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                雙語有聲閱讀 | 不存在↘的女兒(節選)

                2019-12-16 16:13:40  每日學英語

                The Memory Keeper's Daughter





                The snow started to fall several hours before her labor began. A few flakes first, in the dull gray late-afternoon sky, and then wind-driven swirls and eddies around the edges of their wide front porch. He stood by her side at the window, watching sharp gusts of snow billow, then swirl and drift to the ground. All around the neighborhood, lights came on, and the naked branches of the trees turned white.


                After dinner he built a fire, venturing out into the weather for wood he had piled against the garage the previous autumn. The air was bright and cold against his face, and the snow in the driveway was already halfway to his knees. He gathered logs, shaking off their soft white caps and carrying them inside. The kindling in the iron grate caught fire immediately, and he sat for a time on the hearth, cross-legged, adding logs and watching the flames leap, blue-edged and hypnotic. Outside, snow continued to fall quietly through the darkness, as bright and thick as static in the cones of light cast by the streetlights. By the time he rose and looked out the window, their car had become a soft white hill on the edge of the street. Already his footprints in the driveway had filled and disappeared.


                He brushed ashes from his hands and sat on the sofa beside his wife, her feet propped on pillows, her swollen ankles crossed, a copy of Dr. Spock balanced on her belly. Absorbed, she licked her index finger absently each time she turned a page. Her hands were slender, her fingers short and sturdy, and she bit her bottom lip lightly, intently, as she read. Watching her, he felt a surge of love and wonder: that she was his wife, that their baby, due in just three weeks, would soon be born. Their first child, this would be. They had been married just a year.


                She looked up, smiling, when he tucked the blanket around her legs. "You know, I’ve been wondering what it's like,"she said. "Before we're bom, I mean. It's too bad we can't remember." She opened her robe and pulled up the sweater she wore underneath, revealing a belly as round and hard as a melon. She ran her hand across its smooth surface, firelight playing across her skin, casting reddish gold onto her hair. "Do you suppose it's like being inside a great lantern? The book says light-permeates my skin, that the baby can already see."


                "I don't know,"he said.


                She laughed. "Why not?" she asked. "You’re the doctor."


                "I'm just an orthopedic surgeon," he reminded her. "I could tell you the ossification pattern for fetal bones, but that's about it."He lifted her foot, both delicate and swollen inside the light blue sock, and began to massage it gently: the powerful tarsal bone of her heel, the metatarsals and the phalanges,hidden beneath skin and densely layered muscles like a fan about to open. Her breathing filled the quiet room, her foot warmed his hands, and he imagined the perfect, secret, symmetry of bones. In pregnancy she seemed to him beautiful but fragile, fine blue veins faintly visible through her pale white skin.

                “我只是個骨科醫生。”他提醒她,“我可以告訴你小寶寶在胚胎時期的骨化歷程,但僅此№而已。”他擡▅高她一只腳,裹在淺藍色襪子裏的雙腳細膩而腫脹,他輕輕地按摩:她腳後跟的跗骨強勁有力,腳掌骨和趾骨隱藏在肌膚之下,密密相叠的肌肉仿佛是把即將展開的扇子。房間裏靜得能聽到她的呼吸聲,她的腳溫暖了他♂的雙手,他腦↑海中浮現出骨頭的完美、隱秘與勻ω 稱。在他眼裏,懷孕的她顯得美麗而脆弱,蒼白的肌膚上隱約可見細微的藍色血管。

                It had been an excellent pregnancy,without medical restrictions. Even so, he had not been able to make love to her for several months. He found himself wanting to protect her instead, to carry her up flights of stairs, to wrap her in blankets, to bring her cups of custard. "I’m not an invalid," she protested each time, laughing. "I’m not some fledgling you discovered on the lawn." Still, she was pleased by his attentions. Sometimes he woke and watched her as she slept: the flutter of her eyelids, the slow even movement of her chest, her outflung hand, small enough that he could enclose it completely with his own.

                懷孕過程非常卐順利,醫生也沒有給出什麽限制。盡管如此,他己好幾個月沒有跟她燕好。他發現自己只想保護她,抱她上樓、替她蓋被子、幫她端布丁等等。“我不是◤病人,”她每次都︾笑著抗議,“也不是你在草坪上發現的雛鳥。”雖說如此,他的關愛其實令她相當開心。有∏時他醒來看著沈睡中的她,她的眼睫毛輕輕眨動,胸脯緩慢而平穩地起伏,一只手伸到一旁∞,小巧得能讓他完㊣ 全握住。

                She was eleven years younger than he was. He had first seen her not much more than a year ago, as she rode up an escalator in a department store downtown, one gray November Saturday while he was buying ties. He was thirty-three years old and new to Lexington, Kentucky, and she had risen out of the crowd like some kind of vision, her blond hair swept back in an elegant chignon, pearls glimmering at her throat and on her ears. She was wearing a coat of dark green wool, and her skin was clear and pale. He stepped onto the escalator, pushing his way upward through the crowd, struggling to keep her in sight. She went to the fourth floor, lingerie and hosiery. When he tried to follow her through aisles dense with racks of slips and brassieres and panties, all glimmering softly, a sales clerk in a navy blue dress with a white collar stopped him, smiling, to ask if she could help. A robe, he said, scanning the aisles until he caught sight of her hair, a dark green shoulder, her Gent head revealing the elegant pale curve of her neck. A robe for my sister who lives in New Orleans. He had no sister, of course, or any living family that he acknowledged.

                她比他小11歲。一年前,他們初次相逢。當時是11月的一個星期六,天氣陰沈,他到市區的一家百貨商店買領帶▆,剛好看到她乘電扶梯上樓。33歲的他剛搬到肯塔基州的萊克星頓。她從人群中脫穎而【出,仿佛美景△般,一頭金發在腦後盤成優雅的髻,珍珠在她頸部與耳際閃閃發光。她穿著一〓件深綠色的毛外套,肌膚澄凈而潔白。他踏上電№扶梯,推開人群往上走,力圖讓她不要離開自己的視線。她走到四〖樓的內衣與絲襪櫃臺,他試【圖跟隨著她,穿過一排排掛滿內衣、胸罩、內褲的貨架,件件衣¤物散發出柔軟的光澤。有位穿白領和天藍色外套的售貨小姐攔⌒ 下了他,微笑著詢問有何需要服務之處,他說想找件睡袍,同時雙眼不停地在貨架間搜☆尋,直至看到她的金發及深綠色的卐身影為止。她微微低頭,露出潔白優美的頸線。我想幫住在新奧爾良的妹妹買件睡袍,他當然沒※有妹妹,或是任何他所認識的、尚在人間◥的親人。

                The clerk disappeared and came back a moment later with three robes in sturdy terry cloth. He chose blindly, hardly glancing down, taking the one on top. Three sizes, the clerk was saying, and a better selection of colors next month, but he was already in the aisle, a coral-colored robe draped over his arm, his shoes squeaking on the tiles as he moved impatiently between the other shoppers to where she stood.


                She was shuffling through the stacks of expensive stockings, sheer colors shining through slick cellophane windows: taupe, navy, a maroon as dark as pig’s blood. The sleeve of her green coat brushed his and he smelled her perfume, something delicate and yet pervasive, something like the dense pale petals of lilacs outside the window of the student rooms he' d once occupied in Pittsburgh. The squat windows of his basement apartment were always grimy, opaque with steel-factory soot and ash, but in the spring there were lilacs blooming, sprays of white and lavender pressing against the glass, their scent drifting in like light.


                《不存在的女兒》故事情節由一對雙胞胎兄妹展開。故事從兩個家庭⌒ 不同的情況與表現切入,通過正反兩方面向觀眾闡釋了美國人的傳統價值觀。他■們重視愛的教育;提倡誠實待人,不隱瞞事情,敢於坦白;他們珍惜家庭,會用愛來守護家庭ㄨ;他們勇於追求夢想,會≡為自己的夢想無怨無悔地不斷努力。