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Tropic of Cancer[北回归线][En/Cn]

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第五章

 

第1节

这是我在那个戏剧家那儿吃的最后一顿饭,他们刚刚租了架新钢琴,一架卧式钢琴。我遇到西尔维斯特,他刚从花店里出来,抱着一株橡皮树。他问我肯不肯替他抱着,因为他还要去买雪茄。我早已一家家吃遍了”蹭饭”,都是事先精心筹划好的。那些丈夫和妻子们一个个都对我反感起来。抱着橡皮树走着,我想起几个月前的那个晚上,当时我头一回想到了这个主意。

It is my last dinner at the dramatist's Home. They have just rented a new piano, a concert grand. I meet Sylvester coming out of the florist's with a rubber plant in his arms. He asks me if I would carry it for him while he goes for the cigars. One by one I've fucked myself out of all these free meals which I had planned so carefully. One by one the husbands turn against me, or the wives. As I walk along with the rubber plant in my arms I think of that night a few months back when the idea first occurred to me.

 

我坐在法兰西学院附近的一把长椅上,玩弄我的结婚戒指。这只戒指我一度想要当给多姆饭店的一个伙计。他只出六个法郎,对此我很恼火,可还是顾肚子要紧。同莫娜分别以后戒指一直戴在我的小指上,它已完全成为我身体的一部分,我从未想过要把它卖掉。这是一只镶桔花的白金戒指,以前值一个半美元,或许更多。我们一起生活了三年都没有买结婚戒指,后来有一天我去码头上接莫娜,凑巧路过少女巷的一个珠宝店,橱窗里摆满了结婚戒指。我赶到码头上却不见莫娜,等到最后一名乘客从跳板上下来仍没有莫娜。最后我要求看旅客名单,上面没有她的名字。于是我把戒指戴在自己的小指上,一直戴到现在。有一回我把它忘在一家公共浴室里,不过还是找回来了,只是掉了一个桔花瓣。话说回来,我低头坐在长椅上正玩弄戒指,突然有人拍了拍我的背。结果,长话短说,我弄到了一顿饭吃,还有几法郎。这时我心里才豁然一亮—只要一个人有勇气去要,谁也不会拒绝请他吃一顿饭。于是我马上来到一家咖啡馆写了十来封信,”您能否允许我每周陪您共进一次晚餐?请您顺告星期几最合适。”

I was sitting on a bench near the Coupole, fingering the wedding ring which I had tried to pawn off on a garçon at the Dôme. He had offered me six francs for it and I was in a rage about it. But the belly was getting the upper hand. Ever since I left Mona I had worn the ring on my pinkie. It was so much a part of me that it had never occurred to me to sell it. It was one of those orange-blossom affairs in white gold. Worth a dollar and a half once, maybe more. For three years we went along without a wedding ring and then one day when I was going to the pier to meet Mona I happened to pass a jewelry window on Maiden Lane and the whole window was stuffed with wedding rings. When I got to the pier Mona was not to be seen. I waited for the last passenger to descend the gangplank, but no Mona. Finally I asked to be shown the passenger list. Her name was not on it. I slipped the wedding ring on my pinkie and there it stayed. Once I left it in a public bath, but then I got it back again. One of the orange blossoms had fallen off. Anyway, I was sitting there on the bench with my head down, twiddling the ring, when suddenly someone clapped me on the back. To make it brief, I got a meal and a few francs besides. And then it occurred to me, like a flash, that no one would refuse a man a meal if only he had the courage to demand it. I went immediately to a café and wrote a dozen letters. "Would you let me have dinner with you once a week? Tell me what day is most convenient for you."

 

这个办法灵极了,他们不仅给我吃饱,而且吃的是宴席,我每夜都喝得醉醺醺地回去。这些一周款待我一回的好心肠的人们对我简直是关怀备至,而我怎么打发两顿饭之间的日子他们并不关心。有时几个考虑周到的人也会给我几支香烟或一点零花钱。明白了一周只会见到我一次之后,他们显然都松了一口气,听到我说—“这也不再需要了”,他们简直如释重负了。他们从不问为什么我不去了,只是祝贺了我一番拉倒。通常的原因是我找到了一位更好客的主人,可以冒险辞去几个不好对付的主人的招待了,他们自己当然从未想到其中的奥妙。后来我便有一个稳定的、靠得住的日程安排,这是一个订死的日程。我预先便知道每逢星期二吃这样饭,每逢星期五吃那样饭,我知道克朗斯塔特会请我喝香摈、吃自家做的苹果馅饼,卡尔则会邀我出去吃,每一次换一家饭馆,叫名贵葡萄酒,吃完饭还请我去看戏或是去梅德尔多马戏团。我的主人们爱互相探听别人的消息,他们问我最喜欢哪个饭馆、哪个厨子做的菜好,等等。我觉得我最喜欢克朗斯塔恃的后腿肉,也许这是因为他每次都把饭菜涂到墙上的缘故。明白我欠他这么一大笔人情使我的良心不安,因为我并不打算报答他,他也并不指望我会报答他。不,使我大惑不解的是那些余数,他算帐一直要算清最后一个生叮若要把帐全部付清,我必须得找开一个苏才行。克朗斯塔特的老婆是个高明的厨子,根本不理会他加起来的尾数,她把它从复写的帐上替我抹去了。这是事实。可是如果我去时不带上新的复写纸,她便很沮丧。为此我第二天只得带着那个小姑娘上卢森堡,跟她一起玩上两三个小时。这是一项叫我发疯的任务,因为她只会讲匈牙利语和法语。我的主人们总的来说都是一群怪人……

It worked like a charm. I was not only fed … I was feasted. Every night I went home drunk. They couldn't do enough for me, these generous once-a-week souls. What happened to me between times was none of their affair. Now and then the thoughtful ones presented me with cigarettes, or a little pin money. They were all obviously relieved when they realized that they would see me only once a week. And they were still more relieved when I said – "it won't be necessary any more." They never asked why. They congratulated me, and that was all. Often the reason was I had found a better host; I could afford to scratch off the ones who were a pain in the ass. But that thought never occurred to them. Finally I had a steady, solid program – a fixed schedule. On Tuesdays I knew it would be this kind of a meal and on Fridays that kind. Cronstadt, I knew, would have champagne for me and Homemade apple pie. And Carl would invite me out, take me to a different restaurant each time, order rare wines, invite me to the theater afterward or take me to the Cirque Médrano. They were curious about one another, my hosts. Would ask me which place I liked best, who was the best cook, etc. I think I liked Cronstadt's joint best of all, perhaps because he chalked the meal up on the wall each time. Not that it eased my conscience to see what I owed him, because I had no intention of paying him back nor had he any illusions about being requited. No, it was the odd numbers which intrigued me. He used to figure it out to the last centime. If I was to pay in full I would have had to break a sou. His wife was a marvelous cook and she didn't give a fuck about those centimes Cronstadt added up. She took it out of me in carbon copies. A fact! If I hadn't any fresh carbons for her when I showed up, she was crestfallen. And for that I would have to take the little girl to the Luxembourg next day, play with her for two or three hours, a task which drove me wild because she spoke nothing but Hungarian and French. They were a queer lot on the whole, my hosts…

 

  在塔尼亚家里,我从阳台上望着下面那桌酒席。莫尔多夫也在,坐在他的偶像身边。他把脚伸到炉边烤,水汪汪的眼睛里流露出一副古怪的感恩戴德表情。塔尼亚在放一支慢节奏的曲子,曲子说得很明白—别再提爱的话了!我又来到喷泉处,看乌龟们撒出绿色的奶状尿来。西尔维斯特刚从百老汇回来,心里充满了万般柔情。我整夜躺在林荫路边,与此同时整个地球被洒上热呼呼的乌龟尿,而性欲勃发、阴茎竖起的公马蹄不沾地疯了似的狂奔。我整夜都嗅到那间小黑房子里的紫丁香味,她正在那儿取下插在头上的花儿,那还是她去迎接西尔维斯特时我给她买的。她说西尔维斯特回来时心里充满了柔情蜜意,这时丁香花还在她头上插着、在她嘴里插着、塞在她腋下。那问屋里充满了爱、乌龟尿、温暖的紫丁香和狂奔的马,到早上窗子上尽是脏牙痕和污垢,通向林荫路的小门也锁上了。人们去工作,百叶窗像盔甲一样格格响。在喷泉对面的书店里有乍得湖的故事和沉默而艳丽的绿黄色的蜥蜴。

At Tania's I look down on the spread from the balcony. Moldorf is there, sitting beside his idol. He is warming his feet at the hearth, a monstrous look of gratitude in his watery eyes. Tania is running over the adagio. The adagio says very distinctly: no more words of love! I am at the fountain again, watching the turtles pissing green milk. Sylvester has just come back from Broadway with a heart full of love. All night I was lying on a bench outside the mall while the globe was sprayed with warm turtle piss and the horses stiffened with priapic fury galloped like mad without ever touching the ground. All night long I smell the lilacs in the little dark room where she is taking down her hair, the lilacs that I bought for for her as she went to meet Sylvester. He came back with a heart full of love, she said, and the lilacs are in her hair, her mouth, they are choking her armpits. The room is swimming with love and turtle piss and warm lilacs and the horses are galloping like mad. In the morning dirty teeth and scum on the windowpanes; the little gate that leads to the mall is locked. People are going to work and the shutters are rattling like coats of mail. In the bookstore opposite the fountain is the story of Lake Chad, the silent lizards, the gorgeous gamboge tints.

 

  我写给她的所有的信都是酒醉后写的,结尾十分突兀,都是用木炭涂的疯话。我在一条条长椅上一点点慢慢写就,周围到处是爆竹、小垫子、百果冰淇淋。他们现在准一起在看这些信呢,西尔维斯特某一天会恭维我几句。他会弹弹烟灰说,”老实讲,你写得很好。看来你是一位超现实主义者,对吗?”他的声音干巴巴的、尖而细,牙齿上沾满了头皮屑一样的东西。他把”solar plexus”读成”Solo”、把”gaga”读作”g”我站在阳台上,身边摆着橡皮树,楼上回荡着那支慢板。琴键是黑的、白的,然后又一个黑的、又一个白的,然后又是一个白的、一个黑的。你想知道能否为我弹一曲什么。好的,就用你粗大的拇指弹点儿什么。就弹那首慢板吧,那是你唯一会弹的鬼曲子。弹吧,弹完就剁掉你的粗拇指好了。

All the letters I wrote her, drunken ones with a blunt stub, crazy ones with bits of charcoal, little pieces from bench to bench, firecrackers, doilies, tutti frutti; they will be going over them now, together, and he will compliment me one day. He will say, as he flicks his cigar ash: "Really, you write quite well. Let's see, you're a surrealist, aren't you?" Dry, brittle voice, teeth full of dandruff, solo for solar plexus, g for gaga.Upon the balcony with the rubber plant and the adagio going on down below. The keys are black and white, then black, then white, then white and black. And you want to know if you can play something for me. Yes, play something with those big thumbs of yours. Play the adagio since that's the only goddamned thing you know. Play it, and then cut off your big thumbs.

 

  慢板!我不明白她为什么要没完没了地弹它,她觉得原先的钢琴还不够好,于是又租了一架卧式钢琴,却只是为了弹慢板!看着她粗笨的手指按在琴键上和身边那株傻里傻气的橡皮树,我觉得自己变成了北欧神话中的狂人,他曾脱下衣服赤身坐在冬天的树权上,往冰冷的海水里掷核桃。这个乐章中有一种叫人恼怒的东西,一种莫名的悲哀,仿佛它已被书写于熔岩中,仿佛它呈铅和牛奶的混合色。西尔维斯特的脑袋偏向一侧,像个拍卖商。他说,”弹弹另一个乐章,那段你今天练习过的。”

That adagio! I don't know why she insists on playing it all the time. The old piano wasn't good enough for her; she had to rent a concert grand – for the adagio! When I see her big thumbs pressing the keyboard and that silly rubber plant beside me I feel like that madman of the North who threw his clothes away and, sitting naked in the wintry boughs, threw nuts down into the herring frozen sea. There is something exasperating about this movement, something abortively melancholy about it, as if it had been written in lava, as if it had the color of lead and milk mixed. And Sylvester, with his head cocked to one side like an auctioneer, Sylvester says: "Play that other one you were practising today."

 

  有一件抽烟服、一很好雪前和一个会弹钢琴的老婆真是太好了,使人那么轻松,那么自在。你在两个节目之间出去抽支烟,呼吸一下新鲜空气。是的,她的手指非常柔软,不是一般的柔软。

It's beautiful to have a smoking jacket, a good cigar and a wife who plays the piano. So relaxing. So lenitive. Between the acts you go out for a smoke and a breath of fresh air. Yes, her fingers are very supple, extraordinary supple.

 

  她也做蜡染活儿。想吸一根保加利亚香烟试试吗?喂,鸡胸,我喜欢的另一乐章叫什么?叫谐谑曲!太棒了,谐虐谑!这是沃尔德马•冯•施温辛祖格伯爵在说话,他生着一双冷静的头皮屑色的眼睛,口臭,穿着俗气的袜子。请帮忙往豌豆汤里加点儿面包块。我们星期五晚上常喝豌豆汤。来点儿红酒好吗?红酒是吃肉时喝的。他的声音干巴巴的,倒也利索。来支雪茄?是的,我喜欢我的工作,不过不大重视它。我的下一个剧本将要探讨宇宙的多元观念,用旋转灯具和镁光。奥尼尔已经死了。

She does batik work too. Would you like to try a Bulgarian cigarette? I say, pigeon breast, what's that other movement I like so well? The scherzo! Ah, yes, the scherzo! Excellent. the scherzo! Count Waldemar von Schwisseneinzug speaking. Cool, dandruff eyes. Halitosis. Gaudy socks. And croutons in the pea soup, if you please. We always have pea soup Friday nights. Won't you try a little red wine? The red wine goes with the meat, you know. A dry, crisp voice. Have a cigar, won't you? Yes, I like my work, but I don't attach any importance to it. My next play will involve a pluralistic conception of the universe. Revolving drums with calcium lights. O'Neill is dead.

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