幸福接力棒

幸福接力棒规则及如何玩
09-06-07  匿名提问 发布
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    8h8x

    别动那张餐桌  Leave that dining table alone  

    早晨,老婆坐在餐桌边吃早餐,忽然想到了一个问题,她说,你可记得我们家原来那张餐桌?拉到旧货市场,起码要卖800元。
    My wife was taking breakfast one morning; all of a sudden, she sprang up a question: ’Do you still remember that old dining table of ours? It’s worth easily 800 Yuan in the flea market!’

    一年前,我们家换了新房。旧房子租了出去,在租房这件事上,我们做了很大让步。租房的是一对进城打工夫妇,带着孩子,看样子条件很拮据。谈房租时,我说,你们就看着给吧,多少无所谓。餐桌底下,我的脚趾差点被老婆踩成骨折。老婆也是个好人,但她的意思是,吃亏要是吃在明处,否则,别人把你当孬子。
    We moved to a new house a year ago, so we rented out the old house and we conceded a lot on the rental conditions. Our tenant was a couple with a child from the rural area, now working in the city and they looked hardscrabble. When we discussed the rent, I told them: ‘See how much you can pay, we don’t really mind.’ However, under the table, my wife’s warning trample almost fractured my toes. She’s a kind woman, but she insisted that I should be taken advantage of openly, otherwise I may look like a stupid coward.

    现在,老婆说,当时的合同上没有注明提供家具,餐桌可以拖回来卖了,资源不能闲置啊!
    中午,我就去了原来的房子。那户人家正在吃饭。餐桌上一碟萝卜,一碟白菜,还有一盆西红柿蛋汤。孩子很贪婪,把勺子里的汤喝出很大的响声。餐桌上的热气一圈圈环绕,升腾。最基本的物质条件,可是我能感受到,幸福就像接力棒,在这一家人的眼神中传递。
    Now my wife thought that the rental contract did not specify the supply of furniture, so the dining table could be taken back and sold; resources should not be left idle, she claimed.
    So, I went to the old house at noon. The family was having lunch; on the table were a plate of radish, a plate of cabbage and a pot of tomato and egg soup, the child was greedily and noisily gulping the soup. Circles of hot steam were hovering over the table and then rising into the air; this I considered was the basic minimum living standard, but I could feel the happiness radiating from their eyes, and passing it among themselves just like a relay baton.

    女人吃完了,习惯性地拿起抹布擦桌子,餐桌被擦得很光。她边擦边说,你们都是好人,留这么好的餐桌给我们用,你瞧,多好的桌子,大理石的桌面,柚木的料,还有四个抽屉……
    我想了想,话真的说不出口。我不能让他们拆下一桌的饭菜,把桌子拖走。一家人的目光小心翼翼,或许是他们觉察到我不怀好意地盯了餐桌很久。我只好起身告辞,我说,我没有别的意思,只是来看看。
    The woman had finished her meal and habitually started to wipe the table, which became sparkling clean. While she was wiping, she said: ‘You’re all good people, let us use such a good dining table; you see, how nice it is, marble top, teak wood, and these four drawers…….’
    I pondered for a moment, hesitating to speak. I could not ask them to discard all the dishes and take away the table. The family was looking at me gingerly, as if my long stare at the table had exposed my ulterior motive to them. So I stood up and bid them farewell, telling them I just dropped by with no particular reasons.

    或许换个时间更恰当一些。几天后的一天傍晚,估计晚饭吃过了,我觉得这是时机。
    敲开门。餐桌上放置了一盏台灯,昏黄的光,勉强推开夜色。这一家人围坐在餐桌旁边,孩子咬着铅笔上的橡皮头,在做作业。女人就着灯光织毛衣。男人伸出骨节粗大的手,抽一支劣质香烟。他温情地看着妻儿。作为一个男人,我能读懂另一个男人的眼神:一种欣慰和满足,也是一种呵护。
    Maybe I should find another suitable occasion. So in an evening a few days later, I reckoned this might be the right time as dinner should be already over. I knocked on the door and was let in. There was a reading lamp on the dining table, the yellow light barely illuminated the darkness. The family members were sitting around the table, the child was doing his homework, biting at the rubber on top of his pencil. The woman was knitting a sweater. The man stretched out his massive hand, holding an inferior cigarette, and tenderly gazing at his wife and kid. As a man myself, I could understand the expression of another man’s eyes: gratified and contented, as well as protective.    

    女人示意我看抽屉,我看见了一条浅浅的划痕。她表示歉意,说,龟儿子用小刀划的,我心痛得一个晚上没睡觉,我把他痛打一顿,这龟儿子哭了一个下午。
    我听了心酸。摸着孩子的头,我告诉女主人,就让他用小刀划吧,这是孩子的天性。同时,我想我得赶紧走,我担心一个眼神、一句话,会给他们的心里留下划痕。回家我发出警告,动什么,别动那张餐桌,原因我不想解释。我忽然间强硬起来了。
    The woman indicated to the drawer, and I saw a light scratched mark. She apologized: ‘My son did it with a penknife. It hurt me so much I couldn’t sleep; so I gave him a thrashing and he cried for the whole afternoon.’  It wrung my withers(注一) after hearing this. I stroked the boy’s head and told the mother that it was okay to let him scratch with the knife, this was the nature of little boys. Meanwhile, I told myself I had to leave immediately, because I worried that maybe one look or a remark would leave a scratch in their hearts. Back at home I warned my wife to leave that dining table alone, no explanation; suddenly I found myself very firm on the issue.

    一张过时的餐桌,把它拖回来,只能在旧货市场为它找出路。而留在那里,就成了那家人的圣物。一天三次的幸福感,这家人都将在餐桌边体验。劳动之余,疲惫之余,餐桌召集他们围拢在一起,吃饭、做作业、织毛衣、说话、用眼神交流,短暂的快乐,片刻的愉悦,是他们辛劳之后应得的收获。动一下餐桌,或许,他们心里最后那点平衡会被撬动。
    An obsolete dining table, if taken back, it could be disposed of only in the flea market. But if it was kept there, it could be a sacred object to that family; they enjoyed the sense of happiness three times a day at the dining table. After a day’s exhausting work, the dining table summoned them around, taking meals, doing homework, knitting sweater, talking, exchanging with expressions of the eyes, a brief joy, a moment of delight, these were what they should savor after a day of toil and moil(注二). Maybe, if we moved the table a bit, the ultimate equilibrium in their hearts might be off balanced.  

    习惯用语:注一:wring sb.’s withers引起某人极大的痛苦和不安; 令人同情
             注二:toil and moil辛辛苦苦地工作,辛劳

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