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麦克尤恩 - 爱无可忍 - 7

(2011-09-29 17:30:57)


分类: 学英文
Outside our apartment building, running straight on rising ground, was an avenue of plane trees just coming into leaf. As soon as I stepped out on to the pavement I saw Parry standing under a tree at the corner, a hundred yards away. When he saw me he took his hands out of his pockets, folded his arms, then let them droop. He began to come towards me, changed his mind and went back to his tree. I walked towards him slowly, and felt my anxiety dropping away.
As I came closer Parry retreated further under his tree, leaned back against its trunk and tried to look nonchalant by hooking a thumb into his trouser pocket. In fact he looked abject. He appeared smaller, all knobs and bones, no longer the sleek Indian brave, despite the pony-tail. He wouldn’t meet my eye as I came up, or rather his eyes made a nervous pass across my face, and then turned down. As I put out my hand I was feeling quite relieved. Clarissa was right, he was a harmless fellow with a strange notion, a nuisance at most, hardly the threat I had made him out to be. He looked a sorry sight now, cringing under the fresh plane leaves. It was the accident, and the afterwaves of shock that had distorted my understanding. I had translated farce into indefinable menace. His hand, when it shook mine, exerted no pressure. I spoke to him firmly, but with a little kindness too. He was just about young enough to be my son. ‘You’d better tell me what this is all about.’
He said, ‘There’s a coffee place . . .’ and he nodded in the direction of the Edgware Road.
‘We’ll be fine right here,’ I said. ‘I don’t have a lot of time.’


    在我们的公寓大楼外,一条林荫大道笔直地沿着上升的路面伸展,道路两旁栽种着新叶初萌的法国梧桐。我一踏上人行道,就看见帕里站在一百码外街角的一棵树 下。看到我后,他把双手从兜里掏出来,抱拢双臂,然后又放下。他刚准备朝我走过来,然后又改变了主意,转身回到那棵树边。我慢慢地走向他,感到自己的焦虑 逐渐消失。

    我越靠近,帕里就退得越远,一直退到树下。他靠着树干,大拇指钩在裤兜上,装出一副若无其事的样子。实际上,他看上去很落魄。他的个头显得比那天要矮小, 一身皮包骨头,尽管还是梳着马尾辫,但已经不再像个健壮的印第安武士了。我走近他时,他不愿与我四目相视。确切地说,他只是紧张地扫过我的脸庞,就垂下了 眼睛。我伸出手,心里轻松了很多。克拉莉莎说得对,他头脑古怪,却并无恶意,顶多算个讨人嫌的家伙罢了,根本不像我原先以为的那样是个威胁。现在,他带着 一副可怜相,蜷缩在新生的梧桐叶下。是那场事故,还有震惊所带来的余波,扭曲了我的理解。我把一场闹剧理解成了难以言状的威胁。我们握了握手,他并没有用 力。开口时,我的语气坚定,却又带着一丝仁慈。他很年轻,论年纪顶多可以做我的儿子。我说:“你最好告诉我这都是怎么回事。”

    “这附近有家咖啡馆……”他朝爱德华尔路爱德华尔路(Edgware Road):穿过伦敦西部威斯敏斯特市内的一条主要街道。的方向点了点头。


The wind had got up again, and seemed sharpened by the thin sunlight. I drew my coat around me and tightened its belt and as I did so I glanced at Parry’s shoes. No trainers today. Soft brown leather shoes, handmade perhaps. I went and leaned against a nearby wall and folded my arms.
Parry came away from the tree and stood in front of me, staring at his feet. ‘I’d rather we went inside,’ he said, with a hint of a whine.
I said nothing and waited. He sighed and looked down the street to where I lived, and then his gaze tracked a passing car. He looked up at the piles of towering cumulus, and he examined the nails of his right hand, but he could not look at me. When he spoke at last, I think his sightline was on a crack in the pavement.
‘Something’s happened,’ he said.
He wasn’t going to continue, so I said, ‘What’s happened?’
He breathed in deeply through his nose. He still would not look at me. ‘You know what it is,’ he said sulkily.
I tried to help him. ‘Are we talking about the accident?’
‘You know what it is, but you want me to say it.’
I said, ‘I think you’d better. I have to go soon.’









‘It’s all about control, isn’t it?’ He had flashed a look of adolescent defiance at me and now his gaze was down again. ‘It’s so stupid to play games. Why don’t you just say it. There’s nothing to be ashamed of.’
I looked at my watch. This was my best time of day for work, and I had yet to get into central London to collect a book. An empty taxi was coming towards us. Parry saw it too.
‘You think you’re being cool about this, but it’s ridiculous. You won’t be able to keep it up, and you know it. Everything’s changed now. Please don’t put on this act. Please . . .’
We watched the taxi go past. I said, ‘You asked me to meet you because you had something to say.’
‘You’re very cruel,’ he said. ‘But you’ve got all the power.’ He inhaled deeply through his nose again, as though preparing himself for some difficult circus feat. He managed to look at me as he said simply, ‘You love me. You love me, and there’s nothing I can do but return your love.’
I said nothing. Parry drew another deep breath. ‘I don’t know why you’ve chosen me. All I know is that I love you too now, and that there’s a reason for it, a purpose.’
An ambulance with a whooping siren went by and we had to wait. I was wondering how to respond, and whether a show of anger might see him off, but in the few seconds that it took for the din to recede I decided to be firm and reasonable. ‘Look, Mr Parry . . .’
‘Jed,’ he said urgently. ‘It’s Jed.’ His interrogative style had deserted him.








I said, ‘I don’t know you, I don’t know where you live, or what you do, or who you are. I don’t particularly want to know either. I’ve met you once before and I can tell you now that I have no feelings for you either way . . .’
Parry was speaking over me in a series of gasps. He was pushing his hands out before him, as though to repel my words. ‘Please don’t do this . . . It doesn’t have to be this way, honestly. You don’t have to do this to me.’
We both paused suddenly. I wondered whether to leave him now and walk up the road to find a taxi. Perhaps talking was making matters worse.
Parry crossed his arms and adopted a worldly, man-to-man tone. I thought perhaps I was being parodied. ‘Look. You don’t have to go about it like this. You could save us both so much misery.’
I said, ‘You were following me yesterday, weren’t you?’
He looked away and said nothing which I took as confirmation.
‘What possible reason would you have for thinking I love you?’ I tried to make the question sound sincere, and not merely rhetorical. I was quite interested to know, although I also wanted to get away.
‘Don’t,’ Parry said through a whisper. ‘Please don’t.’ His lower lip was trembling.
But I pressed on. ‘As I remember it, we spoke at the bottom of the hill. I can understand if you felt strange after the accident. I certainly did.’










At this point, to my great surprise, Parry put his hands over his face and started to cry. He was also trying to say something which I could not hear at first. Then I made it out. ‘Why? Why? Why?’ he kept on saying. And then, when he had recovered a little he said, ‘What have I done to you? Why are you keeping this up?’ The question made him cry again. I came away from the wall where I had been standing and walked a few paces from him. He stumbled after me, trying to regain his voice. ‘I can’t control my feelings the way you can,’ he said. ‘I know this gives you power over me, but there’s nothing I can do about it.’
‘Believe me, I have no feelings to control,’ I said.
He was watching my face with a kind of hunger, a desperation. ‘If it’s a joke, it’s time to stop. It’s doing us both damage.’
‘Look,’ I said. ‘I’ve got to go now. I don’t expect to hear from you again.’
‘Oh God,’ he wailed. ‘You say that, and then you make that face. What is it you really want me to do?’
I was feeling suffocated. I turned and walked away quickly towards the Edgware Road. I heard him come running up behind me. Then he was plucking at my sleeve, and trying to take my arm. ‘Please, please,’ he said in a gabble. ‘You can’t leave it like that. Tell me something, give me one little thing. The truth, or just a part of the truth. Just say that you’re torturing me. I won’t ask the reason. But please tell me that’s what you’re doing.’
就在这时,令我大吃一惊的是,帕里用双手捂住脸放声大哭。他也努力想说些什么,但一开始我没法听清,然后才勉强听了出来。“为什么?为什么?为什 么?”他不停地说。接着,他稍微缓过来了一点,问道:“我对你做了什么?为什么你要一直这样折磨我?”说完他又开始嚎啕。我从靠着的墙上站起来,从他面前 走开几步。他在我背后哽咽着,试图恢复正常的声音。“我不能像你那样控制自己的感情,”他说,“我知道,这给了你支配我的权力,但我没办法啊。”





    我感到一阵窒息,便转过身,迅速朝爱德华尔路走去。我听见他在身后追赶。他追了上来,一把拽住我的衣袖,想要拉我的胳膊。“求你了,求你了,”他上气不接 下气地说,“你不能就这样一走了之。告诉我些什么,给我讲讲小小的理由。我要的是真相,或者只是一部分真相就行。告诉我,你这是在折磨我。我不会问你为什 么的。但是请你告诉我,你现在就是在折磨我。”

I pulled my arm away and stopped. ‘I don’t know who you are. I don’t understand what you want, and I don’t care. Now, will you leave me alone?’
Suddenly, he was bitter. ‘Very funny,’ he said. ‘You’re not even trying to be convincing. That’s what’s so insulting about it.’
He put his hands on his hips, and for the first time I found myself calculating the physical danger he presented. I was bigger, and I still worked out, but I’ve never hit anyone in my life and he was twenty years younger, with big jointed knuckles, and a desperate cause – whatever it was. I straightened my back to make myself taller.
‘It hadn’t occurred to me to insult you,’ I said. ‘Until now.’
Parry moved his hands from his hips and presented his open palms. What was so exhausting about him was the variety of his emotional states and the speed of their transitions. Reasonableness, tears, desperation, vague threat – and now, honest supplication. ‘Joe, please, look at me, remember who I am, remember what moved you in the first place.’
The whites of his eyes were exceptionally clear. He held my stare for a second before looking away. I was beginning to see the pattern of a conversational tic he suffered when he spoke. He caught your eye, then turned his head to speak as though addressing a presence at his side, or an invisible creature perched on his shoulder. ‘Don’t deny us,’ he said to it now. ‘Don’t deny what we have. And please don’t play this game with me. I know you’ll find it a difficult idea, and you’ll resist it, but we’ve come together for a purpose.’
I should have walked on, but his intensity held me for the moment and I had just sufficient curiosity to echo him. ‘Purpose?’
‘Something passed between us, up there on the hill, after he fell. It was pure energy, pure light?’ Parry was beginning to come alive, and now that his immediate distress was behind him, the interrogative inflection had returned to his statements. ‘The fact that you love me,’ he continued, ‘and that I love you, is not important. It’s just the means . . .’
The means?
He addressed my frown, as though explaining the obvious to a simpleton. ‘To bring you to God, through love. You’ll fight this like mad because you’re a long way from your own feelings? But I know that the Christ is within you. At some level you know it too. That’s why you fight it so hard with your education and reason and logic and this detached way you have of talking, as if you’re not part of anything at all? You can pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about, perhaps because you want to hurt me and dominate me, but the fact is I come bearing gifts. The purpose is to bring you to the Christ that is in you and that is you. That’s what the gift of love is all about. It’s really very simple?’
I listened to this speech, trying not to gape. The fact was that he was so earnest and harmless, he looked so crushed, and he was speaking such nonsense that I felt genuinely sorry for him.
‘Look,’ I said, as pleasantly as I could. ‘What is it you want exactly?’
‘I want you to open yourself up to . . .’
‘Yes, yes. But what do you actually want from me? Or with me.’
This was difficult for him. He squirmed inside his clothes, and looked at the thing on his shoulder, before saying, ‘I want to see you?’
‘And do what exactly?’
‘Talk . . . get to know each other.’
‘Just talk? Nothing else?’
He wouldn’t answer or look at me.
I said, ‘You keep using the word love. Are we talking about sex? Is that what you want?’
He seemed to think this was unfair. The whining note was back in his voice. ‘You know very well we can’t talk about it like this. I’ve already told you, my feelings are not important. There’s a purpose you can’t be expected to know at this stage.’
He said more along these lines, but I was only half listening. How extraordinary it was, to be standing on my own street in my coat, this cold Tuesday morning in May, talking to a stranger in terms more appropriate to an affair, or a marriage on the rocks. It was as if I had fallen through a crack in my own existence, down into another life, another set of sexual preferences, another past history and future. I had fallen into a life in which another man could be saying to me, We can’t talk about it like this, and My own feelings are not important. What also amazed me was how easy it was not to say, Who the fuck are you? hat are you talking about? The language Parry was using set off responses in me, old emotional sub-routines. It took an act of will to dismiss the sense that I owed this man, that I was being unreasonable in holding something back. In part, I was playing along with this domestic drama, even though our household was no more than this turd-strewn pavement.
I also wondered if I was going to need help. Parry knew where I lived, but I knew nothing about him. I interrupted him and said, ‘You’d better give me your address.’ It was a remark he was bound to misinterpret. He took a card from his pocket which had his name printed on it, and an address in Frognal Lane, Hampstead. I put the card in my wallet and set off at a quick pace. I had seen another taxi turning towards us. I still felt sorry for Parry in a way, but it was clear that talking to him was not going to help. He was hurrying at my side.
‘Where are you going now?’ He was like a curious child.
‘Please don’t bother me again,’ I said as I raised my arm for the cab.
‘I know what your real feelings are. And if this is some kind of test, it’s completely unnecessary. I’d never let you down.’
The taxi stopped and I opened the door, feeling slightly mad. I went to pull it shut and discovered that Parry had hold of it. He wasn’t trying to get in, but he did have one last thing to say.
‘I know your problem,’ he leaned in and confided over the diesel’s throb. ‘It’s because you’re so kind. But Joe, the pain has to be faced. The only way is for the three of us to talk.’
I had decided to say nothing more to him, but I couldn’t help myself. ‘Three?’
‘Clarissa. It’s best to deal with this head-on . . .’
I didn’t let him finish. ‘Drive on,’ I said to the cabbie, and I used two hands to wrench the door from Parry’s grasp.
As we pulled away I looked back. He was standing in the road, waving to me forlornly but looking, without question, like a man blessed in love.






    他和我对视了一秒,眼白格外澄澈,然后移开目光。我开始明白了,这是他与人谈话时的习惯。他先吸引你的目光,然后转过头,仿佛在和他身旁的人、或是一只栖 在他肩头的隐形生物说话。“不要否认我们的关系,”他对那生物说,“不要否认我们曾经的拥有。请不要再敷衍我了。我知道,你会觉得这种想法难以接受,你还 会奋力抗拒,但我们是为了同一个目的才走到一起的呀。”




    看到我皱起的眉头,他就像给傻子解释显见的道理:“通过爱,将你引向上帝。你会像发疯似的抗拒它,因为你离自己内心的真情实感还是如此遥远?但我知道,圣 主基督就在你的心里。在某种程度上,你也知道这一点。这就是为什么你要运用你的知识、理智、逻辑来抗拒它,并用你这种超然的、仿佛一切都与己无关的方式说 话的原因?你可以装作不知道我在说些什么,也许是因为你想伤害我、支配我,可事实上,我是带着礼物来的。那个目的,就是将你引向圣主基督,他就在你的心 里,他就是你本人。那就是爱的礼物的真正含义。这真的很简单?”












    随后他又讲了很多诸如此类的话,但我只是三心二意地听着。真是不同寻常啊:在五月里一个冷飕飕的早上,我穿着外套,站在自家楼下的大街上和一个陌生人聊 天,而所谈及的内容更适合于恋爱或者婚姻触礁的场合。我仿佛落进了自身的裂缝中,陷入了另一种生活、另一种性取向、另一份过去和未来。我进入了新的生活 中,在这里,另一个男人可以对我说:这事儿我们不能这样子谈,我的感觉并不重要。此外,像你他妈的到底是谁啊?你在说什么呢?这样的话,我很容易便管住了 自己的嘴,没有说出口,这让我也感到惊讶。帕里的话激起了我的反应,那是我心中旧有情感的子程序。我需要调用自己的意志力,才能消除这一感觉:我欠这个男 人,我对他有所隐瞒是不讲道理啊。在一定程度上,我也在这出家庭情景剧中配合演出,即使我们的舞台仅仅是一条满地狗屎粒的人行道。

    另外,我还在考虑自己是否需要帮助。帕里知道我的住处,而我对他却一无所知。我打断了他的话头,说:“你最好把你的地址给我。”这句话肯定会引起他的误 解。他从兜里掏出一张名片,上面印着他的姓名,还有一处地址,在汉普斯特区的霍格劳巷汉普斯特(Hampstead)位于伦敦市西北部卡姆登区内,距查林 十字车站四英里,霍格劳巷(Frognal Lane)位于其中,在汉普斯特和西汉普斯特之间。。我把名片放进钱包里,快步走开。刚才我已经看到另一辆出租车正掉头朝我们开来。在某种程度上,我仍然 可怜帕里,但很明显,继续和他谈下去也没什么帮助。他急切地赶到我身边。











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