leave me to my own devices. But my bosses pointed out that I'd worked here for eight years and they were happy with my services, so they will squeeze funds from the school itself if costs exceed insurance coverage.

 
There are four real upsides however: (1) I can finally smoke as much as I like without guilting about it, (2) I have time to clean out my flat and distribute my belongings to students and friends who can make best use of them, (3) I'll get to see my last girlfriend again, which is a double blessing because she's also a lawyer so perhaps I need not kick off entirely intestate and (4) I'll be at a hospital where some of the doctors know me personally.

Of course, there does remain the absurd, outside that chance the liver and lung damage is only benign and I'm getting you all upset over nothing although the downside of survival from such a constellation of benign tumors would mean that I'll have to live on babyfood and toxic chemotherapy for another year or two until the liver really folds.

 
Finally, this will all end up in an urn of ashes cemented into a colombarium in Dongguan, Guangdong thanks to the offer of a student who graduated in 2004 from my first school in Xiangtan, Hunan. I'm not sure if I deserve so much devotion but it's really touching.

Hugs to All!

 
Arthur
Arthur Borges

French & Swedish to English Translator

Mobile +86
15981961971 -- Fax +86 371-67788027

Henan University of Technology, 140 Songshan Nanlu, Zhengzhou, Henan 450052 China 

 
哀悼:阿瑟,再也打不通你的电话了!
                   图为 Arthur Borges(照片由Robert提供)

哀悼:阿瑟,再也打不通你的电话了!  
Arthur(左三)和俱乐部的朋友们,图片为Robert(右三)提供。

哀悼:阿瑟,再也打不通你的电话了!
  
 Toastmaster俱乐部2009年的圣诞(Auther在后排右二)

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