短篇小说: 意料之外 
UNEXPECTANCIES  
1572字
2019-12-07 16:22
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火星译客

by Jody Madala

Diane, I remember after that really bad break-up of mine—the kind that doesn’t seem so long ago but is?—you were the one who pulled me out of my hall closet where I tried to hide from the pain, me there alone with the broom and the dustpan.

作者:乔迪·马达拉(Jody Madala)

黛安,我记得,我与男友彻底分手之后-好像不是很久,而是最近?妳是唯一把我从客厅杂物间里拉出来的人。我在那里,与扫帚和畚箕为伴,尽力隐藏自己痛苦。

Later, when I moved to the much-smaller studio apartment where I live now, you were the one who unpacked my clothes. Here, years later, the places where you first put the folded sweaters and jeans remain the same.

后来,我搬到了现在住的公寓,面积相当小。搬家时,妳是唯一帮我解开衣服包装放置好的人。多年后,妳为我放置毛线衫和牛仔裤的地方仍然没变,还在原来位置。

And the day my doctor told me there would be no children for me, you were the one who met me at Starbucks and sat quietly as I cried into my latte.

有一天,妳在星巴克见到我。我说,医生告诉我,我也许不会生小孩了。我哭述说着的泪水滴进了自己拿铁咖啡时,妳寂静地坐在那儿。

But, Diane, I remember the good times too. You taught me how, as an ( 成人, to ride a bike—as a child, I’d never really learned. And I never really had a best friend then, just a shadowy girl I’d met in kindergarten who followed me around through grade school, avoiding, as I did, games the other kids played during recess.

但是,黛安,我也记得我们在一起的美好时光。妳把我当小孩一样教过我这个成年人如何骑单车-我小时没学过骑车。我那时没有一个知心朋友,只有一个在同一个幼儿園上学的内向女孩,以后我们一起上了中学。她跟我一样,下课从不和其他同学一起玩耍。

Diane, you told me most earnestly that you had no intention of ever having a child; that you loved your life the way it was. You made it OK for me to love my life just the way it was, too.

黛安,妳曾经对我说过,说得很认真,妳不打算要小孩;妳喜欢现在的样子。妳也赞同我现在这样的生活。

And then, not long after that, you told me you were “accidentally pregnant”. I don’t remember if I said the right things, or made promises to always be there for you; if I let you keep drinking your wine or if I stopped you by putting my hand on yours, saying, “The baby...”.

然而,没隔多久,妳又告诉我妳“意外怀孕”了。我不记得我反应如何,是否承诺过帮妳;是否会禁止妳喝酒,是否会用手拍拍妳,说一声:“注意妳腹中那宝贝……。”

When I go to my own doctor not long after, the news for me is also unexpected. As she moves the scope around, a frown creases her forehead. She declares, “Bonnie, you have a fibroid,” and a few minutes later she presses a grainy black-and-white picture into my hand. I take it home and stuff it into the far back of the junk drawer in my kitchen.

此后不久,我去医院看病,出现了我意想不到的事情。医生移动着B超探头给我作检查时,皱着眉头对我说,“邦尼,你长了纤维瘤,”几分钟后塞给我手上一张有许多黑白颗粒的图片。我把它带回家后塞在厨房废物柜后面。

I stop by your house the next day and notice you have your sonogram baby-image on your fridge. I can’t bring myself to tell you my fibroid news. You explain how you and the father will be moving in together. You shrug and say it’s really for the best since the baby will be here so soon. You rattle off a slew of plans. The look on your face is something I do not understand: contentment. It builds a wall between us, brick by brick.

第二天,我顺便到妳家去,发现妳的冰箱上贴上了一张妳腹中婴儿超声图像照片。我没有把自己纤维瘤消息告诉妳,你却滔滔不绝说着妳和妳父亲将搬在一起住的事情。妳耸耸肩说,小孩很快就要生下来,搬在一起有人帮助好。妳一口气说了一大串计划,脸上显露我无法理解的表情:满满的喜悦。然而,它却是在我们之间垒起了一道隔离墙。

Back at home that evening, I pull out my own crumpled scan. Smoothing it down, I look at it critically. The fibroid is roughly the size of a quarter. I hold it up against my fridge and firmly press a magnet to it. There. We both have alien beings growing in our bodies. Yours moves you forward to a burgeoning new life, but I don’t know how to share the news with you or anyone about my fibroid.

晚上回到家里,我拿出那张皱巴巴的扫描胶片,把它展开压平,重新审视地看了一下。纤维瘤大约有一硬币大小。我把它贴在冰箱上,用磁铁压住。这样看来,我们俩体内都长有外来物。一个新生命在你体内孕育成长,而我腹部却长着一个纤维瘤,真不知道如何把这不幸消息对旁人说,又怎样告诉妳。

We do bike together that weekend, Diane, remember? One of our most-favorite activities. But on this day I realize it will be our last ride for a long, long time. When we do talk that afternoon, everything seems to be about plans for the baby. I feel guilty even thinking about anything else while in your presence. I wish for the ride to be over before it even starts. And, needless to say, I still don’t tell you about the fibroid.

黛安,那个周末我们在一块骑单车,妳记得吗?骑车是我们最喜爱运动之一。但那天我当即意识到,这恐怕是我们最后一次了,今后长时间不会再有。那天下午,我们谈的似乎都是小孩出生后计划安排。在妳面前我一想到其它事就感到愧疚。我希望结束骑车。当然我不会说,我不会告诉妳我腹中长了一个纤维瘤。

The next day I scroll through my entire list of contacts, but none are good enough to fill your spot as my very-best friend. So I go to bars and clubs by myself and stay out late and drink too much. I try drugs whose names are just a jumble of letters and numbers. I sleep until 2 p.m. on weekends and am anxious for each day to fade into darkness.

第二天,翻了翻我的通讯录,我没有找到一位像妳那样知心朋友。我只好独自一人去酒吧、去夜总会排遣烦恼,喝得酩酊大醉后深更半夜回到家里。我尝试药物治疗,药名是一大串字母和数字。周末通常要睡到下午2点才起来,天天都昐望黑夜尽早到来。

You call me several times. I know you worry. But when I see your name on my phone I send you straight to voice-mail. I cannot bear to talk to you. Though I do want to yell at you, to shout at you, “It’s not my fault! The fibroid is making me do it!”

妳好几次打电话给我。我心中明白,妳关心着我,替我担忧。但每当我的手机显示出妳的来电时,我就直接转到语音信箱,我不忍与妳谈到它。不过,我应该向妳讲清楚“这不是我的过错!纤维瘤弄得我这样!”

But I don’t. I bite my tongue and swallow whatever pills come my way, I drink vodka straight. Then one night, it all changes. I’m at a bar and I see myself in a mirror, in profile. I have a bump. A real bump. I gaze at it, my hand drifting over my swollen abdomen. In that instant, I stop everything and head home to sober up.

我不能不说,我不论服下什么药,伏特加总要陪伴我。有一天晚上,有了根本改变。在酒吧镜子面前,我看到自己侧面影像时,发现我腹部有一个大胞隆起,一个真正肿块。我盯着它看,用手按摩自己那肿胀的肚皮。我马上停止所有活动,回到家里经过冷静思考才清醒过来。

In another few weeks, my regular pants and skirts no longer fit so I buy bigger ones, looser ones. I start taking better care of myself. Orange juice every morning. A yogurt for an afternoon snack. Vitamins every day. I walk briskly around the block four times during my lunch break. When I stand on the bus, I rest my hand gently on my belly. People even give up their seats for me! I do want to call you. To share with you what is happening to me. But after behaving so badly, Diane, I am ashamed. I wouldn’t know even how to say hello to you.

几周之后,我原来穿的衣裤穿不下了,不得不重新买更大更宽松的。我开始更关心自己:早晨喝橘子汁;酸奶作为午后小点;每天保持充足维生素;午休时间要绕小区快步走四圈。乘公交车,我要用手轻轻按着腹部,车上乘客为我让座!我真想CALL妳,与妳分享我身边发生的事情。黛安,但是,我一想到我那自私行为就感到羞愧。我甚至不知道去问候妳。

One day at the gym as I walk on the treadmill, not even walking fast enough to break a sweat, pain suddenly slices me in half. I wake up in the hospital where the ER surgeon matter-of-factly informs me that they did an emergency procedure to remove the growth.

有一天,在体育馆走步机上运动,尽管速度不快我也大汗淋漓,突然的剧痛似乎把我撕裂。在医院急诊室醒来时,外科大夫实事求是地告诉我,他们施行了急诊手术,我体内那个肿瘤切除了。

“You gave me an abortion?” I ask him in disbelief.

 “你给我做了剖腹产手术?”我怀疑地问他。

The surgeon gives me a most pitiable look. “No. Of course not. We just removed your fibroid.”

外科大夫以鄙视眼光看着我。“没有,当然不是。我们切的只是妳的纤维瘤。”

He says it so casually. Like it was nothing. But to me it was the only thing that still held us together, Diane! While it was with me, I could almost grasp what you were feeling and experiencing. And now it’s gone. I put my hand on my still-protruding belly. The surgeon explains it will take some time to for my body to regain its normal shape, and that I should take it easy for a while.

他说得如此轻松,好像一切都没有发生似的。但是对我来说,却是我们相处在一起的唯一原因。黛安!如果我有孕,也许能切身体会妳的感觉和经历。现在不可能了。我把手放在仍然突出的肚皮上。外科医生对我解释,重新回到原先体形需要一段时间,这段时间要我放松放松。 

“I want to see it,” I croak.

我以嘶哑的声音说:“我要看看你切的是什么。”

His eyebrows shoot up, two bushy, grey caterpillars. “I don’t think that’s necessary,” he says.

外科医生两根浓密像灰色毛虫的眉毛闪烁了一下,回答说:“我看没有必要。”

I summon my strongest voice. I demand. But it’s too late. Already what was inside me is being sent to Pathology where it will be dissected, studied under a microscope, analyzed and proclaimed to be something not good, or nothing at all.

我不得不提高嗓门大声喊叫“我要”。但是,已经迟了。它已经送到病理学解剖室,在那里分解,在显微镜下研究分析判断,这玩意儿根本没有很大的危害性。

The nurse leans close to me after the doctor leaves. “It was the biggest I’ve ever seen,” she remarks, her voice a mix of awe and encouragement. “Pretty impressive you carried it for as long as you did.”

外科医生离开后,护士走过来靠着我。“这是我从未看见过的最大肉瘤。”她带着敬畏和鼓励的语调对我说。“真钦佩妳坚持如此长时间,拖到现在才切除。”

My throat grows thick. Yes, I carried it. I carried it inside of me. As soon as I think this I burst into inconsolable tears: Diane, I want you here, I think. Instead, I squeeze my own hand as hard as I can.

我无言回答,咽喉哽塞。是的,拖到现在,它一直在我腹腔内。一想到此事就控制不住自己伤心泪珠向外涌出:黛安,我想,妳在身边多好。现在,我处境困难的时候只好自己忍着。

Two days later I am discharged. At home, the silence is palpable. I hear the muffled sounds of cars honking in air oppressive with summer heat. I go to the kitchen for a glass of water and there is the picture of my fibroid in its early stages. I take it with me to the kitchen table.

二天后出院了。回到家里,孤身一人,十分寂寞,只听见街上汽车被夏日闷热空气裹着的低沉声音。到厨房去拿水杯,见到我早期纤维瘤的图片,我便顺手放在厨房工作台上。

I consider sending you an e-mail explaining what happened. But when I start typing, the words don’t come.

本想给妳发个邮件解释一下发生的事情。但是,一提笔就不知如何下笔了。

So I take an envelope and stuff the picture inside, scribbling your address on the front and sticking on a single stamp. I hurry to the corner and before I can doubt myself I toss the envelope into the mailbox.

所以,找出一个信封,把那张纤维瘤图片塞在里面,在封面上草草地写上妳住址,贴上邮票,匆忙跑到街上拐角处,犹豫半天终于把它扔进邮筒。

I go home and call in sick for the next three days. I am sure I will hear from you, but I don’t. My regular doctor calls, though, and greets me in her most cheerful voice. “So, the good news, Bonnie,” she says, “is that the fibroid isn’t cancerous.” She goes on citing some statistics and recommends more frequent visits to keep an eye on things. She pauses for a moment and her voice drops to a more serious tone. “The ER surgeon said you thought you might have been pregnant. You and I talked about that, remember? You know that’s not possible.”

回到家里,打电话请了三天病假。说真的,我想一定会得到妳的回复,但是出乎所料之外。虽然医生以安慰的口吻打电话问候我,“邦妮,告诉妳一个好消息。”她说,“纤维瘤没有癌变。”医生根据统计学建议我要定期复查,注意病情变化。她语气停顿了一下,庄重地说:“外科医生说妳想要个孩子。我以前对妳谈过这个问题,记得吗?现在告诉妳,不可能了。”

I nod even though she can’t see me. “Yes,” I finally say aloud, “of course I know that. I just wasn’t myself.” My head is spinning. I didn’t even know cancer was on the table. “Well,” I say brightly to her, “that’s something, isn’t it? I don’t have cancer anyway.” I force a soft laugh and thank my doctor while I face and check off the realities in front of me: no cancer for now, no best friend—you, Diane—and, of course, no baby growing inside me, not before, not now, not ever.

我点点头,虽然我们不是面对面。“晓得,”我最后大声回答,“当然晓得,但我难以控制。”即刻间,我脑袋晕眩,甚至不知道这个肿块曾怀疑是癌。“那么,”我对医生说,“它是良性的,对吗?排除了罹患癌症。”   当我面对这个现实(没有癌变,没有很好朋友——妳,黛安,当然我体内没有新生命,以前没有,现在没有,今后永远不会有)思考时,我终于露出微笑,我感谢我的医生。

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