Exactly what we came for, what we have and should be S plus it in my mind as thosetwo deer ruminating my shrubbery up on the hill. For well I was, at times I still am asa moment, either Jennifer to have something in the generative son sun sun, I feltpractically no pain oh brave new award, that have such Fabra race in it or Fatima race,as Cronkite and have his tribe would say I walked on past the Hammond cottage,which I will never get over thinking of as the Carlin place, though Marian died andJohn and Debby moved away four years ago. People we loved; there are too few ofthem. The very sight of their house darkened the day again for me.
这也确实是我所希望的。心之所愿，就在眼前。山上的那两只鹿在灌木丛中那样安静地反刍，我的思绪也应是安然的。之前我内心取得了片刻宁静，现在有时也会有这种感觉。太阳催生万物，沐浴阳光下，一点疼痛感都没有了。啊！美丽的新世界，二月竟如此美好。 或者说是愕月，克朗凯特和当时一半追随他的美国人都会这样说。 四年前玛丽安去世，约翰和黛比从那里搬走了。即便如此，当我向前走过哈蒙德农舍时，绝不会把它错认为凯特琳住的地方。她们都是我们深爱的人，然而这里跟她们有关的东西却所剩无几。看到故居，我的心情又从快乐回到了沉重。
Nobody home, as usual. Mrs. Hammond sells real estate, the girls are in school oldHammond is off in Baluchistan or somewhere training gendarmerie for the Iraqgovernment, exporting American know-how to help put down the Kurds-the valiantKurds, as 1 remember them from "Sohrab and Rustum," the Kurds who are demandedself-government, as I hear from Cronkite.
Damnation. Instantly irritable, I compose a letter to the press instructing newscommentators that those who use the language publicly and professionally should beadvised that there are two r's in February, that ing is not pronounced een, and thatverbs enioy other possibilities than the present participle. The White Houseahoounceere today that it has called a meeteen of business leaders for early Febuary.Just saying it to myself, like the old pantaloon I am getting to bebrought my bloodpressure up to about 250/200, and when I found that the mailbox was empty, that thepostman was late again, I announced a loud God damn to the startled creekside andsat down to wait on a pile of timbers that was once a bridge until I replaced it with aculvert. My internal grumblings went on，the way a high-compression engine runningon low-octane gas will go on galloping and coughing and smoking after the ignition isshut off.
该死的!心绪总是平静不下来。我给出版社写了一封信，跟新闻评论员说，应该有人告诉那些发表公开专业讲话的人们，他们的 “二月” 拼写中少了一个 “r”，词缀 “ing” 的发音不应该是 “een” (两个发音都类似 “英” )，而且动词也不仅仅只有现在分词形式。“ 白宫今日宣补于谬月初召开商界领袖大回 ”，我自言自语道，越来越像个傻老头，血压急剧上升，高压250，低压200。后来看到邮箱里空空的，邮递员又迟到了，我就朝溪边大骂了一声，掀起一阵惊吓。然后，我在一堆木材上坐了下来。这些木材以前是用来搭桥的，不过后来我用排水管取而代之了。心中闷火中烧，像一台一直燃烧着低辛烷值汽油的高压缩发动机，关闭点火装置后，发动机仍然在不断地飞快旋转、发出“咳咳”的声音，还不断冒着烟。
It's a bad sign, I know it. Ruth tells me at least once a day that old people, or peoplegetting old, tend to disengage, back away, turn inward, listen only to themselves, andget self-righteous and censorious. And they mustn’t.(I mustn't) She hates to driveanywhere with me because I am inclined to cuss out drivers who don't please me.What good does it do. she cries. They can't hear you. All you do is upset me. It lets offsteam failing which I might explode, and tell her. What are you doing now butexploding? she asks.
我知道，这可不是个好征兆。老年人或逐渐老去的人会越来越疏远外界，越来越专注自己的内心，只相信自己，变得固执苛刻。这话露丝每天至少说一次。但是他们不必这样。( 我也不必这样。) 露丝讨厌开车跟我去任何地方。只要司机惹着了我，我就会开口咒骂。“ 可是这有什么意义呢？” 露丝哭喊着说：“ 他们又听不到你的咒骂，你的所作所为无非是让我不开心。” 我说：“ 骂他们可以让我出口气，要不我就发怒了 ”。“ 那你现在不是在发怒又是在干嘛呢 ”，她反问道。
Right, absolutely right. Faultfinding doesn't let off pressure, it only builds it up. It isonly one of many processes, none of which I like and most of which I can't seem tohelp: the decreasing ability to scan heat or cold, something to do with expansion andcontraction of the capillaries. The slowing down of the mitotic rate in body cells, withresultant deterioration and lessening of function. The accumulation of plaque in theartery walls and of calcium Spurs in the joints and of uric acid, sugar, and otherundesirable chemicals in the blood and urine. Inescapable, irreversible, hateful.
Like last week, when the dentist told me that the mother he has been trying to save myroute canal Canal work will have to go I can't read in the future in that directionwithout cards or tea leaves first a bridge, if he can't find anything to hitch it to. Then apartial plate. Finally a complete cleaning out of old snags in preparation for false teeth,on television called dentures. There will be a morning when I look in the mirror andsee an old sunken-checked stranger with the scared eyes and a mouth like seaurchin's.
I can stand it, and I really ought to try not to let it and other things make me crabby.But I damn well don't look forward to it, and I don't like any of the signs that thecookie has already started to crumble. The other day at the museum the young thing atthe gate took one look at me and said brightly, "Senior citizen, sir?" and passed meout half-price tickets. That shook even Ruth. The way I felt, half price was anovercharge.
我能忍受这个样子，我也真的应该努力不要让那个样子和其他事情让我暴躁不安。但是，我就是不想变成那个样子，不希望看到花始凋零的迹象。有天在博物馆，门口年轻的售票员看了我一眼，笑嘻嘻地对我说：“ 一张老年票，是吧？” 然后就递给我一张半价的老年票，露丝也颇为惊讶。对我来说，那张半价票其实是张高价票。
I had been sitting on the old timbers for about 10 minutes when Ben Alexander drovein from the county road in his convertible. His top was down, his hair was tangled,and he had Edith Patterson in the seat beside him, looking like a raccoon in herwraparound Hollywood shades. It was all so young and gay and California that I hadto laugh. Ben is the very chief of the tribe that makes old age out to be a time ofliberation. He is writing a book about it.
He stooped beside me and ran down the window and sat looking at me with his handson the wheel. Until he finally retired a couple of years ago he used to be my doctor,and he can still make me feel as if I am sitting there on the table, ridiculous in myshorts, waiting for the rubber hammer under the kneecaps and the steel handle againstthe soles of the feet, and the finger up under the scrotum (cough), and the rubberglove up the ass trespassing on my most secret prostate. (How's the urine? Goodstream? Have to get up in the night?) He is a man I admire and trust, one of thegodlike ones who direct lives, their own and others'. Maybe that is what keeps mefrom ever quite relaxing around him for I am one of those to whom life happens.Maybe I disbelieve his pollyanna doctrines about old age. Or maybe it is only thedoctor-patient relationship that makes me slightly uneasy. It is hard to be relaxedaround a man who at any moment might examine your prostate.
他开到我旁边停下来，摇下车窗。他在驾驶位上坐着，把手聋拉在车轮上。他曾是我的医生，不过几年前他退休了。即便如此，他的出现仍会让我觉得我是在手术台上坐着，等着他用橡胶锤敲打我的膝盖，用铁柄敲打我的脚底，在阴囊下竖起手指 ( 咳咳…… )，戴着橡胶手套顶住我的屁股侵犯我私密的前列腺。( 尿液怎么样？有无问题？晚上是不是也要起身？ )我信任他，钦佩他。他像神一样，掌控自己生命，也掌控他人生命。我也是一个活着的人，也许那就是为什么我在他旁边总会不是特别放松的原因。也许是因为我不认同他对老年那种盲目乐观的看法。或者，也许只是因为我们是医患关系，我才感到有点不自在。毕竟旁边有一个可能在任何时候检查你前列腺的人，总会感觉怪怪的。
His gray medical eyes were noting the condition of my eyeballs, my paunch, thestiffness with which I stood up, for all I lenow the spots on my lunges andliver."Resting, roosting, or nesting?" he said. Edith, with her curved, reflectingblackout windows turned toward me, made a little smile.
他用他灰色的眼睛从医学视角观察着我的眼睛、胃以及我站立时的僵硬程度以及我知道的肺部和肝脏上的斑点。“ 你是在这休息呢，还是栖息呢，还是筑巢呢？” 他问我。伊迪丝带着曲面的反光墨镜，扭头转向了我，冲我微微一笑。
"Brooding," I said and rose and rusted off my pants." Molting. Hello, Edith. Don'tyou know a girl can be compromised, running around in a convertible with this oldrooster?"
“ 孵蛋呢。” 我一边说着一边起身拍了拍裤子上的土。“ 正蜕皮呢。你好，伊迪丝。你难道不知道跟这种宝刀未老的人坐在一个敞篷车里，女孩可能会被迫妥协吗？”
Which was plausible enough to be not so plainly spoken. Ben being Ben, you alwayswonder when you see a woman with him. His wife, who was wonderful and whom headored, died several years ago. Ben is seventy-nine, he has sons over fifty andgrandsons who have voted in the last two presidential elections, he wears a hearingaid when he wants to hear from the right side, a pacemaker is implanted under theskin of his chest, and his left hip joint is aluminum, newly installed. Nevertheless,with vitality like his, you eve know.
As for Edith, she is always a little cool and aloof and amused. Not unattractive-sheis as attractive a sixty-year-old as you ever saw. Her air of faintly mockingimperturbability has a remembrance of Dietrich sultriness about it, and though I neversaw anything even slightly askew between her and Tom Patterson, an architect whosename is as well known in Karachi and Tel Aviv as in his home town, and who has hadtwo operations for cancer of the tongue, that didn't prove anything either. One of thefew wise sayings I am sometimes tempted to pass on to breathless posterity is thatanything is possible at any time.
I started to read from the beginning, and it began to come back. Some people, I amtold, have memories like computers, nothing to do but punch the button and wait forthe print-out. Mine is more like a Japanese library of the old style, without a card fileor an indexing system or any systematic shelf plan. Nobody knows where anything isexcept the old geezer in felt slippers who has been shuffling up and down those stacksfor sixty-nine years. When you hand him problem he doesn't come back with a cartfuland dump it before you, a jackpot of instant retrieval. He fords one thing, whichreminds him of another, which leads him off to the annex, which directs him to theeast wing, which send him back two tiers from where he started. Bit by bit he findsyou what you want.
Also, what he brings is not necessarily pleasant. It is a little like taking the top off thejar and letting the tarantula out, and not too unlike opening a grave. Alas, poor Allston.I knew him, Horatio. A fellow of infinite jest, but now strangely chapfallen.
Lunch interrupted me before I got past the first notebook. In the afternoon there wereerrands in town, some plants to be set out, some firewood to cut routines, I realize,with which I fence my life in away from the mankillers. Then a shower, then a drink,then Cronkite like a ghostly cricket creakeen and finally the bedroom, which is wherewe really live. There, Ruth in bed and I in the big chair, tow old parties in a warmwell-lighted room, with the television. standing by in case there should be somethingon worth watching, and the rest of the house dark and turned down in deference tothat new American phenomenon, the shortage, we settled down for the evening,without interruption except when one or the other of us threw off old Cartarrn, theSiamese, who at the age of ninety or so by human standards needs warmth too, andloves to creep up under your chin to sleep, and is never happier than when he is lyingon your book.
Ruth is quiet and contended with er reading, but I am not. Until recently-until, infact, the machinery began to show signs of wear-the Joe Allston sitting there readingthe diary of his predecessor has been pretending to be Marcus Aurelius, or the Ciceroof "De Senectute"atoic philosopher surprised by nothing, accepting everything,valuing only friendship, abstract integrity, and the cup that warms. Nil admiraYi andmemento mori and all that. Take gratefully any pleasures the world provides, but don'tcurse God when they fail. Most things break, including hearts. The lessons of a lifeamount not to wisdom but to scar tissue and callus.
露丝安静地看着书，心满意足，但我却不是。这种情况是最近才有的。准确的说，是自从发现原来那个状态开始改变的时候。乔噢尔斯顿在那儿读着前半辈子的自己留下的日记。那位前辈曾装作是隐忍的罗马皇帝马库斯·奥雷柳斯，或是写作 “De Senectute” 的西塞 罗。他是一个斯多葛学派哲学家，淡然面对一切，包容一切，只重视友谊、理论上的诚实还有能取暖的杯子。是那种 Nil admirari and memento mori。感谢上天给予的所有欢乐，但悲伤时也并不抱怨上天。宇宙中的所有人都没有向你承诺什么。大多数东西都会破裂，心也会。一生所教给我们的不足以称得上智慧，但却足以结痴，长出老茧。
But it doesn't work indefinitely. Crucifixion can be discussed philosophically untilthey start driving the mails .Look at the way I was grumbling and whimpering downthere with Ben this morning. The symptoms of failing vigor, the oncoming of age,have put, me right back to where I was in 1954-which, come to think of it, wasabout where I was in 1924. Young, middle-aged, or getting old, Joe Allston hasalways been full of himself, uncertain, dismayed, dissatisfied with his life, his country,his civilization, his profession, and himself. He has always hunted himself in places where he has never been, he has always been trying to thread some needle with astring that was raveled at both ends. He has always been hungry for some continuityand assurance and sense of belonging, but has never had ancestors or descendants orplace in the world. Little orphan Joe, what a sad case.
His unappeased presence in the diary and in the big chair makes the Joe Allston ofrecent years, the one the neighbors here think they know, look less like MarcusAurelius than like a prosy Polonius. The stoicism he has pretended to is about asimpressive as a telephone recording. His questions have never been answered somesort of accommodation because the spiritual epidermis, like the physical hide,thickens where it is rubbed.
过去日记中的乔坐在大椅子中，内心一直无法平静。这使得乔·奥尔斯顿近年来更像叨叨不停的波洛尼厄斯，而不像善于忍受的马库斯·奥雷柳斯。他试图表现出的斯多葛哲学派 ( 恬淡寡欲 ) 行为，就像电话录音一样深深印刻在人们脑海里。这里的邻居以为自己了解他，但其实不然。他的问题从未得以解决，欲望也从未填满。我只是想到这样的地方以前是存在的—因为精神表皮就像人类的皮肤一样，摩擦越多的地方，就越厚。
There is even a question if it thickens enough. From here, it is apparent that thatDanish excursion was the most romantic quest since Parsifal's sure to end in a bloodynose. If you forget caution and start through the dark woods toward the dark tower,you are exposed, vulnerable, without guidance, and guilty. It may have been a waterrat I speared, but ugh, it sounded like a baby's shriek. As for the maiden in distress,and Astrid was one, the dragon ate her. Here it is on the postcard.
If there is a lesson in that pilgrimage into the Gothic, is is a lesson misshapen, leaden, lightless, ugly as a toad in a drain, a real Grendel or a lesson left aver from the time of trolls and demons. It leaves me no option but to scratch dead leaves over it as I scratched them over it twenty years ago. That seems the only method that will get us safely from infancy to senility. Was it the Boyg who advised Feer Gynt, Roundabout, Peer, roundabout?" Or was it the Button Molder? Never mind.
如果在去黑暗之城的朝圣路上能学到点什么的话，那也是不幸沉闷的、黑暗丑陋的，就像下水道里的蟾蛛。这是一个自从妖魔时期以来，在现实中真正发生的格伦德尔式的教训。我别无选择，只能像我20年前一样，胡乱抓住枯黄的叶子把它埋了。似乎那是唯一能让我们安全地从生到死度过一生的方法。到底是博一格建议佩尔·金特：“ 绕道，佩尔，绕道” 吧？还是巴顿·莫尔德建议的呢？这都不重要了。
One of the books I read in Denmark was The Long Journey, by Johannes V. Jenson, a patriotic chronicle about how the Scandinavians invented everything, first sex, then fire, then tools, then shelter, then agriculture, then bronze and gold, then iron, until the human race, put into gear by all that Nordic ingenuity, could be trusted to go forward in its own. Jensen got a Nobel Prize for his fable of civilization, and he persuaded some people; including some Scandinavian archaeologists. Not me. I like the Scandinavians as well as anybody else, and once went hunting my identity among them, but they didn't invent more than their share, and they are no monsters of goodness. Even now, when they have given up Viking raids and become the world's umpires and ombudsmen, they consort with evil like other folks, and confuse it with good like other folks. I didn't find what I went looking for in Denmark, but I found there was something rotten in that state, as elsewhere, and that the Danes like the rest of the world are attracted to evil, are involved in it, even feel dutiful toward it. If the ghosts of Henry James came demanding copy, I could tell him a tale of New World innocence and Old World experience at least as instructive as Daisy Miller.
Having no traditions myself, I used to have a romantic view of tradition. I thought that time really does sift men's acts, that the good they do lives after them and gradually improves their descendants, and that the ill they do eventually writhes in pain and dies among its worshipers. That was real innocence. Everything we do lives after us. The future is not only now, as television assures me, it was also then, and Baal and Loki are as immortal as Jahveh and Baldr.
My mother was a Danish girl, an orphan and a runaway. She emigrated to America, all alone, at sixteen, worked as a hired girl, married a drunken brakeman who begot me and shortly got himself killed by a freight in the Sioux City yards, married again a couple of years later and was soon abandoned. Except for those brief spells of married bliss, she never had a house of her own. She lived, and I with her, in hot (and cold) third-story rooms and back-of-the-kitchen sheds in other people's houses, and she died of a fall down some dark cellar stairs when I was a freshman in college. Everything in the New World that she tied her hopes to, including me, gave away. I spent my childhood and youth being ashamed of her accent, her clumsiness, her squarehead name, her menial jobs. It used to shrivel me to put down, in the space marked MOTHER'S MAIDEN NAME. Ingeborg Heegaard. I never discovered until she was dead that she was a saint, and that realization, with all the self-loathing that came with it, put me into a tailspin that I didn't come out of for two years. Ulcers, nervous visited on myself went on till I learned how to scratch dead leaves over what I didn't want to see.
我母亲是个丹麦人，小时候是个孤儿，后来跑出来了。16岁时她孤身一人到美洲打工，后来嫁给一个酒鬼制动员。生下我后不久，他就在一次苏城装货中被杀了‘几年后，母亲改嫁，但很快又被遗弃。除了短暂的结婚喜悦，她从未有过自己的房子。母亲带着我在三层楼高的房间里生活，时冷时热。这个房间是在别人家厨房的后面。我刚进大学那年，母亲从黑暗的地下室楼梯上摔下来摔死了。她对新世界的所有寄托，包括对我的寄托都没了。成年之前，我一直为母亲的口音、母亲的笨拙、斯堪的纳维亚名字还有那卑微的工作感到耻辱。我曾经还不愿意在 “母亲的仆人名字” 那栏记下 “英格堡·黑格德” 这个名字。但是当她死后，我发现母亲是一个圣人。对母亲深深的自责让我一度慌乱，2年后我才走了出来。那段时间引起的溃疡、精神崩溃等所有这些剧烈的身心不适一直存在，直到后来我发现可以用枯叶掩盖不想看到的东西。
That was the way it was until my only son, Curtis, who had been nothing but anguish from the time he was breech-born, fell from or let go of his surfboard on the beach at La Jolla. He died an over-age beach burn, evading to the last any obligation to become what his mother and I tried to make or help him be, and like my mother's, his death lay down accusingly at my door. He was my only descendant, as she was only my ancestor, and I failed both. Chop, chop, there went both past an future. At fifty I had my second crisis-it is remarkable how apt bacteria and other agents of the moral sense can be, how readily they infect and afflict us when we need affliction. This time it was the myocarditis. But all the time while i was wondering if my clock would stop, I felt inside me somewhere, adjacent to or below the ailing heart, a hungry, thirsty, empty, sore, haunted sensation of being unfinished, random, and unattached, as if, even if the heart were working perfectly, there was nothing there for it to run.