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让我们Going Home 回家

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I first heard this story a few years ago from a girl I had met in New York's Greenwich Village. Probably the story is one of those mysterious bits of folklore that reappear every few years, to be told a new in one form or another. However, I still like to think that it really did happen, somewhere, sometime.

  几年前我在纽约的格林尼治村从一位遇到的姑娘那儿第一次听到这个故事。它或许是那种隔几年就会面目一新地被从头传播一次的奇特的民间传说。但是我依然愿意想象它是个某地某时真实发生过的事。

  They were going to Fort Lauderdalethree boys and three girls and when they boarded the bus, they were carrying sandwiches and wine in paper bags, dreaming of golden beaches as the gray cold of New York vanished behind them.

  三个男孩和三个女孩带着纸袋装的三明治与葡萄酒,登车前往佛罗里达的劳德达拉要塞。他们神往着金色的海滩,将灰蒙蒙的冰冷的纽约甩在了死后。

  As the bus passed through New Jersey, they began to notice Vingo. He sat in front of them, dressed in a plain, ill-fitting suit, never moving, his dusty face masking his age. He kept chewing the inside of his lip a lot, frozen into some personal cocoon of silence.

  当他们穿过新泽西州时,坐在前排的一个叫温格的男人引起他们的留意。他穿戴一套不起眼亦很不合身的衣服,一动不动,满脸尘埃掩盖了他的年纪,他不停地咬着下嘴唇,堕入深思中。

  Deep into the night, outside Washington, the bus pulled into Howard Johnson's, and everybody got off except Vingo. He sat rooted in his seat, and the young people began to wonder about him, trying to imagine his life: perhaps he was a sea captain, a runaway from his wife, an old soldier going home. When they went back to the bus, one of the girls sat beside him and introduced herself.

  夜深了,轿车停在华盛顿城外的霍华德约翰逊连锁饭馆,除了温格,其他人都下了车,他仍一丝不动地坐在那里。他引起这班年轻人的猜测:或许他是个船长,或许是从家出走的,或者是一个归家的老兵。当他们又回到车上时,他们中的一个女孩坐到温格的身边,并向他作了毛遂自荐。

  “We're going to Florida,” she said brightly.“ I hear it's really beautiful.”

  “我们都是去佛罗里达的,”那个女孩轻快地说。“我传闻那里很美。”

  “It is, ” he said quietly, as if remembering something he had tried to forget.

  “是的,”他静静地回答道,他似乎记起了曩昔曾试图忘却的往事。

  “Want some wine?” she said. He smiled and took a swig. He thanked her and retreated again into his silence. After a while, she went back to the others, and Vingo nodded in sleep.

  “来点葡萄酒吧?”那个女孩说。他浅笑着喝了一大口,说声谢谢后又回到他的缄默沉静中。后来她回到那班人中,温格则低着头睡着了。

  In the morning, they awoke outside another Howard Johnson's,and this time Vingo went in. The girl insisted that he join them. He seemed very shy, and ordered black coffee and smoked nervously as the young people chattered about sleeping on beaches. When they returned to the bus, the girl sat with Vingo again, and after a while, slowly and painfully, he told his story. He had been in jail in New York for the past four years, and now he was going home.

  早上,他们醒来时轿车停在另一个约翰逊连锁饭馆前,这回温格也进去了。那个女孩竭力约请他参加他们的团体。但他看起来很腼腆,当那班年轻人谈论着在海边该怎样过夜时,他则独自一人呆在一边喝黑咖啡,还不停地抽烟,显得有些忐忑不安。当他们回到车上时,那个女孩又坐到他身边,过了一瞬间,温格才缓慢并且痛楚地诉说起他的阅历。他在纽约的监狱里呆了四年,现在他假释回家了。

  “Are you married?”

  “你成婚了吗?”

  “I don't know.”

  “我不知道。”

  “You don't know?” she said.

  “你不知道?”那女孩很古怪。

  “Well, when I was in jail I wrote to my wife,” he said. “ I told her that I was going to be away a long time, and that if she couldn't stand it, if the kids kept asking questions, if it hurt too much, well, she could just forget me, I'd understand. Get a new guy, I saidshe‘s a wonderful woman,really somethingand forget about me. I told her she didn't have to write me for nothing. And she didn‘t. Not for three and a half years.”

  “是这样,我在狱中时曾给我妻子写过一封信”他说,“通知她我要脱离很长一段时刻,如果她忍受不了,如果孩子不断追问,如果这使她十分苦楚,那么她能够忘了我,我会理解的。我叫她从头嫁人,我知道她是个很不错的女性,真的不一般。我让她忘了我,我让她别给我写回信,由于这没有用,她也真没回信,我已有三年半没有她的消息了。”

  “And you're going home now, not knowing?”

  “那么你就这样盲目地回家去?”

  “Yeah,” he said shyly. “ Well, last week, when I was sure the parole was coming through, I wrote her again. We used to live in Brunswick, just before Jacksonville, and there's a big oak tree just as you come into town. I told her that if she'd take me back, she should put a yellow handkerchief on the tree, and I'd get off and come home. If she didn't want me, forget itno handkerchief, and I'd go on through.”

  “也不是,”他略带腼腆地说:“上星期当我确知假释得到批按时,我又给她写过一封信。曩昔我们住在布伦斯威克,就在杰克逊维尔前面,在进城去的路上有一棵巨大的橡树。我通知她,如果她愿意我回来就在树上挂一方黄手帕,我就下车回家。如果她不要我就遗忘这件事,看不见手帕,我也就不下车了。”

  “Wow,” the girl exclaimed. “Wow.”

  “噢,是吗?”那个女孩惊奇极了。

  She told the others, and soon all of them were in it, caught up in the approach of Brunswick, looking at the pictures Vingo showed them of his wife and three children. The woman was handsome in a plain way, the children still unformed in the much-handled snapshots.

  她把这事通知了火伴们,所以他们都盼着快点到伦斯威克。温格又给他们看了一张他妻子与三个孩子的相片。这是一张被摸旧了的相片:一个面庞正经的妇女与三个年岁还小的孩子。

  Now they were 20 miles from Brunswick, and the young people took over window seats on the right side, waiting for the approach of the great oak tree. The bus acquired a dark, hushed mood, full of the silence of absence and lost years. Vingo stopped looking, tightening his face into the ex-con's mask, as if fortifying himself against still another disappointment.

  现在他们离布伦斯威克只要20英里了,那班年轻人占有了车右边靠窗的座位,等候着那棵橡树的呈现。轿车里一片昏暗和安静。充满着所失掉的岁月的沉重的气氛。温格则低下头,一副囚犯们所特有的绷紧的面庞,不敢往外看,好象是防范着又一次绝望的冲击。

  Then Brunswick was ten miles, and then five. Then,suddenly, all of the young people were up out of their seats, screaming and shouting and crying, doing small dances of joy. All except Vingo.

  离布伦斯威克只要十英里了,五英里了,突然,那班年轻人全都叫着从座位上跳了起来,快乐得手舞足蹈,只要温格破例。

  Vingo sat there stunned, looking at the oak tree. It was covered with yellow handkerchiefs20 of them, 30 of them, maybe hundreds, a tree that stood like a banner of welcome billowing in the wind. As the young people shouted, the old con rose and made his way to the front of the bus to go home.

  温格呆若木鸡地坐在那儿,望着窗外的橡树,那上面挂满了黄手帕。20块,30块,或许有好几百块,这棵树站在那儿,就象一面欢迎的大旗,在风中飘荡。在年轻人的叫喊声中,那个往日的囚犯站起来,走到车门前,然后向家走去。

 

 

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