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麦克尤恩 - 爱无可忍 - 2

(2011-09-29 16:32:57)
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杂谈

分类: 学英文
Two
Best to slow down. Let’s give the half minute after John Logan’s fall careful consideration. What occurred simultaneously or in quick succession, what was said, how we moved or failed to move, what I thought – these elements need to be separated out. So much followed from this incident, so much branching and subdivision began in those early moments, such pathways of love and hatred blazed from this starting position, that a little reflection, even pedantry, can only help me here. The best description of a reality does not need to mimic its velocity. Whole books, whole research departments, are dedicated to the first half minute in the history of the universe. Vertiginous theories of chaos and turbulence are predicated upon the supremacy of initial conditions which need painstaking depiction.

第二章

    最好还是说慢一点吧。让我们仔细回顾一下约翰·洛根坠落后的那半分钟。在那同时或紧随其后发生了什么,大家说了些什么,我们做了什么或者没做什么,我想了 些什么——这些要素都需要分别列举。在这桩事件发生后,又发生了太多的事情,有那么多的歧路和从中继续岔出的歧路,都起始于那最初的时刻,爱与恨的火种也 从这里开始被点燃,一路熊熊燃烧。因此,让我停在这里稍作回顾,甚至卖弄一番,只会对我助益多多。对事实最好的描述,不见得要与它发生的速度同步。大部大 部的论著、整个整个的研究部门都投入到了对宇宙历史最初几秒钟的探索之中。研究宇宙混沌和动荡的理论多得令人眼花缭乱,却都建立在对初始条件的假设之上, 而要描述这些极其重要的假设,则需要煞费苦心的努力。

I’ve already marked my beginning, the explosion of consequences, with the touch of a wine bottle and a shout of distress. But this pinprick is as notional as a point in Euclidean geometry, and though it seems right, I could have proposed the moment Clarissa and I planned to picnic after I had collected her from the airport, or when we decided on our route, or the field in which to have our lunch, and the time we chose to have it. There are always antecedent causes. A beginning is an artifice, and what recommends one over another is how much sense it makes of what follows. The cool touch of glass on skin and James Gadd’s cry – these synchronous moments fix a transition, a divergence from the expected: from the wine we didn’t taste (we drank it that night to numb ourselves) to the summons, from the delightful existence we shared and expected to continue, to the ordeal we were to endure in the time ahead.
我已经标记出了自己的开端,从我接过酒瓶和一声绝望的叫喊开始,由此引发了一大堆后果。但是,这个针眼就像欧几里得几何学中的一个点那样,只是概念上的, 尽管它看似正确,但我本可以将它预设在我从机场接回克拉莉莎后一起计划去野餐的时候,或者在我们决定行程路线的时候,或者决定在那块田野上共进午餐的时 候,又或者在决定何时开饭的时候。事情发生总会有前因。一个开端就是一处陷阱,而对事情开端的选择,取决于它能如何解释接下来发生的一切。皮肤与酒瓶的冰 凉接触以及詹姆斯·盖德的叫喊——它们同步发生的时刻构成了一次过渡,形成了一条偏离预先设计轨道的岔路:从我们未曾品尝的美酒(当晚,我们把它喝了个精 光以麻痹自己)转向命运的召唤,从我们共同分享的美丽人生与愿景转向我们即将忍受的折磨与苦难。
When I let the wine bottle fall to run across the field towards the balloon and its bumping basket, towards Jed Parry and the others, I chose a branching in the paths that foreclosed a certain kind of easeful life. The struggle with the ropes, the breaking of ranks and the bearing away of Logan – these were the obvious, large-scale events that shaped our story. But I see now that in the moments immediately after his fall there were subtler elements exerting powerful sway over the future. The moment Logan hit the ground should have been the end of this story rather than one more beginning I could have chosen. The afternoon could have ended in mere tragedy.
当我扔下酒瓶穿越田野,朝着那只气球和在地面上磕磕撞撞的吊篮奔去,朝着杰德·帕里和其他人奔去的时候,我选择了一条将我与安闲舒适的生活隔绝的岔路。与 绳索的搏斗,队伍的分崩离析,以及洛根的飞走——这些都是构成我们故事的明显主干。但如今我却意识到,在紧接着他坠落的那些时刻里,有一些更加微妙的因素 对未来起到了强大的支配影响。洛根坠地的那一时刻本应成为这个故事的结局,而不是我当时可能选择的又一个开端。那天下午本应仅以一场悲剧就此结束。
In the second or two it took for Logan to reach the ground I had a sense of déjà vu, and I immediately knew its source. What came back to me was a nightmare I had occasionally in my twenties and thirties from which I used to shout myself awake. The setting varied, but the essentials never did. I found myself in a prominent place watching from far off the unfolding of a disaster – an earthquake, a fire in a skyscraper, a sinking ship, an erupting volcano. I could see helpless people, reduced by distance to an undifferentiated mass, scurrying about in panic, certain to die. The horror was in the contrast between their apparent size and the enormity of their suffering. Life was revealed as cheap; thousands of screaming individuals, no bigger than ants, were about to be annihilated and I could do nothing to help. I did not think about the dream then so much as experience its emotional wash – terror, guilt and helplessness were the components – and feel the nausea of a premonition fulfilled.
在洛根坠地的那一两秒钟里,我产生了一种似曾相识的感觉,而且我马上就找到了它的来源。回到我脑海中的,是我在二三十岁时偶尔会做的噩梦,每次都让我从大 叫中惊醒过来。它们的背景各不相同,但基本要素却完全一致。我梦见自己站在一处突出的位置上,目睹着远方正在发生的一场灾难——地震,摩天楼大火,沉船, 火山爆发。我可以看见许多无助的人们正惊恐地四下奔逃,由于距离的关系,他们成了一个毫无个体差异的群体,必死无疑。令我恐惧的是,他们清晰可见的规模和 所遭受的巨大灾难之间,形成了鲜明对比,暴露出生命那轻贱的一面;成千上万个只有蚂蚁般大小的人尖叫着,即将陷入毁灭的境地,而我却无能为力。当时我并没 有对这梦境回想太多,只是感觉到了它对我情感上的冲击——恐惧、负疚和无助——还有一种预感灵验的恶心感觉。
Down below us, where the escarpment levelled out, was a grassy field used for pasture, bounded by a line of pollarded willows. Beyond them was a larger pasture where sheep and a few lambs were grazing. It was in the centre of this second field, in our full view, that Logan landed. My impression was that at the moment of impact the little stick figure flowed or poured outwards across the ground, like a drop of viscous fluid. But what we saw in the stillness, as though reconstituted, was the compact dot of his huddled figure. The nearest sheep, twenty feet away, barely looked up from its chewing.
在我们下方,平缓延展的陡坡上是一片被用作牧场的草地,以一排截头柳树作为边界。在那之外是一片更大的草场,绵羊和几只羊羔正在那里吃草。从我们眼中的全 景来看,洛根就落在这第二块草场的中心位置。我本以为,在冲撞发生的那一刻,那木棍般的小小身形会如一滴黏稠的液体,顺着地面四下奔涌或倾泻。但在死寂中 我们看见,他的身形缩成一团,挤成一个小点,仿佛经过了重新组装。二十英尺外离他最近的那只绵羊只顾继续吃草,几乎连头都没有抬一下。
Joseph Lacey was attending to his friend Toby Greene who could not stand. Right next to me was Jed Parry. Some way off behind us was James Gadd. He was less interested than we were in Logan. He was shouting about his grandson who was being carried away in the balloon across the Vale of Oxford towards the line of pylons. Gadd pushed past us and went a few paces down the hill, as if intending to go in pursuit. Such is his genetic investment, I remember thinking stupidly. Clarissa came up behind me and looped her arms around my waist and pressed her face into my back. What surprised me was she was already crying (I could feel the wetness on my shirt) whereas to me, sorrow seemed a long way off.
约瑟夫·莱西正在照料他那已经无法站立的朋友托比·格林,在我身旁就是杰德·帕里,在我们后面一段距离的是詹姆斯·盖德。盖德并没有像我们那么关心洛根, 而是呼唤着他的孙子,那个被气球带走、飞越牛津峡谷并朝那排电缆铁塔飞去的小男孩。他推开我们,往山下跑了几步,似乎想要去追赶气球。我记得自己当时愚蠢 地想:那可是他的基因投资啊。克拉莉莎来到我身后,用双臂搂住了我的腰,并将头深深地埋在我的后背上。让我吃惊的是,她已经哭了起来(我可以感觉到衬衫被 沾湿了),而对我来说,悲伤似乎还离着老远呢。
Like a self in a dream I was both first and third persons. I acted, and saw myself act. I had my thoughts, and I saw them drift across a screen. As in a dream, my emotional responses were non-existent or inappropriate. Clarissa’s tears were no more than a fact, but I was pleased by the way my feet were anchored to the ground and set well apart, and the way my arms were folded across my chest. I looked out across the fields and the thought scrolled across: that man is dead.
I felt a warmth spreading through me, a kind of self-love, and my folded arms hugged me tight. The corollary seemed to be: and I am alive. It was a random matter, who was alive or dead at any given time. I happened to be alive. This was when I noticed Jed Parry watching me. His long bony face was framed round a pained question. He looked wretched, like a dog about to be punished. In the second or so that this stranger’s clear grey-blue eyes held mine I felt I could include him in the self-congratulatory warmth I felt in being alive. It even crossed my mind to touch him comfortingly on the shoulder. My thoughts were up there on the screen: this man is in shock. He wants me to help him.
如同在梦中一般,我既是主人公,又是旁观者。我在行动,同时又能看见自己行动;我有思想,同时又能看到它们从我眼前的一块屏幕上浮过。就像在梦里一样,我 的情绪反应都不在了,或者是显得不合时宜。克拉莉莎的眼泪不过是桩事实,而我则双脚分开牢牢插在地上,两臂交叉抱在胸前,心里对自己采用的这种方式感到满 意。我朝那片田野眺望,思想在眼前的屏幕上滚动:那个人死了。我感到体内一阵发热,一份对自己的怜爱油然而生,不禁用交叉的双臂抱紧自己。随即产生的结论 似乎是:而我还活着。在任何特定的时间里,谁生谁死都是随机的,而我恰好还活着。就在这时,我发觉杰德·帕里正盯着我,那张皮包骨似的瘦长面孔被一种痛苦 而疑惑的表情深深锁住。他看上去很可怜,就像一条即将挨打的狗。我的视线和这个陌生人清澈灰蓝的眼眸相遇,刹时间,我感觉自己可以将他融进这股沾沾自喜的 心灵暖流之中:我还活着。我甚至想去安慰性地拍抚他的肩头。屏幕上,我的思想显示:这个人吓坏了。他想让我帮助他。
Had I known what this glance meant to him at the time, and how he was to construe it later and build around it a mental life, I would not have been so warm. In his pained, interrogative look was that first bloom of which I was entirely ignorant. The euphoric calm I felt was simply a symptom of my shock. I honoured Parry with a friendly nod and, ignoring Clarissa at my back – I was a busy man, I would deal with them all one at a time – I said to him in what I thought was a deep and reassuring voice, ‘It’s all right.’
如果我早知道这个眼神在当时对他意味着什么,以及他后来将如何理解它并通过它建立起一个精神生活世界的话,我绝不会如此热情。在他那带有一丝疑问的痛苦眼 神中,孕育着一粒我完全没注意到的感情萌芽。我所感觉到的那种愉快的冷静,其实只是我身处惊悸之中的征兆。我朝帕里友好地点点头,忽略了我身后的克拉莉莎——我是一个大忙人,要一次性解决所有问题——用一种自认为低沉而令人安心的口吻对他说:“没事了。”
This flagrant untruth reverberated so pleasantly between my ribs that I almost said it again. Perhaps I did. I was the first one to have spoken since Logan hit the ground. I reached into my trouser pocket and withdrew, of all things to have out here at this time, a mobile phone. I read the fractional widening of the young man’s eyes as respect. It was what I felt for myself anyway as I held the dense little slab in my palm, and with the thumb of the same hand jabbed three nines. I was in the world, equipped, capable, connected. When the emergency operator came on I asked for police and ambulance and gave a lucid, minimal account of the accident and the balloon drifting away with the boy, and our position and the nearest access by road. It was all I could do to hold my excitement in. I wanted to shout something – commands, exhortations, inarticulate vowel sounds. I was brittle, speedy, perhaps I looked happy.
这句冠冕堂皇的谎言在我的肋骨间回荡,令我感到舒适无比,我几乎又把它说了一遍。也许我的确这么做了。我是自洛根坠地后第一个开口说话的人。我把手伸进裤 兜,摸索一切可以在这时拿出来的东西,一只手机。年轻人的眼睛微微睁大,我把这看作是对我的敬佩,不管怎么说,起码当我把那个高密度的小钢板拿在手心并用 大拇指摁下999999是英国本土及部分英联邦国家、前海外属地的紧急求助电话号码。的时候,我是这么认为的。我存在于这个世界之中,全副武装,能力非 凡,联系广泛。当紧急事务处理电话接通时,我叫了警察和救护车,清晰简洁地描述了这场事故、搭载着孩子飘走的气球、我们的方位以及到达这里的捷径。这是我 唯一可以用来遏制自己兴奋的事情。我想大声叫喊些什么——指令、劝慰或者含糊的元音字母。我的嗓音尖锐,语速很快,也许我显得很高兴。
When I turned off the phone Joseph Lacey said, ‘He won’t need no ambulance.’
Greene looked up from his ankle. ‘They’ll need that to take him away.’
I remembered. Of course. This was what I needed – something to do. I was wild by now, ready to fight, run, dance, you name it. ‘He might not be dead,’ I said. ‘There’s always a chance. We’ll go down and take a look.’
当我挂掉电话时,约瑟夫·莱西说:“他不需要救护车了。”

格林从他的脚踝上抬起视线。“他们需要用救护车把他运走。”

这下我想起来了。当然。这就是我所需要的——找点事情做做嘛。此时的我狂乱不已,正想打架、跑步、跳舞,随便什么都行。“他可能还没死,”我说,“总会有这种可能性的。我们得下去看看。
As I was saying this I became aware of a tremor in my legs. I wanted to stride away down the slope, but I did not trust my balance. Uphill would be better. I said to Parry, ‘You’ll come.’ I meant it as a suggestion, but it came out as a request, something I needed from him. He looked at me, unable to speak. Everything, every gesture, every word I spoke was being stored away, gathered and piled, fuel for the long winter of his obsession.
说出这句话的时候,我开始意识到自己的腿在颤抖。我想要健步下坡,但我不敢确定自己能否保持平衡。上坡也许会好一些。我对帕里说:“你也来。”我本来是想 提个建议,但话说出口却成了一个请求,我需要他这么做。他看着我,什么都说不出来。每一个细节,我的每一句话、每一个手势、每一个字都被他捕捉、收藏、包 装,为他今后一整个冬天的痴迷和执念做足了储备。
I unclasped Clarissa’s arms from my waist and turned. It didn’t occur to me that she was trying to hold me steady. ‘Let’s go down,’ I said quietly. ‘There may be something we can do.’ I heard my softening of tone, the artful lowering of volume. I was in a soap opera. Now he’s talking to his woman. It was intimacy, a tight two-shot.
我松开克拉莉莎环在我腰间的双臂,转过身。我当时没有想到,她想要紧紧抱住我。“我们下去吧,”我轻声说道,“也许我们有办法。”我听到自己语调柔和,声音刻意低沉。我置身于一出肥皂剧中。现在他在对他的女人讲话。这是一幅亲昵的场景,一组双人特写镜头。
Clarissa put her hand on my shoulder. She told me later that it crossed her mind to slap my face. ‘Joe,’ she whispered. ‘You’ve got to slow down.’
‘What’s up?’ I said in a louder voice. A man lay dying in a field and no one was stirring. Clarissa looked at me, and though her mouth looked set to frame the words, she wouldn’t tell me why I should slow down. I turned away and called to the others who stood about on the grass waiting for me, so I thought, to tell them what to do. ‘I’m going down to him. Is anyone coming?’ I didn’t wait for an answer, but set off down the hill, conscious of the watery looseness in my knees and taking short steps. Twenty seconds later I glanced back. No one had moved.
克拉莉莎把手放在我的肩上。后来她告诉我,她当时突然有种想扇我耳光的冲动。“乔,”她轻声说,“你得歇一歇了。”

    “怎么了?”我提高声音问。一个男人躺在草地上正在死去却无人问津。克拉莉莎看着我,尽管她看上去像是要说什么,却没有告诉我为什么应该歇一歇。我转过 头,招呼其他那些站在草地上等着我的人,我想告诉他们现在要做什么。“我要去下面看看他。有没有人一起去?”我没有等待回答,而是迈着小步前行,开始下 山。我感到膝盖软弱乏力。二十秒后,我回头瞅了瞅,没有一个人动弹。

As I carried on down, the mania began to subside and I felt trapped and lonely in my decision. Also there was the fear, not quite in me, but there in the field, spread like a mist, and denser at the core. I was walking into it without choice now, because they were watching me, and to turn back would have meant climbing up the hill, a double humiliation. As the euphoria lifted, so the fear seeped in. The dead man I did not want to meet was waiting for me in the middle of the field. Even worse would be finding him alive and dying. Then I’d have to face him alone with my first aid techniques, like so many silly party tricks. He wouldn’t be taken in. He would go ahead and die anyway, and his death would be in and on my hands. I wanted to turn and shout for Clarissa, but they were watching me, I knew, and I had blustered so much up there I was ashamed. This long descent was my punishment.
我继续向下走,心中的狂躁开始平息,我的决定使我感到孤单无助。恐惧不仅仅在我心里,也在那片草地上,像一团扩散开来的迷雾,在荒野中心愈发浓重。但我现 在没有选择,只能往前走,因为他们都在看着我,这时回头就意味着要爬回山上,承受双倍的耻辱。随着愉快的情绪逐渐平息,恐惧渗入心头。我不想见到的那个死 人此刻正在田野中央等我。如果我发现他奄奄一息,濒临死亡,那将更糟糕,我就不得不独自面对他,采取急救措施,就像聚会上玩的许多愚蠢把戏那样。他不会中 招,无论如何都会死的,而且是死在我的手里。我想转身去叫克拉莉莎,但他们都在看着我,我知道,况且我在山上又如此口出狂言,羞愧难当。这段漫长的下坡路 就是对我的惩罚。
I reached the line of pollarded willows at the bottom of the hill, crossed a dry ditch and climbed through a barbed wire fence. By now I was out of their sight and I wanted to be sick. Instead, I urinated against a tree trunk. My hand was trembling badly. Afterwards I stood still, delaying the moment when I would have to set out across the field. Being out of view was physical relief, like being shaded from a desert sun. I was conscious of Logan’s position, but even at this distance I didn’t care to look.
我来到山脚下那排截头柳树前,跨过一条干涸的沟渠,然后爬过一道用带刺铁丝网做的篱笆。这时,我已经走出了他们的视野,恶心得直想吐。我对着树干撒了泡 尿,双手颤抖得厉害。后来我就站着不动,以推延穿越草地的时间。处在别人的视线范围之外,是一种生理上的解脱,就像在沙漠的烈日下有了一片荫凉。我能感觉 到洛根的位置,但即使离得这么远,我还是不想看他一眼。
The sheep that had hardly glanced up at the impact, stared and backed away into faltering runs as I strode among them. I was feeling slightly better. I kept Logan at the periphery of vision, but even so, I knew he was not flat on the ground. Something protruded at the centre of the field, some stumpy antenna of his present or previous self. Not until I was twenty yards away did I permit myself to see him. He was sitting upright, his back to me, as though meditating, or gazing in the direction in which the balloon and Harry had drifted. There was calmness in his posture. I came closer, instinctively troubled to be approaching him unseen from behind, but glad I could not yet see his face. I still clung to the possibility that there was a technique, a physical law or process of which I knew nothing, that would permit him to survive. That he should sit there so quietly in the field, as though he were collecting himself after his terrible experience, gave me hope and made me clear my throat stupidly and say, knowing that no one else could hear me, ‘Do you need help?’ It was not so ridiculous at the time. I could see his hair curling over his shirt collar and sunburned skin along the tops of his ears. His tweed jacket was unmarked, though it drooped strangely, for his shoulders were narrower than they should have been. They were narrower than any adult’s could be. From the base of the neck there was no lateral spread. The skeletal structure had collapsed internally to produce a head on a thickened stick. And seeing that, I became aware that what I had taken for calmness was absence. There was no one there. The quietness was that of the inanimate, and I understood again, because I had seen dead bodies before, why a pre-scientific age would have needed to invent the soul. It was no less clear than the illusion of the evening sun sinking through the sky. The closing down of countless interrelated neural and bio-chemical exchanges combined to suggest to a naked eye the illusion of the extinguished spark, or the simple departure of a single necessary element. However scientifically informed we count ourselves to be, fear and awe still surprise us in the presence of the dead. Perhaps it’s life we’re really wondering at.
那些对这场撞击几乎没有瞟一眼的绵羊,在我大步从它们中间走过的时候,却盯视着我,摇摇晃晃地退后跑开。我觉得稍微好受些了。我将洛根放在视线边缘,但即 便如此,我也能看到,他并非平躺在地上。有样东西从田野中央凸显出来,就像一根短粗的天线,代表着洛根生前或者死后的自我。直到离他二十码远,我才让自己 看他。他笔直地坐着,背朝向我,好像正在沉思,又好像在凝视气球和哈利飘走的那个方向。他的姿势显现出一种平静。我从他的背后靠近,看不见他的前半身,这 让我本能地感到不大自在,但同时又很高兴,因为到现在我还没看到他的脸。我仍心存侥幸,希望能有一种技术、一条我毫不知晓的物理法则或者方法,能够让他活 下来。他如此安静地坐在草地上,仿佛在经历了一场可怕的遭遇后,他正在让自己镇定下来。我在心里又产生了一线希望,然后愚蠢地清清嗓子,问道:“你需要帮 助吗?”同时我也明白,这句话不会被其他人听见。当时,我的表现并非特别可笑。我可以看到在他衬衣领口处卷曲的头发,还有耳朵上方被太阳晒伤的皮肤。他身 上的花呢夹克没有破损,只是奇怪地塌了下来,因为他的肩膀窄了许多,比任何一个成年人的肩膀都要窄,从脖根以上没有横向延伸开来的部分。他的骨架结构已经 在身体内部坍塌,使得脑袋就像搁在一根加粗的木棍上。看到这一幕,我开始意识到,方才被我误作平静的原来应该是空虚。没人在那里,只有毫无生气的平静。由 于以前我也见过尸体,现在,我再一次明白了,为什么在科学出现之前的时代中,人们需要创造出灵魂这个东西。一切就像夕阳沉下天际的幻影那般清楚明白。无数 相互联系的神经与生化交流停止了运行,联合起来给了我们的肉眼一份暗示,一粒火花熄灭、抑或是一种重要元素缺失的简单错觉。不论我们认为自己的科学知识有 多么渊博,对死亡的恐惧和敬畏始终会让我们瞠目结舌。也许令我们感到惊奇的并非他物,而正是生命本身。
These were the thoughts with which I tried to protect myself as I began to circle the corpse. It sat within a little indentation in the soil. I didn’t see Logan dead until I saw his face, and what I saw I only glimpsed. Though the skin was intact, it was hardly a face at all, for the bone structure had shattered and I had the impression, before I looked away, of a radical, Picassoesque violation of perspective. Perhaps I only imagined the vertical arrangement of the eyes. I turned away and saw Parry coming towards me across the field. He must have been following me down closely for he was already within talking distance. He must have seen when I paused in the shelter of the trees.
I watched him over Logan’s head as he slowed and called out to me, ‘Don’t touch him, please don’t touch him.’
抱着这些想法(我想以此保护自己),我开始围着尸体打转。它坐在地面上的一块凹痕中。直到看到——与其说看,不如说是一瞥——洛根的脸,我才明白: 他死了。尽管皮肤仍完好如初,但那已经完全不是一张脸了,因为骨架已经粉碎。在我匆忙移开视线之前,那张脸给我留下的印象,就像是一幅极具毕加索风格、强 烈颠覆透视法的图景。或许,那双竖直排列的眼睛只是我的臆想而已。我转过身,看见帕里正穿过草地向我走来。他肯定一路紧跟着我,因为他已经走到可以与我交 谈的距离了。他肯定也看见了我在树荫下停留的情景。

    越过洛根的头顶,我看着帕里慢慢靠近,他冲我喊道:“不要碰他,请你不要碰他。”

I hadn’t intended to, but I said nothing. I was looking at Parry as though for the first time. He stood with his hands resting on his hips staring not at Logan, but at me. Even then, he was more interested in me. He had come to tell me something. He was tall and lean, all bone and sinew, and he looked fit. He wore jeans and box-fresh trainers tied with red laces. His bones fairly burst out of him the way they hadn’t with Logan. His knuckles brushing against his leather belt were big and tight-knobbed under the skin which was white and stretched tight. The cheek bones were also tight and high-ridged and together with the pony-tail gave him the look of a pale Indian brave. His appearance was striking, even slightly threatening, but the voice gave it all away. It was feebly hesitant, neutral as to region, but carrying a trace, or acknowledgement, of Cockney – a discarded past or an affectation. Parry had his generation’s habit of making a statement on the rising inflection of a question – in humble imitation of Americans, or Australians, or, as I heard one linguist explain, too mired in relative judgements, too hesitant and apologetic to say how things were in the world.
Of course, I didn’t think of any of this at the time. All I heard was a whine of powerlessness, and I relaxed. What he said was, ‘Clarissa’s really worried about you? I said I’d come down and see if you’re all right?’
我没想要碰他,但我什么也没说。我看着帕里,就好像第一次见到他一样。他把两手搭在屁股上站着,没有盯住洛根,而是盯着我看。甚至在那时,他就对我 更感兴趣。他过来是要告诉我一些事情。他又高又瘦,满身骨头和肌肉,看上去很健壮。他穿着牛仔裤,脚下蹬着一双系有红色鞋带的崭新运动鞋。他的骨头感觉要 爆出来了,当然不是像洛根那样。他的指关节硕大而突出,在皮带上蹭来蹭去,皮肤白皙紧绷,颧骨也很高,轮廓突出,和他的马尾辫在一起,看上去像个苍白的印 第安武士。他的外表引人注目,甚至带有一点威胁性,但一开口他就露馅了:他的声音迟疑无力,听不出口音,但又带着一丝伦敦土腔的痕迹或回音——是抛却的往 昔,抑或是装腔作势的腔调。与他那一代人相同,帕里习惯在陈述句的结尾用上扬的疑问句音调——卑微地模仿美国人或澳大利亚人,或者像某个语言学家解释的那 样,深陷于相对判断的泥潭之中,因而在确认世间万事万物时过于犹豫不决,过于歉疚抱愧。

    当然,我那时根本没有想到这些。我听到的是一句无力的哀怨,于是我放松了很多。他说的话是:“克拉莉莎很担心你?我说我下来看看你怎么样了?”

My silence was hostile. I was old enough to dislike his presumption of first names, or, for that matter, of claiming to know Clarissa’s state of mind. I didn’t even know Parry’s name at this point. Even with a dead man sitting between us, the rules of social engagement prevailed. As I heard it later from Clarissa, Parry had come over to her to introduce himself, then turned away to follow me down the hill. She had said nothing to him about me.
‘Are you all right?’
I said, ‘There’s nothing we can do but wait,’ and I gestured in the direction of the road, one field away.
我的沉默带着些许敌意。以我的年纪,足可以对他直呼他人的名字表示不满,也讨厌他自称知道克拉莉莎的心思。那时我甚至还不知道帕里姓甚名谁。即使一 个死人坐在我们中间,社会交往规则仍然难违啊。后来我从克拉莉莎那儿得知,帕里走到她面前,自我介绍了一番,然后就转身跟着我下山去了。关于我的事,她什 么都没有对他讲。

    “你还好吗?”

    我说:“我们现在没办法,只能等啊。”说罢朝一块田地开外的马路方向作了个手势。

Parry took a couple of steps closer and looked down at Logan, then back to me. The grey-blue eyes gleamed. He was excited, but no one could ever have guessed to what extent. ‘Actually, I think there is something we can do.’
I looked at my watch. It was fifteen minutes since I had phoned the emergency services. ‘You go ahead,’ I said. ‘Do what you like.’
‘It’s something we can do together?’ he said as he looked about for a suitable place on the ground. The wild thought came to me that he was proposing some form of gross indecency with a corpse. He was lowering himself, and with a look was inviting me to join him. Then I got it. He was on his knees.
帕里走近几步,低下头看看洛根,然后转过来看我,那双灰蓝色的眼睛在闪烁。他很兴奋,但没人能猜出有几分兴奋。“其实,我倒觉得我们可以做点事。”

    我看了看表。从我给急救服务打电话到现在,已经过去了一刻钟。“你请便,”我说,“想做什么就做吧。”

    “是我们可以一起做的事?”他说着,一边在地上寻找一块合适的地方。我突然间有种疯狂的想法:他想要对一具尸体做出粗鄙的猥亵行为。他弯下身,带着一副邀请我的表情。这时我明白了。他正要跪在地上,准备做祷告。

‘What we could do,’ he said with a seriousness which warned against mockery, ‘is to pray together?’ Before I could object, which for the moment was impossible because I was speechless, Parry added, ‘I know it’s difficult. But you’ll find it helps. At times like this, you know, it really does help.’
I took a step away from both Logan and Parry. I was embarrassed, and my first thought was not to offend a true believer. But I got a grip on myself. He wasn’t concerned about offending me.
‘I’m sorry,’ I said pleasantly. ‘It’s not my thing at all.’
“我们可以做的事情,”他以一种不容嘲笑的严肃口气说,“就是一起祈祷?”我还来不及反对——当时反对是不可能的,因为我已哑口无言——帕里就补充道:“我知道这很难,但你会发现它管用,就像现在这个时候。要知道,它真的管用。”

    我跨出一步,从洛根和帕里身边走开。我很尴尬,首先想到的是不要去冒犯这位虔诚的信徒。但我随即控制住了自己的情绪。他可没有担心会冒犯我。

    “我很抱歉,”我和颜悦色地回答,“这完全不是我的作风。”

Parry tried to speak reasonably from his diminished height. ‘Look, we don’t know each other and there’s no reason why you should trust me. Except that God has brought us together in this tragedy and we have to, you know, make whatever sense of it we can?’ Then, seeing me make no move, he added, ‘I think you have a special need for prayer?’
I shrugged and said, ‘Sorry. But you go right on ahead.’ I Americanised my tone to suggest a lightheartedness I did not feel.
帕里这会儿已经跪下身去,正试图和我讲道理。“你看,我们先前并不认识,你也没有理由信任我。但是上帝通过这场悲剧将我们带到了一起,因此,你知道,我们应该去搞清我们可以弄清楚的一切?”看到我纹丝未动,他接着说:“我觉得你特别需要祈祷?”

    我耸了耸肩。“抱歉。但你还是继续吧。”说话时,我带上了一丝美国腔,想装出一种漫不经心的样子,尽管我自己并没有感觉到。

Parry wasn’t giving up. He was still on his knees. ‘I don’t think you understand. You shouldn’t, you know, think of this as some kind of duty. It’s like, your own needs are being answered? It’s got nothing to do with me, really, I’m just the messenger. It’s a gift.’
As he pressed harder, so the last traces of my embarrassment disappeared. ‘Thanks, but no.’
Parry closed his eyes and breathed in deeply, not praying so much as gathering his strength. I decided to walk back up the hill. When he heard me moving away he got to his feet and came over. He really didn’t want to let me go. He was desperate to persuade me, but he was not going to drop the patient, understanding manner. So he seemed to smile through a barrier of pain as he said, ‘Please don’t dismiss this. I know it’s not something you’d normally do. I mean, you don’t have to believe in anything at all, just let yourself do it and I promise you, I promise . . .’
As he tripped over the terms of his promise I interrupted him, and stepped back. I suspected that at any moment he would be reaching out to touch me. ‘Look, I’m sorry. I’m going back up to see my friend.’ I couldn’t bring myself to share Clarissa’s name with him.
He must have known his only chance of keeping me now was a radical change of tone. I was already several steps away when he called sharply, ‘OK, fine. Please just have the courtesy to tell me this.’
It was irresistible. I stopped and turned.
帕里没有放弃,他依然跪在地上。“我想你还没有明白。知道吗,你不应该把这看成是一种责任。它就好像是对你自身需要的回应。这和我没任何关系,真的,我只是个信使而已。这是一份礼物。”

    他这样坚持着,而我最后的一丝尴尬也由此消失了。“谢谢,但是不用。”

    帕里闭上眼睛,深吸了一口气,并非为了祈祷,而是在积聚力量。我决定上坡走回去。他听到我离开,便站起身走了过来。他实在不想让我走,竭力想说服我,但同 时他也不会失去耐心。他懂得礼节,因此他说话时看上去带着一丝苦涩的微笑。“请不要拒绝。我明白,一般你不会去做这件事。我的意思是,你根本不用相信什 么,就让你自己去做,我向你保证,我保证……”

    他在“保证”这个词上磕绊了一下,这时我打断了他并后退几步。我怀疑他随时都会伸出手来碰我。“听着,我很抱歉。我要回去找我的朋友了。”我不能忍受与他分享克拉莉莎的名字。

    他一定意识到了,现在他能留住我的唯一机会,就是彻底转变说话的口气。我已经离开了几步远,这时他尖叫起来:“好吧,行啊。那就请你告诉我一件事。”

    这句话让人无法抗拒。我停下脚步,转过身来。

‘What is it exactly that stands in your way? I mean, are you able to tell me, do you actually know yourself what it is?’
For a moment I thought I wouldn’t answer him – I wanted him to know that his faith laid no obligations on me. But then I changed my mind and said, ‘Nothing. Nothing’s standing in my way.’
He was coming towards me again, with his arms hanging loose at his sides, and with the palms turned up and the fingers spread in a little melodrama of the reasonable man perplexed. ‘Then why don’t you take a chance on it,’ he said through a worldly laugh. ‘You might see the point of it, the strength it can give you. Please, why don’t you?’
Again, I hesitated and almost said nothing. But I decided he ought to know the truth. ‘Because, my friend, no one’s listening. There’s no one up there.’
“到底是什么东西在阻止你?我是说,你能不能告诉我,你自己到底知不知道,是什么东西在阻止你?”

    一时间我并不想回答他——我想让他明白,他的信仰并不能构成我的义务。但随后,我又改变了主意,说:“没什么。没什么东西在阻止我。”

    他再次走到我面前,两臂下垂,手掌向上翻起,手指戏剧性地摊开,就像一个通情达理的男人感到了困惑。“那你为什么不冒险试一试呢?”他世故地一笑,“也许你会明白它能带给你的力量。求求你了,为什么不试一下呢?”

    我又一次犹豫了,几乎什么也没有说。但我决定,他应该知道实情。“因为,我的朋友,没人会听你的祷告。天上什么神灵都没有。”

Parry’s head was cocked, and the most joyous of smiles was spreading slowly across his face. I wondered if he had heard me right, because he looked as though I had just told him I was John the Baptist. It was then that I noticed over his shoulder two policemen climbing over a five-barred gate. As they ran across the field towards us one of them used a hand to keep his hat in place, Keystone Kops-style. They were coming to set in motion the official processing of John Logan’s fate and, as I saw it, to deliver me from the radiating power of Jed Parry’s love and pity.
帕里侧过头,脸上慢慢绽放出无比愉快的笑容。我怀疑他是否听懂了我的意思,因为他的表情就好像听到我在说自己是施洗约翰施洗约翰(John the Baptist):圣经人物,耶稣基督的表兄,在耶稣基督开始传福音之前在旷野向犹太人劝勉悔改,并为耶稣基督施洗。同时他也是伊斯兰教的先知。一样。就 在这时,越过他的肩头,我注意到两名警察正在翻越一道有五根栅栏的大门。在他们穿过田野向我们跑来的时候,其中一人用手按住帽子,显出一副启斯东笑剧启斯 东(Keystone):启斯东影片公司,1912年成立于美国,因启斯东笑剧而闻名。1914至1920年初,在启斯东影片公司的默片笑剧中,经常出现 一队愚蠢而无能的警察形象。里糊涂警察的模样。他们前来执行涉及约翰·洛根命运的官方流程,而在我看来,这也将我从杰德·帕里散发出的爱与怜的能量中解放 出来。

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