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第五步:My Secret Left Me Unable to Help(2)

(2009-12-15 22:55:40)
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母女之间

分类: 在译途中

When I was very young, my mother read my diary. And though I loved my mother, I don’t think I ever forgave her. Now I had opened my daughter’s e-mail account so I could know the truth, and the truth had brought nothing but terror and the awareness of my own powerlessness.

 

我很年轻的时候,我妈妈看了我的日记。尽管我爱我妈妈,但我认为我永远不能原谅她。现在我打开了我女儿的电邮账户,这样我能知道真相。真相带来的只有恐惧和我的无能为力之感。

 

Two months after discovering her secret, I broke into my daughter’s e-mail account one last time. That was the day I learned she’d had the second H.I.V. test and was O.K. I promised myself I would never again violate her that way.

在发现她的秘密两个月后,我最后一次打开了女儿的电邮账户。就在那天,我得知她做了第二次HIV检测,结果是正常的。我对自己发誓我再也不会那样冒犯她。

The person I picked up at the airport looked different from the one I’d put on the plane eight months before. Audrey had been to a place that no one in our family would ever know or fully be able to imagine. As we drove over the Golden Gate Bridge to our comfortable Marin County home, it appeared to me as though my daughter, the most hopeful person I knew, was not just tired but weary of life.

我在机场接的人看起来和我八个月前送上飞机的人不一样。奥黛丽到过一个地方。我们家没人知道或能充分想象那里。在我们驾车通过金门大桥驶向位于马林郡的舒适的家的路上,我觉得好像我女儿,我认识的最充满希望的人,不仅对生活感到疲倦而且厌世。

In the days that followed, she told her brothers and me little of her time abroad, and almost nothing of Johnny or the one-room shack they had shared, though one day she called him, and afterward her face was streaked with tears.

接下来的日子里,她对她的兄弟们和我很少谈及她的国外时光,几乎没说约翰尼的任何事或他们同住的单间窝棚,但是一天,她打电话给他,打完之后,她满脸泪痕。

I had recently purchased a 20-year-old Mercedes convertible — my first non-Mom car. Now I made Audrey a proposal: to take a road trip — top down — all the way up the coast to the border of British Columbia. I was headed to see the man who was my boyfriend. Though really, the only destination that mattered to me was reaching what I took to be the dark and broken place in my daughter’s heart. If she would just tell me what I already knew, I could offer comfort at last.

我最近买了辆有20年车龄的奔驰敞篷车——我的第一辆非妈妈型车。现在我向奥黛丽提议:来一次公路旅行——自上而下——沿着海岸一路开到英属哥伦比亚省的边界。我前去看我的男朋友。尽管说真的,对我重要的目的地是触摸到我女儿心里忧郁、伤心的地方。如果她只要告诉我已经知道的事,我就终于能给予安慰。

But she was understandably dubious about this trip. We had a history of stormy times, particularly when traveling.

  但是她对这次旅行有点异议。我们有吵架的历史,特别是旅行的时候。

“I don’t know about this plan, Mama,” she said. “I feel like being mellow for a while.”

“我不知道这个计划,妈妈,”她这样说到。“我想放松一阵。”

I told her we’d take as long as we wanted. I had only one agenda, but I didn’t talk about that. So we packed our gear and hit the road. We had hiking shoes, backpacks, maps to hot springs, some of her music, some of mine.

 我对她说我们想开多远就多远。我只有一个日程,但我没说那个。所以我们打包行李上路了。我们带了登山鞋、背包、去温泉的地图、她的一些唱片,我的一些。

North we went through Mendocino and into Oregon. One afternoon we sat naked in a hot spring for nearly three hours in silence. On the Oregon coast we took off our shoes and ran on the dunes. We stayed at a tourist cabin in Washington, where I bought Audrey a painted fungus of a cabin by a field in the woods that reminded us of our old house in New Hampshire. The simple days, or that’s how I remembered them.

我们往北穿过门多西诺进入俄勒冈。一个下午,我们光着身子安静地在温泉里坐了近3个小时。在俄勒冈海岸,我们脱掉鞋子在沙丘上奔跑。在华盛顿,我们住在一个度假屋里。我在那给奥黛丽买了一个在树林里的田野旁的油漆的屋型蘑菇。这让我们想起我们在新汉普郡的老房子。那些单纯的日子,或那是我记起他们的方式。

And then we were within an hour of our destination — the ferry in Port Townsend, Wash., where Audrey and I would say goodbye. She was taking a bus south to visit college friends, though I imagined that her old life felt very distant now.

 然后我们一小时之内将到达我们的目的地——沃什湾汤森港的渡口。在那里奥黛丽将和我说再见。她要乘公车南下去拜访大学同学,尽管我想她以前的生活感觉离现在很远了。

Even now, I can picture the stretch of road we were driving at that moment, and I remember the ballad Van Morrison was singing as we traveled it.

 即使到现在,我也能画出那时我们驾车行驶的线路图,我还记得我们旅行时听范·莫里森唱的歌谣。

“I want to tell you something, Mama,” she said. “It might make you mad.”

“我想告诉你一些事情,妈妈,”她说。“那也许会让你发疯。”

“There’s nothing you can’t say to me,” I told her, gathering breath.

“你没什么事不能对我说的,”我缓了口气对她说道。

“This is a very hard thing.”

“这是件非常困难的事。”

I pulled the car over onto the shoulder and turned off the engine. I held my daughter’s hand and felt the beating of my heart.

我把车停在路肩上,关掉了引擎。我抓着我女儿的手,感受着我的心跳。

“Back in the winter,” she began, “Johnny and I took this test.”

“冬天的时候,”她开始说,“约翰尼和我做了这个检测。”

There was not a lot to be said. I told her I’d do whatever I could to help, but I knew the problems my daughter had faced, those last months, were no longer the kind a parent can fix.

  没有很多要说的。我对她说我将尽我所能提供帮助,但是我知道我女儿已经面临的问题,那过去的几个月,不再是父母能解决的那种。

The ferry at Port Townsend was next to the place where Audrey would catch the bus, so we rode together right up to the landing. Out of the trunk of the Mercedes I lifted her backpack and hat, the painted fungus, a bag of raw almonds for the long bus ride and two $20 bills — all the things a mother gives her child when there is something else the child needs that’s nowhere to be found.

汤森港的渡口与奥黛丽将要乘车的地方很近,所以我们一起开车到码头。我从奔驰车的后备箱里拿出了她的背包和帽子,油漆的蘑菇,一袋为长途公车旅行准备的生杏仁及两张20美元——这些是一个母亲无法满足孩子别的需求时能给予她孩子的全部东西。

After we said goodbye, I drove the car onto the ferry and climbed out, so I could stand on deck as the boat motored out of the harbor.

 我们说完再见后,我把车开到了渡轮上,爬了出来,所以当船发动驶出港口时,我能站在甲板上。

It would take six years for me to tell my daughter how I’d broken into her e-mail account. Understandably, she felt betrayed. She managed to forgive me — not only forgive me, but allow me to tell this story. Fiercely loyal as she is to the suffering people of Haiti, she asked that I clarify it was in the Dominican Republic, not in Haiti, that Johnny contracted H.I.V. Not all the bad things in the Caribbean happen in Haiti, she reminded me.

 我花了6年时间告诉女儿我如何侵入她的电邮账户。可想而知,她感觉被冒犯了。她设法原谅我——不仅原谅我,而其允许我讲述这个故事。忧郁她对海地苦难人民的深切热爱,她要求我澄清约翰尼是在多米尼加共和国而不是海地感染的艾滋。她提醒我不是所有加勒比地区的坏事发生在海地。

And one more thing she would say, after hearing me describe my anguish over those many months, and my obsession with making everything all right for her, when of course I couldn’t: “I wasn’t really that broken person you pictured. By the time I got home from my time in the D.R., I’d worked through a lot of the most difficult parts of this experience. I was in a stronger place for the lessons I’d learned.”

我描述了我那几个月的痛苦与我想帮她搞定所有事的执念时,当然那时我做不到。听完这些,她还有件事想说:“我并不像你描述的那么悲伤。我从多米尼加共和国回来的时候,我已经经历了这个经历中最痛苦的部分。由于之前的教训,我变得更坚强了。”

Over the years since, Audrey has gone three times to Haiti. She has accompanied Johnny to Dr. Paul Farmer’s life-saving clinic in the mountains, and Johnny is alive. She has fallen in love a few times, gone to graduate school to pursue the path of school counseling. This summer, she will return once more to Port-au-Prince.

 

之后的几年里,奥黛丽去了海地3次。她曾陪着约翰尼去保罗•法默尔医生在山里的生态疗法诊所。约翰尼还活着。她已经谈了几次恋爱,去研究所研究学校咨询的方法。这个夏天,她将再次回到太子港。

“You don’t need to try and fix my life any more, Mama,” she tells me. “I can handle that part on my own.”

 “你不需要再试着设定我的生活了,妈妈,”她对我说。“我能自己处理那个部分。”

It is a lesson long in the learning, though the first intimations of this came to me that summer day seven years ago, when I stood on the deck of the ferry to catch a last glimpse of my daughter waving to me from the shore, with her pink hat and long braid and her wide, bright smile. We stood that way, waving, for a long time, as the boat moved steadily away from land — she in one country, I heading toward another, until she was just a dot on the horizon, same as I must have been to her.

在学习的过程中,这是很漫长的一课。但七年前的那个夏日,当我站在渡轮的甲板上看站在岸上向我挥手女儿最后一眼,她带着粉色的帽子,辫子长长的,脸上挂着大大的明亮的笑容时,我首次有了亲近的感觉。当渡轮稳稳地驶离码头时,我们就那样站着,挥着手,久久不愿放下——她在一个地方,我前往另一处,直到她变成地平线上的一个点,我在她看来肯定也是一样。

We were off to live our lives.

我们前去过自己的人生。

Joyce Maynard lives in California. Her latest novel, “Labor Day,” will be published July 28 by William Morrow.

乔依斯·梅纳德住在加利福尼亚。她的最新小说《劳动日》将由威廉·莫罗出版社于628日出版。

 

 

 

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