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《渺小一生》:黄昏突然降临

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2020年06月30日

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  “No,” says Jude, after a short silence. “I should get back, too.”

“不,”裘德沉默了一下说,“我也该回去了。”

  “What the hell kind of Thanksgiving is this? You guys just eat and run? What am I going to do with all that turkey?” Harold says, but his theatrical outrage is muted, and Willem can feel him looking at both of them in turn, trying to figure out what’s happening, what’s gone wrong.

“这算什么感恩节啊?你们就这样吃了就跑?那么多火鸡肉,我要怎么办?”哈罗德说,但他戏剧化的愤慨并不严重,而且威廉感觉得到他轮流看着他们两个,想搞清楚发生了什么事、哪里不对劲。

  He waits for Jude to get ready, trying to make small talk with Julia and ignore Harold’s unspoken questions. He goes to the car first to make it clear he’s driving, and as he’s saying goodbye, Harold looks at him and opens his mouth, and then shuts it, and hugs him instead. “Drive safely,” he says.

他等着裘德收拾东西,设法跟朱丽娅闲聊,没理会哈罗德无言的疑问。他先走向车,表明由他开车。他说再见时,哈罗德看着他,张开嘴巴,然后又闭上,只是拥抱他。“小心开车。”他说。

  In the car he seethes, keeps accelerating and then reminding himself to slow down. It’s not even eight in the morning, and it’s Thanksgiving Day, and the highway is empty. Next to him, Jude is turned away from him, his face against the glass: Willem still hasn’t looked at him, doesn’t know what expression he wears, can’t see the smudges under his eyes that Andy had told him in the hospital were a telltale sign that Jude has been cutting himself too much. His anger quickens and recedes by the mile: sometimes he sees Jude lying to him—he is always lying to him, he realizes—and the fury fills him like hot oil. And sometimes he thinks of what he said, and the way he behaved, and the entire situation, that the person he loves is so terrible to himself, and feels such a sense of remorse that he has to grip the steering wheel to make himself focus. He thinks: Is he right? Do I see him as Hemming? And then he thinks: No. That’s Jude’s delusion, because he can’t understand why anyone would want to be with him. It’s not the truth. But the explanation doesn’t comfort him, and indeed makes him more wretched.

上了车,他生起闷气来,不断加速,然后提醒自己慢下来。现在还不到8点,今天又是感恩节,高速公路一片空荡。在他旁边,裘德别过身子,脸贴着车窗玻璃。威廉一直没看他,不知道他的表情如何,看不到他眼睛下方是否发黑(安迪曾在医院告诉他,黑影出现就代表裘德割自己割太凶了)。他的怒气随着每一英里升起又消退。有时他发现裘德跟他撒谎——他总是发现他在跟他撒谎——那股怒气会像热油般充满他全身。有时他想到他说的话,还有他的举动,以及整个状况,想到他深爱的人对自己做出那么可怕的事,他就懊恼得必须紧抓住方向盘,逼自己专心开车。他心想:裘德说得没错吗?我真的把他当成亨明了吗?然后他又想:不,这是裘德在胡思乱想,因为他无法理解为什么有人想跟他在一起。那不是事实。但这个解释无法安慰他,只是让他更难受而已。

  Just past New Haven, he stops. Normally, the passage through New Haven is the opportunity for him to recount their favorite stories from when he and JB were roommates in grad school: The time he was made to help JB and Asian Henry Young mount their guerrilla exhibition of swaying carcasses of meat outside of the medical college. The time JB cut off all his dreads and left them in the sink until Willem finally cleaned them up two weeks later. The time he and JB danced to techno music for forty straight minutes so JB’s friend Greig, a video artist, could record them. “Tell me the one when JB filled Richard’s tub with tadpoles,” Jude would say, grinning in anticipation. “Tell me the one about the time you dated that lesbian.” “Tell me the one when JB crashed that feminist orgy.” But today neither of them says anything, and they roll past New Haven in silence.

刚过纽黑文,他停了下来。当年他和杰比都在纽黑文的耶鲁大学读研究生,两人是室友。所以只要经过纽黑文,通常他就有机会再说一次他们当年最喜欢的故事:那回他被抓去帮杰比和亚裔亨利·杨准备他们的“游击”展览,在医学院外头吊起一些摇晃的动物残骸。那回杰比剪掉所有的长发辫,留在水槽里不管,直到两星期后威廉才终于把它们清掉。那回他和杰比随着电子音乐连跳了四十分钟的舞,好让杰比的视频艺术家朋友格雷格录下来。“说说那个杰比在理查德的浴缸里装满蝌蚪的事。”裘德会说,期待地咧嘴笑着。“说说那回你和那个女同性恋约会的事”,“说说杰比大闹女权主义者狂欢会的事”。但今天他们两个都没说话,经过纽黑文时一路沉默。

  He gets out of the car to gas up and go to the bathroom. “I’m not stopping again,” he tells Jude, who hasn’t moved, but Jude only shakes his head, and Willem slams the door shut, his anger returning.

他停下车来加油,还去上了洗手间。“之后我不会再停了。”他告诉裘德。裘德没动,只是摇摇头。于是威廉甩上车门,怒气又回来了。

  They are at Greene Street before noon, and they get out of the car in silence, into the elevator in silence, into the apartment in silence. He takes their bag to the bedroom; behind him, he can hear Jude sit down and begin playing something on the piano—Schumann, he recognizes, Fantasy in C: a pretty vigorous number for someone who’s so wan and helpless, he thinks sourly—and realizes he has to get out of the apartment.

他们中午前回到格林街,两人沉默地下了车,沉默地进入电梯,沉默地回到他们的公寓。他把他们的旅行袋拿回卧室,听到身后裘德坐下来,开始弹钢琴,他听出是舒曼C大调幻想曲:一首充满活力的曲子,但弹奏的人却如此憔悴而无助,他没好气地想,随即发现自己必须离开公寓。

  He doesn’t even take his coat off, just heads back into the living room with his keys. “I’m going out,” he says, but Jude doesn’t stop playing. “Do you hear me?” he shouts. “I’m leaving.”

他连大衣都没脱,就拿着钥匙回到客厅。“我要出去。”他说,但裘德继续弹着钢琴,没停下。“你听到没?”他吼道,“我要离开了。”

  Then Jude looks up, stops playing. “When are you coming back?” he asks, quietly, and Willem feels his resolve weaken.

裘德抬起头来,停止弹奏。“你什么时候会回来?”他低声问,威廉觉得自己的决心减弱了。

  But then he remembers how angry he is. “I don’t know,” he says. “Don’t wait up.” He punches the button for the elevator. There is a pause, and then Jude resumes playing.

接着又想起自己有多生气。“不知道,”他说,“不必熬夜等我。”他用力按了电梯的钮。裘德暂停了一会儿,又开始弹奏了。

  And then he is out in the world, and all the stores are closed, and SoHo is quiet. He walks to the West Side Highway, walks up it in silence, his sunglasses on, his scarf, which he bought in Jaipur (a gray for Jude, a blue for him), and which is of such soft cashmere that it snags on even the slightest of stubble, wrapped around his stubbly neck. He walks and walks; later, he won’t even remember what he thought about, if he thought about anything. When he is hungry, he veers east to buy a slice of pizza, which he eats on the street, hardly tasting it, before returning to the highway. This is my world, he thinks, as he stands at the river and looks across it toward New Jersey. This is my little world, and I don’t know what to do in it. He feels trapped, and yet how can he feel trapped when he can’t even negotiate the small place he occupies? How can he hope for more when he can’t comprehend what he thought he did?

之后他出了门,所有的商店都关了,苏荷区一片安静。他走到西城高速公路,沉默地往北走,他戴着太阳眼镜,在印度斋浦尔买的围巾(灰色的给裘德,蓝色的给自己)围着他布满胡茬的脖子,那羊绒太柔软了,连一点点胡茬都会钩到。他走了又走;事后回忆,他连自己当时在想些什么都不记得了,或许他根本什么都没想。饿了,他就转向东边买一块披萨,站在马路上吃,几乎食不知味,然后又回到西城高速公路。这是我的世界,他心想,站在哈德逊河畔看着对面的新泽西州。这是我的小世界,我在里头却不知道该怎么做。他觉得被困住了,但如果他连自己的一小块地方都讨不到,又怎么会被困住呢?连他以前自以为明白的东西都没搞清楚,还能奢谈什么?

  Nightfall is abrupt and brief, and the wind more intense, and still he walks. He wants warmth, food, a room with people laughing. But he can’t bear to go into a restaurant, not by himself on Thanksgiving, not in the mood he’s in: he’ll be recognized, and he doesn’t have the energy for the small talk, the bonhomie, the graciousness, that such encounters will necessitate. His friends have always teased him about his invisibility claim, his idea that he can somehow manipulate his own visibility, his own recognizability, but he had really believed it, even when evidence kept disproving him. Now he sees this belief as yet more proof of his self-deception, his way of constantly pretending that the world will align itself to his vision of it: That Jude will get better because he wants him to. That he understands him because he likes to think he does. That he can walk through SoHo and no one will know who he is. But really, he is a prisoner: of his job, of his relationship, and mostly, of his own willful naïveté.

黄昏突然降临,接着天很快就黑了,风变得更强,他还继续走着。他想要温暖,想要食物,想要一屋子欢笑的人群。但现在是感恩节,他不能一个人去餐厅,不能以这样的心情;他会被认出来,在这样巧遇的场合里,他必须跟人寒暄闲聊、友善招呼、亲切谈话,此刻他实在没有那个力气。他的朋友总是取笑他自称可以不让人看见的说法,笑他觉得可以控制自己要不要被看到、要不要被认出来,但他真的相信是这样,即使种种证据一再推翻他。现在他明白,这种相信只是自我欺骗的另一个证据,证明他一直都在假装:假装这个世界会调整得跟他眼中的一样;假装裘德会好转,因为他是这么希望的;假装他了解他,因为他愿意这样以为;假装他可以走过苏荷区而不会有人知道他是谁。但其实,他是个囚徒:被囚禁在他的工作、他的伴侣关系里,尤其是,囚禁在他自己固执的天真里。

  Finally he buys a sandwich and catches a taxi south to Perry Street, to his apartment that is barely his anymore: in a few weeks, in fact, it no longer will be, because he has sold it to Miguel, his friend from Spain, who is spending more time in the States. But tonight, it still is, and he lets himself in, cautiously, as if the apartment may have deteriorated, may have started breeding monsters, since he was last there. It is early, but he takes off his clothes anyway, and picks Miguel’s clothes off Miguel’s chaise longue and takes Miguel’s blanket off Miguel’s bed and lies down on the chaise, letting the helplessness and tumult of the day—only a day, and so much has happened!—descend, and cries.

最后他买了个三明治,拦了一辆出租车往南去佩里街,到那个几乎不再属于他的公寓:事实上,再过几个星期,这间公寓就真的不是他的了,他已经把这里卖给来自西班牙的演员朋友米盖尔,他现在会更常待在美国。但今夜,这间公寓还是他的,他开了门进去,小心翼翼,仿佛上次来过之后,这间公寓就恶化了,生出了一堆妖怪。现在时间还早,但他还是把衣服都脱掉,把米盖尔的衣服从米盖尔的躺椅上拿起来,又去米盖尔的床上拿了米盖尔的毯子,接着躺在那张躺椅上,让这一天的无助和喧哗骚动逐渐褪去(才一天,居然就发生了这么多事!),然后哭了起来。

  As he’s crying, his phone rings, and he gets up, thinking it might be Jude, but it’s not: it’s Andy.

他哭到一半,手机响了,他爬起来,想着可能是裘德,但结果不是,是安迪。

  “Andy,” he cries, “I fucked up, I really fucked up. I did something horrible.”

“安迪,”他哭着说,“我搞砸了,我真的搞砸了。我做了很可怕的事情。”

  “Willem,” Andy says gently. “I’m sure it’s not as bad as you think it is. I’m sure you’re being too hard on yourself.”

“威廉,”安迪柔声说,“我相信没有你想的那么糟。我觉得是你对自己太严苛了。”

  So he tells Andy, haltingly, explaining what has happened, and after he is finished, Andy is silent. “Oh, Willem,” he sighs, but he doesn’t sound angry, only sad. “Okay. It is as bad as you think it is,” and for some reason, this makes him laugh a little, but then also moan.

于是,他断断续续地把来龙去脉告诉了安迪。讲完后,安迪沉默了一会儿。“啊,威廉,”他叹气,但听起来并没发火,而是哀伤,“好吧,事情的确就像你想的那么糟。”不知怎的,这反倒让他笑了一下,不过接着又哭了。

  “What should I do?” he asks, and Andy sighs again.

“我该怎么做?”他问。安迪又叹气。

  “If you want to stay with him, I’d go home and talk to him,” he says, slowly. “And if you don’t want to stay with him—I’d go home and talk to him anyway.” He pauses. “Willem, I’m really sorry.”

“如果你想继续跟他在一起,等我回家就会跟他谈。”他慢吞吞地说,“如果你不想继续跟他在一起——我回家后还是会找他谈。”他暂停,“威廉,我真的很遗憾。”

  “I know,” he says. And then, as Andy’s saying goodbye, he stops him. “Andy,” he says, “tell me honestly: Is he mentally ill?”

“我知道。”他说。当安迪说再见时,他阻止了他。“安迪,”他说,“老实告诉我吧,他精神上真的病了吗?”


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