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《美食祈祷和恋爱》Chapter 28 (57):和David说再见

Continuing with this unprecedented string of intimacies, my mother said, "You have to understand how little I was raised to expect that I deserved in life, honey. Remember—I come from a different time and place than you do."

接连这一连串前所未有的亲密对谈,我的母亲继续说道:“亲爱的,你得了解,我成长的环境使我不去期待自己应当过什么样的日子。别忘了——我的成长时代与环境,和你不同。”

I closed my eyes and saw my mother, ten years old on the family farm in Minnesota, working like a hired hand, raising her younger brothers, wearing the clothes of her older sister, saving dimes to get herself out of there . . .

我闭上眼睛,看见的我母亲十岁的时候待在明尼苏达的家族农场,如雇佣似的劳动,养育她的弟弟们,穿她姐姐的旧衣裳,存钱让自己离开那里……

"And you have to understand how much I love your father," she concluded.

“你得了解,我很爱你父亲。”她总结道。

My mother has made choices in her life, as we all must, and she is at peace with them. I can see her peace. She did not cop out on herself. The benefits of her choices are massive—a long, stable marriage to a man she still calls her best friend; a family that has extended now into grandchildren who adore her; a certainty in her own strength. Maybe some things were sacrificed, and my dad made his sacrifices, too—but who amongst us lives without sacrifice?

我母亲做了她的人生抉择,如同我们每个人,而她处之泰然。我看得见她的安详。她并未给自己找借口。她的抉择有莫大的效益:和她依然称作好友的男人,保持稳定长久的婚姻;受儿孙爱戴的大家庭;对自身力量的肯定。或许她牺牲了一些东西,而我父亲也做出种种牺牲——然而我们当中有谁一生中不曾做过牺牲?

And the question now for me is, What are my choices to be? What do I believe that I deserve in this life? Where can I accept sacrifice, and where can I not? It has been so hard for me to imagine living a life without David in it. Even just to imagine that there will never be another road trip with my favorite traveling companion, that I will never again pull up at his curb with the windows down and Springsteen playing on the radio, a lifetime supply of banter and snacks between us, and an ocean destination looming down the highway. But how can I accept that bliss when it comes with this dark underside—bone-crushing isolation, corrosive insecurity, insidious resentment and, of course, the complete dismantling of self that inevitably occurs when David ceases to giveth, and commences to taketh away. I can't do it anymore. Something about my recent joy in Naples has made me certain that I not only can find happiness without David, but must. No matter how much I love him (and I do love him, in stupid excess), I have to say goodbye to this person now. And I have to make it stick.

对我来说,现在的问题是——我的抉择是什么?我相信这一生该过怎样的生活?我何时愿意、何时不愿意牺牲?想象没有大卫的生活,对我来说很不容易。即使只是想象跟我最爱的旅伴不再有另一次旅行,再也不能在路边停下车来,摇下车窗,聆听收音机上播放着的史普林斯汀(Springsteen),两人之间摆着一辈子的玩笑和零食,公路尽头的海洋终点若隐若现——都太困难了。然而我哪能享受这样的欢乐,假使随之而来的是潜藏的黑暗面——令人粉身碎骨的孤立,侵心的不安,隐藏的怨恨,以及每当大卫停止付出、开始遁走时,终要瓦解的自我。我再也走不下去。不久前在那不勒斯的快乐使我确信,没有大卫,我不仅“能够”、也“必须”找到快乐。无论我多么爱他(我确实爱他,爱得过分发痴),我现在不得不向此人道别,而且必须坚持到底。

So I write him an e-mail.

于是我写了封电子邮件给他。

It's November. We haven't had any communication since July. I'd asked him not to get in touch with me while I was traveling, knowing that my attachment to him was so strong it would be impossible for me to focus on my journey if I were also tracking his. But now I'm entering his life again with this e-mail.

这是11月的事。打从7月,我们就未再联络。我要他在我旅行期间不要与我联系,因为我明白,假使与他联系,我对他的强烈爱恋将使自己无法专心旅行。可是现在,这封电子邮件让我再次走入他的生活。

I tell him that I hope he's well, and I report that I am well. I make a few jokes. We always were good with the jokes. Then I explain that I think we need to put an end to this relationship for good. That maybe it's time to admit that it will never happen, that it should never happen. The note isn't overly dramatic. Lord knows we've had enough drama together already. I keep it short and simple. But there's one more thing I need to add. Holding my breath, I type, "If you want to look for another partner in your life, of course you have nothing but my blessings." My hands are shaking. I sign off with love, trying to keep as cheerful a tone as possible.

我跟他说希望他一切安好,我告知他我很好。我开了几个玩笑,我们向来擅于开玩笑。接着我解释说,我认为我们应该永久结束这段关系。或许我们应该承认我们永远不可能在一起,也不该在一起。这不是一封过分戏剧化的信件。天晓得我们已共同走过够多的戏剧。我写得很简短。但还有件事我得加上去。我屏住气,在键盘上打下:“你若想寻找生命中的另一个伴侣,我会全心祝福你。”我的手在发抖。我在信尾签上“爱”,尽可能保持愉快的语气。

I feel like I just got hit in the chest with a stick.

我觉得胸口像被棍子击了一记。

I don't sleep much that night, imagining him reading my words. I run back to the Internet café a few times throughout the next day, looking for a response. I'm trying to ignore the part of me that is dying to find that he has replied: "COME BACK! DON'T GO! I'LL CHANGE!" I'm trying to disregard the girl in me who would happily drop this whole grand idea of traveling around the world in simple exchange for the keys to David's apartment. But around ten o'clock that night, I finally get my answer. A wonderfully written e-mail, of course. David always wrote wonderfully. He agrees that, yes, it's time we really said good-bye forever. He's been thinking along the same lines himself, he says. He couldn't be more gracious in his response, and he shares his own feelings of loss and regret with that high tenderness he was sometimes so achingly capable of reaching. He hopes that I know how much he adores me, beyond even his ability to find words to express it. "But we are not what the other one needs," he says. Still, he is certain that I will find great love in my life someday. He's sure of it. After all, he says, "beauty attracts beauty."

当晚我没怎么睡,想象他阅读我的来信。隔天我来回跑了几趟网吧,期待回音。我试着忽视一部分自己渴望他回信说“ 回来吧!别走!我会改变!”我尝试忽视自己心中的那个女孩,快乐地丢下这整个环游世界的伟大主意,只为换取大卫公寓的钥匙。然而当晚十点钟左右,我终于收到了回信。当然这是一封文笔很好的信。大卫向来有一手好文笔。他同意,是的,该是永远告别的时候了。他自己也同样想过这件事,他说。他的回复婉转和蔼,分享自己的失落与感伤,带着他时而得以达到的高度温柔。他希望我知道他对我的爱慕,超乎语言所能表达。“然而我们并非彼此的需要。”他说。尽管如此,他确定有一天我会找到一生的挚爱,他确信无疑。他说,毕竟“美吸引美”。

Which is a lovely thing to say, truly. Which is just about the loveliest thing that the love of your life could ever possibly say, when he's not saying, "COME BACK! DON'T GO! I'LL CHANGE!"

这么说真好。这是你的爱人所能跟你讲的最好的话,即使他没说:回来吧!别走!我会改变!

I sit there staring at the computer screen in silence for a long, sad time. It's all for the best, I know it is. I'm choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I'm making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises. I know all this. But still . . .

我坐在那儿盯着电脑屏幕,持续一段长而悲伤的时间。这是最好的结果,我明白。我选择快乐,而非受苦。我晓得。我给未知的将来留下空间,让自己的生命充满即将来临的惊喜。这些我都晓得。然而……

It's David. Lost to me now.

是大卫。我失去了他。


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