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《渺小一生》:他无法讲清楚问题是什么

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2020年06月26日

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  Jude had told him that he and Caleb had told no one in their lives about the other, and although Jude’s secretiveness had been motivated by shame (and Caleb’s, Willem could only hope, by at least some small glint of guilt), he too felt that his relationship with Jude existed to no one but themselves: it seemed something sacred, and fought-for, and unique to them. Of course, this was ridiculous, but it was the way he felt—to be an actor in his position was to be, in many ways, a possession, to be fought over and argued about and criticized by anyone who wanted to say something, anything, about his abilities or appearance or performance. But his relationship was different: in it, he played a role for one other person, and that person was his only audience, and no one else ever saw it, no matter how much they thought they might.

裘德曾告诉他,他和凯莱布交往期间都没告诉其他人。裘德保密是源于羞愧(而凯莱布保密,威廉只希望至少是出于微小的罪恶感),但他同时也觉得自己和裘德的交往只存在于他们两个人之间,跟其他人无关;对他们而言,这段关系似乎是神圣不可侵犯、要为之奋战的,而且是独特的。当然,这样很荒谬,但这就是他的感觉——当一个像他这种地位的演员,在很多方面,就会成为公共财产,任何想要针对他的能力、外表或演技说任何话的人,都可以为了他而争吵、论辩、批评。但他的感情生活就不一样了,在其中,他只为另一个人扮演一个角色,而那个人是他唯一的观众,没有其他人会看到,无论他们自认有多懂。

  His relationship also felt sacred because he had just recently—in the last six months or so—felt he had gotten the rhythm of it. The person he thought he knew had turned out to be, in some ways, not the person before him, and it had taken him time to figure out how many facets he had yet to see: it was as if the shape he had all along thought was a pentagram was in reality a dodecahedron, many sided and many fractaled and much more complicated to measure. Despite this, he had never considered leaving: he stayed, unquestioningly, out of love, out of loyalty, out of curiosity. But it hadn’t been easy. In truth, it had been at times aggressively difficult, and in some ways remained so. When he had promised himself that he wouldn’t try to repair Jude, he had forgotten that to solve someone is to want to repair them: to diagnose a problem and then not try to fix that problem seemed not only neglectful but immoral.

他会觉得自己的感情生活是神圣不可侵犯的,也是因为他最近(大约在过去六个月)才逐渐掌握其中的节奏。他原先自认为了解的那个人,在某些方面,根本不是他眼前的这个人,他花时间去搞清自己至今看到了多少面:那就好像他以前一直以为这是个五角星,但其实是个十二面体,有很多平面、很多分形,测量起来要复杂得多。尽管如此,他从没想过要离开。他留下,毫无疑问,是出于爱,出于忠诚,也出于好奇。但这并不容易。事实上,有时还困难得要命,而且在某些方面,至今还是如此。当他向自己承诺他不会试图修补裘德时,他忘了一点:想解开某个人的秘密,就是想要修补他。诊断一个问题,却不试着解决这个问题,好像不光是疏忽,还很不道德。

  The primary issue was sex: their sexual life, and Jude’s attitude about it. Toward the end of the ten-month period in which he and Jude had been together and he had been waiting for him to be ready (the longest sustained period of celibacy he had endured since he was fifteen, and which he had accomplished as partly a challenge to himself, the way other people stopped eating bread or pasta because their boyfriends or girlfriends had stopped eating them as well), he had begun to seriously worry about where this was all going, and about whether sex was something Jude was simply not capable of. Somehow he knew, and had always known, that Jude had been abused, that something awful (maybe several things awful) had happened to him, but to his shame, he was unable to find the words to discuss it with him. He told himself that even if he could find the words, Jude wouldn’t talk about it until he was ready, but the truth, Willem knew, was that he was too much of a coward, and that cowardice was really the only reason for his inaction. But then he had come home from Texas, and they’d had sex after all, and he had been relieved, and relieved too that he had enjoyed it as much as he had, that there had been nothing strained or unnatural about it, and when it turned out that Jude was much more sexually dextrous than he had assumed he would be, he allowed himself to be relieved a third time. He couldn’t bring himself, however, to determine why Jude was so experienced: Had Richard been right, and had Jude been leading some sort of double life all this time? It seemed too tidy an explanation. And yet the alternative—that this was knowledge Jude had accumulated before they had met, which meant these would have been lessons learned in childhood—was overwhelming to him. And so, to his great guilt, he said nothing. He chose to believe the theory that made his life less complicated.

主要的问题就是性爱:他们的性生活,还有裘德对此的态度。他和裘德在一起后,他一直等着他准备好,到了近十个月时(创下他15岁以来禁欲最久的纪录,他也视之为对自己的挑战,就像有的人会停止吃面包或意大利面,只因为男朋友或女朋友不吃),他严重担心起要这样等多久,也担心裘德会不会根本就没办法有性生活。但不知怎的,他知道,而且一直知道,裘德被虐待过,出过很可怕的事情(说不定还有好几件),但他出于羞愧,想不出该用什么字句跟他讨论。他告诉自己,即使他可以找到字句,除非裘德准备好,否则也不会跟他谈,但真正的原因,威廉知道,就是他自己太胆小了,这种胆小其实是他没做任何事的唯一原因。但接着,他从德州拍完片回家,他们总算开始做爱了,于是他放心了;另外,让他放心的是,他依然像以前那样享受性爱,其中没有任何勉强或不自然。而且结果证明,其实裘德对性事比他原先以为的要熟练很多,他就第三度放了心。然而,他没有勇气去想为什么裘德这么有经验,难道理查德猜得没错,难道裘德一直过着某种双面生活?这个解释似乎太完美了,但另一种解释让他无法承受——这些性爱方面的知识,是裘德在认识他之前就累积的,也就意味着是在童年时期学到的。于是,他罪恶感很重,却什么都没说。

  One night, though, he’d had a dream that he and Jude had just had sex (which they had) and that Jude was next to him and crying, trying to stay silent and failing, and he knew, even in the dream, why he was crying: because he hated what he was doing; he hated what Willem was making him do. The next night he had asked Jude, outright: Do you like this? And he had waited, not knowing what the answer would be, until Jude had said yes, and then he had been relieved yet again: that the fiction could continue, that their equilibrium would remain unchanged, that he wouldn’t have to have a conversation that he didn’t know how to begin, much less lead. He had an image of a little boat, a dinghy, rocking wildly on the waves, but then righting itself again and sailing placidly on, even though the waters beneath it were black and filled with monsters and floes of seaweed that threatened with every current to pull the poor small boat beneath the ocean’s surface, where it would glug out of sight and be lost.

不过某天晚上,他做了个梦,梦到他和裘德刚做完爱(事实上的确如此),裘德在他旁边哭,想忍着不出声却失败了,即使在梦里,他也知道他为什么哭:因为他恨他所做的;他恨威廉逼他做的。次日晚上他就直截了当地问裘德:你喜欢这个吗?他等着,不知道答案是什么,直到裘德说喜欢,他才又放心了:放心这个虚构的状态可以继续下去,放心他们的平衡会保持不变,放心他不必展开一场他根本不知该如何启齿的谈话,更别说要一路引导了。他想象着一个画面:一艘小小的船,敞篷的小艇,在浪潮中摇晃得很厉害,但接着又自行直立并稳定下来,继续平静地航行,即使底下的黑色海水充满妖怪和漂浮的海草,每一道水流都威胁着要把那艘可怜的小船拖到海面下,一口吞噬掉,再无踪影。

  But every so often, too sporadically and randomly to track, there would be moments when he would see Jude’s face as he pushed into him, or, after, would feel his silence, so black and total that it was almost gaseous, and he would know that Jude had lied to him: that he had asked him a question to which only one answer was acceptable, and Jude had given him that answer, but that he hadn’t meant it. And then he would argue with himself, trying to justify his behavior, and reproving himself for it as well. But when he was being very honest, he knew there was a problem.

但有时(太偶尔且随机,因而无法追踪)会有一些时刻,当他进入裘德,或是事后,他看到裘德的脸,会感觉到他的沉默,黑暗又彻底,几乎成了气态,于是他明白裘德跟他撒了谎:他之前问的问题只有一个可接受的答案,而裘德给了他那个答案,但其实他不是真心的。接着他会跟自己争辩,设法解释自己的行为,同时又回头指责自己。但是当他扪心自问时,他知道就是存在问题。

  Though he couldn’t quite articulate what the problem was: after all, Jude always seemed to want to have sex whenever he did. (Though wasn’t that suspicious in itself?) But he had never met anyone who was so opposed to foreplay, who didn’t want to even discuss sex, who never said the very word. “This is embarrassing, Willem,” Jude would say whenever he tried. “Let’s just do it.” He felt, often, as if their sessions together were being timed, and that his job was to perform as quickly and thoroughly as he could and then never talk about it. He was less concerned with Jude’s lack of erections than he was with the curious sensation he sometimes experienced—too indefinable and contradictory to even name it with language—that with every encounter they had, he was drawing closer to Jude, even as Jude pulled further from him. Jude said all the right things; he made all the right sounds; he was affectionate and willing: but still, Willem knew something, something was wrong. He found it bewildering; people had always enjoyed having sex with him—so what was happening here? Perversely, it made him want to have it more, if only so he could find some answers, even if he also dreaded them.

他无法讲清楚问题是什么,毕竟,每回他想做爱,裘德似乎也想做(不过这本身不就很可疑吗?)。他从来没碰到过有人这么不喜欢前戏,甚至不愿意讨论性爱的,而且还从来没说过这个词。“这样太尴尬了,威廉。”每回他试着提起,裘德就会说,“我们做就是了。”他常常觉得,他们在一起做爱似乎是计时的,而他的工作就是尽可能快速彻底地完成,事后绝对不要再提。他比较不担心裘德不会勃起,倒是比较担心自己有时体验到的奇怪感受(太不确定又太矛盾了,甚至没法用语言清楚表达),觉得他们每多做一次爱,他都更接近裘德,裘德却更远离他。裘德说出所有适当的话,发出所有适当的声音,他深情而心甘情愿;然而,威廉知道有个什么,一定有个什么不对劲。他不知道该怎么办,人们总是喜欢跟他做爱——所以眼前这是怎么回事?但反常的是,这让他更想做了,好像只为了找出一些答案,即使他也很害怕这些答案。

  And in the same way he knew there was a problem with their sex life, he also knew—knew without knowing, without ever being told—that Jude’s cutting was related to the sex. This realization would always make him shiver, as would his old, careworn way of excusing himself—Willem Ragnarsson, what do you think you’re doing? You’re too dumb to figure this out—from further exploration, from plunging an arm into the snake- and centipede-squirming muck of Jude’s past to find that many-paged book, sheathed in yellowed plastic, that would explain someone he had thought he had fundamentally understood. And then he would think how none of them—not he, not Malcolm, not JB or Richard or even Harold—had been brave enough to try. They had found other reasons to keep themselves from having to dirty their hands. Andy was the only person who could say otherwise.

就像他知道他们的性生活有问题,他也知道(但是毫无根据,甚至没人告诉过他)裘德割自己跟性爱有关。这个领悟总是让他打寒战,同时他又会按照老样子,忧心忡忡地原谅自己不去进一步探索,不愿把手臂伸进由裘德的过去所构成的、充满蠕动的蛇和蜈蚣的烂泥中,找出那本很多页的、罩着发黄塑料皮的书,里头会解释裘德这个他自以为很了解的人——威廉·拉格纳松,你以为自己在干吗?你笨得根本没办法搞清楚这件事。然后他会想着他们这些人中,没有一个人有勇气去试,无论是他、马尔科姆、杰比或理查德,甚至是哈罗德。他们找出其他理由,免得弄脏了自己的手。唯一算是例外的,只有安迪。

  And yet it was easy for him to pretend, to ignore what he knew, because most of the time, pretending was easy: because they were friends, because they liked being around each other, because he loved Jude, because they had a life together, because he was attracted to him, because he desired him. But there was the Jude he knew in the daylight, and even in the dusk and dawn, and then there was the Jude who possessed his friend for a few hours each night, and that Jude, he sometimes feared, was the real Jude: the one who haunted their apartment alone, the one whom he had watched draw the razor so slowly down his arm, his eyes wide with agony, the one whom he could never reach, no matter how many reassurances he made, no matter how many threats he levied. It sometimes seemed as if it was that Jude who truly directed their relationship, and when he was present, no one, not even Willem, could dispel him. And still, he remained stubborn: he would banish him, through the intensity and the force and the determination of his love. He knew this was childish, but all stubborn acts are childish acts. Here, stubbornness was his only weapon. Patience; stubbornness; love: he had to believe these would be enough. He had to believe that they would be stronger than any habit of Jude’s, no matter how long or diligently practiced.

但是对他而言,去假装、无视他所知道的一切很容易,因为大部分时间,假装都很容易,因为他们是好友,因为他们喜欢和对方在一起,因为他爱裘德,因为自己受他吸引,因为自己渴望他。但他知道的裘德,是白天,甚至黄昏和黎明的裘德;还有另一个裘德,每夜会附身在他熟知的那位老友身上几小时。有时他很担心这个才是真正的裘德:这个裘德会独自在他们的公寓里漫游。他看过这个裘德抓着刮胡刀片极慢地划过手臂,双眼因为痛苦而睁大,这个裘德他永远碰触不到,无论他做了多少保证,无论他发出多少威胁。有时感觉上,在他们的伴侣关系中,真正控制全局的是那个裘德。当他出现时,没人能赶走他,连威廉都没办法。然而,他还是很顽固:他会赶走他,透过他热烈、有力而坚决的爱。他知道这样很幼稚,但所有顽固的行为都是幼稚的行为。在这段关系中,顽固就是他唯一的武器。耐心、顽固、爱:他必须相信这些就足够了。他必须相信它们的力量能胜过任何裘德的习惯,无论那些习惯持续了多久、多么习以为常。

  Sometimes he was given progress reports of sorts from Andy and Harold, both of whom thanked him whenever they saw him, which he found unnecessary but reassuring, because it meant that the changes he thought he saw in Jude—a heightened sense of demonstrativeness; a certain diminishment of physical self-consciousness—weren’t things he was imagining after all. But he also felt keenly alone, alone with his new suspicions about Jude and the depths of his difficulties, alone with the knowledge that he was unable or unwilling to properly address those difficulties. A few times he had been very close to contacting Andy and asking him what to do, asking him whether he was making the right decisions. But he hadn’t.

有时他会从安迪或哈罗德那里得到某种进度报告。他们两个每次看到他都会谢谢他,他觉得没有必要,但同时又觉得安心,因为这表示他认为他看到裘德身上的改变,毕竟不是想象出来的——感情表达的程度增加;对身体的忸怩不安也降低了一些。但他也同时感觉到强烈的孤单,因为他要独自面对自己对裘德,以及对他遇上的种种问题的困难程度所产生的怀疑,而且他知道自己没有能力、也不愿意妥善地处理这些问题。有几次,他差点就要联络安迪,问他该怎么做,问他自己是否做了正确的决定。但最后还是作罢了。

  Instead, he allowed his native optimism to obscure his fears, to make their relationship into something essentially joyous and sunny. Often he was struck by the sensation—which he had experienced at Lispenard Street as well—that they were playing house, that he was living some boyhood fantasy of running away from the world and its rules with his best friend and living in some unsuitable but perfectly commodious structure (a train car; a tree house) that wasn’t meant to be a home but had become one because of its occupants’ shared conviction to make it so. Mr. Irvine hadn’t been entirely wrong, he would think on those days when life felt like an extended slumber party, one they’d been having for almost three decades, one that gave him the thrilling feeling that they had gotten away with something large, something they were meant to have abandoned long ago: you went to parties and when someone said something ridiculous, you’d look across the table, and he’d look back at you, expressionless, with just the barest hint of a raised eyebrow, and you’d have to hurriedly drink some water to keep from spewing out your mouthful of food with laughter, and then back at your apartment—your ridiculously beautiful apartment, which you both appreciated an almost embarrassing amount, for reasons you never had to explain to the other—you would recap the entire awful dinner, laughing so much that you began to equate happiness with pain. Or you got to discuss your problems every night with someone smarter and more thoughtful than you, or talk about the continued awe and discomfort you both felt, all these years later, about having money, absurd, comic-book-villain money, or drive up to his parents’ house, one of you plugging into the car’s stereo an outlandish playlist, with which you would both sing along, loudly, being extravagantly silly as adults the way you never were as children. As you got older, you realized that really, there were very few people you truly wanted to be around for more than a few days at a time, and yet here you were with someone you wanted to be around for years, even when he was at his most opaque and confusing. So: happy. Yes, he was happy. He didn’t have to think about it, not really. He was, he knew, a simple person, the simplest of people, and yet he had ended up with the most complicated of people.

于是,他用自己天真的乐观掩盖了他的害怕,把他们的伴侣关系变得欢乐而温暖。他常常猛然感觉到(他在利斯本纳街时期也曾有过),他们正在玩扮家家酒,他实现了某种童年时代的幻想,跟他最要好的朋友逃离这个世界和其中的规则,住在某个不舒适但绝对够用的空间里(一节火车厢,或是一座树屋),这种地方本来不是给人住的,但因为住在里面的人都拥有信念且努力,于是这里才成了一个家。欧文先生说的不完全错,他会想起那些日子,感觉人生就像是特别长的睡衣派对;在其中,他们度过了将近三十年;在其中,他们很兴奋自己侥幸保留了某种重大、本来早该抛弃的东西:你去参加派对,听到有人说了些荒谬的话,你会看着桌子对面,他也会看着你,面无表情,只有一边的眉毛稍稍抬高,你得赶紧喝点水,免得大笑把满嘴食物喷出来。回到你们的公寓——你美得不像话的公寓,你们两个喜欢这里喜欢到简直令人难为情的程度,原因是你们永远不必跟对方解释——你们会简单扼要地讲起整顿可怕的晚餐,笑到肚子痛。或者你每天晚上会跟一个比你聪明、思虑比你周密的人讨论心事,或者聊起这么多年后,你们两个都拥有金钱了,而且是漫画里大坏蛋拥有的那种多得荒谬的金钱,你们却都因此觉得畏怯而不安。或者你们会开车北上到他父母家里,其中一人把一份古怪的音乐播放列表插进车子的音响里,两个人一起跟着唱,很大声。当个超级傻气的成人,那是你小时候从来不可能想象的。当你年纪渐长,你就明白,其实你真正想一起相处超过两三天的人非常少,现在跟你在一起的,是你想一起相处很多年的人,即使在他最隐晦难解的时间也不例外。所以:快乐。没错,他很快乐。他不必认真去思考。他知道自己是个简单的人,最简单的人,然而到头来,他却偏偏碰上了一个最复杂的人。

  “All I want,” he’d said to Jude one night, trying to explain the satisfaction that at that moment was burbling inside him, like water in a bright blue kettle, “is work I enjoy, and a place to live, and someone who loves me. See? Simple.”

“我想要的一切,”某天夜里他跟裘德说,试着解释那一刻他心中涌动的满足感,有如一把亮蓝色茶壶里烧滚的水,“就是有我喜欢的工作,有个住的地方,还有个爱我的人。看到没?很简单。”

  Jude had laughed, sadly. “Willem,” he said, “that’s all I want, too.”

裘德哀伤地笑了。“威廉,”他说,“那也是我想要的一切。”

  “But you have that,” he’d said, quietly, and Jude was quiet, too.

“但是你已经有了。”他轻声说,裘德也沉默了。

  “Yes,” he said, at last. “You’re right.” But he hadn’t sounded convinced.

“没错。”最后他终于说,“你说得没错。”但他的口气似乎并不相信。

  That Tuesday night, they are lying next to each other, half talking and half not in one of the meandering almost-conversations they have when they both want to stay awake but are both falling asleep, when Jude says his name with a sort of seriousness that makes him open his eyes. “What is it?” he asks him, and Jude’s face is so still, so sober, that he is frightened. “Jude?” he says. “Tell me.”

那个星期二晚上,他们躺在床上,有一搭没一搭地聊着,就是那种两个人都想保持清醒、但逐渐要睡着的漫谈状态。此时裘德喊了他的名字,那种严肃的口吻让他睁开眼睛。“什么事?”他问他。裘德的脸静止不动,很冷静,让他害怕起来。“裘德?”他说,“告诉我吧。”

  “Willem, you know I’ve been trying not to cut myself,” he says, and Willem nods at him and waits. “And I’m going to keep trying,” Jude continues. “But sometimes—sometimes I might not be able to control myself.”

“威廉,你知道我一直试着不要割自己,”他说,威廉朝他点点头等着,“而且我还会继续努力。”裘德继续说,“但是有时候——有时候我可能没办法控制自己。”

  “I know,” he says. “I know you’re trying. I know how hard it is for you.”

“我知道,”他说,“我知道你在努力。我了解这对你有多困难。”

  Jude turns from him then, and Willem rolls over and wraps his arms around him. “I just want you to understand if I make a mistake,” Jude says, and his voice is muffled.

裘德转身背对着他。威廉转过去,双手抱住他。“我只是想跟你说,要是我犯了错,希望你能了解。”裘德说,声音闷在被子里。

  “Of course I will,” he says. “Jude—of course I will.” There is a long silence, and he waits to see if Jude will say anything else. He is thin, with a marathon runner’s long muscles, but in the past six months, he has become thinner still, almost as thin as when he was released from the hospital, and Willem holds him a little tighter. “You’ve lost more weight,” he tells him.

“我当然会了解。”他说,“裘德——我当然会了解啊。”接下来是很长一阵沉默,他等着看裘德会不会再说些什么。裘德本来就瘦,有着马拉松长跑选手的长肌肉,但过去六个月,他变得更瘦了,几乎跟他刚出院时一样瘦。此时威廉把他抱得更紧了一些。“你又瘦了。”他说。

  “Work,” Jude says, and they are quiet again.

“是工作。”裘德说,两个人又沉默了。


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