黃昏之戀 02

Memories of Melancholy Whores 02
黃昏之戀
By Gabriel Garcia Marquez 馬奎士

On my ninetieth birthday I woke, as always, at five in the morning. Since it was Friday, my only obligation 職責was to write the signed 簽約的column 專欄published on Sundays in El diarie de La Paz.

My symptoms 病掙at dawn were perfect for not feeling happy: my bones had been aching since the small hours深夜, my asshole 老二burned 疼燙 and thunder 雷鳴threatened 預示a storm after three months of drought旱災t.

I bathed 沐浴while the coffee was brewing 沖泡, drank a large cup sweetened 變甜with honey蜂蜜, had two pieces of cassava 樹薯bread , and put on 穿上the linen 麻布 coverall 工作服I wear in the house.

The subject 題目of that day’s column專欄, of course, was my ninetieth birthday. I never have thought about age as a leak 裂縫in the roof indicating 指示the quantity 數量of life one had left 剩餘to live.

When I was very young I heard someone say that when people die the lice蝨子 nesting 作巢in their hair escape in terror 恐懼地onto the pillows 枕頭, to the shame of the family 令家人羞愧.

To 表示結果,如to my amazement 令我驚訝to my joy 結果令我快樂to my annoyance 令我懊惱 to my embarrassment 令我尷尬

That was so harsh 嚴厲a warning 警告to me that I let my hair be shorn修剪 for school, and the few strands I have left 剩餘的幾根頭髮I still wash with the soap you would use on a grateful討人喜愛的 flea-bitten 被跳蚤咬的dog.

Shear/sheared/ shorn 修剪

This means, I tell myself now, that ever since I was little my sense of social decency處世的正當行為 has been more developed發展 than my sense of death 面對死亡之感覺.。

雄伯曰:馬奎士小時候上學理髮的理由,是唯恐死時頭髮上蝨子跳到枕頭,令家人蒙羞,可見他是多麼在乎世俗規範的眼光!而九十高齡的他卻狂戀青春少女,難道就不在乎家人難堪?揆馬奎士之意,人面對死亡時,感覺特別強烈,若還畏首畏尾,拘泥於世俗規範而正當行為,人何時才能為自己而活?人云亦云地遷就了九十年,難道還不夠嗎?

For months I had anticipated 預期that my birthday column 專欄would not be the usual lament 緬懷for the years that were gone過去的歲越, but just the opposite相反的: a glorification 推崇of old age老年.

I began by wondering when I had become aware of being old, and I believe it was only a short time before that day.

At the age of forty-two I had gone to see the doctor about a pain in my back that interfered with干擾 my breathing.

He attributed no importance to 不重視it: That kind of pain is natural at your age, he said.

“ In that case,” I said, “ what isn’t natural is my age.”

The doctor gave me a pitying 同情的smile. I see that you’re a philosopher, he said. It was the first time I thought about my age in terms 詞語of being old, but it didn’t take me long to forget about it.

I became accustomed to 習慣於waking every day with a different pain that kept changing location 位置and form 形式as the years passed.

At times it seemed to be the clawing 咬鉗of death, and the next day it would disappear.

This was when I heard that the first symptom 病徵of old age is when you begin to resemble 相像your father.

I must be condemned 注定to eternal youth 永遠的青春, I thought, because my equine profile俊馬般雄姿英發 will never look like my father’s raw 粗鄙的Caribbean features 容貌or my mother’s imperial 帝國Roman ones 容貌.

The truth is that the first changes are so slow they pass almost unnoticed 未受注意, and you go on seeing yourself as you always were, from the inside, but others observe 觀察you from the outside.

雄伯曰:我們看自己是從內在,from the inside以為是永遠青春,但是別人看我們是從外在from the outside,衰老的跡象處處可見,不僅是白髮增多而已。別人礙於禮貌,不敢明說,你還真以為自己永遠不老!

In my fifth decade 五十歲I had begun to imagine what old age was like when I noticed the first lapses 失誤 of memory.

I would turn the house upside down 裡裡外外looking for my glasses眼鏡 until I discovered that I had them on戴著, or I’d wear them into the shower淋浴, or I’d put on reading glasses 閱讀的眼鏡over the ones眼鏡 I used for distance 看遠的眼鏡.

One day I had breakfast twice because I forgot about the first time, and I learned to recognize the alarm 驚嚇in my friends when they didn’t have the courage勇氣 to tell me I was recounting 敘述the same story I had told them a week earlier.

By then I had a mental list 心裡列個名單of faces I knew and another list of the names that went with each one, but at the moment of greeting I見面招呼 didn’t always succeed in matching the faces to the names 將臉孔跟名子相配.

My sexual age 性能力的年齡never worried me because my powers 力量did not depend so much on me as on women, and they know the how and the why when they want to.

Today I laugh at the eighty-year-old youngsters 八十歲的年輕人who consult 請教the doctor, alarmed驚嚇到 by these sudden shocks 震驚, not knowing that in your nineties they’re worse but don’t matter anymore; they are the risks 冒險of being alive.

On the other hand, it is a triumph 勝利of life that old people lose their memories of inessential非必要 things, though memory does not often fail with regard to 關於things that are of real interest to us.

Cicero illustrated說明 this with the stroke of a pen 用其筆觸: No old man forgets where he has hidden 隱藏his treasure 財寶.

With these reflections反省, and several others, I had finished a first draft草稿 of my column 專欄when the August sun exploded 瀰漫 among the almond杏樹 trees in the park, and the riverboat 運輸船that carried the mail, a week late because of the drought旱災, came bellowing 隆隆而來into the port canal 港灣的渠道.

I thought: My ninetieth birthday is arriving. I’ll never know why, and don’t pretend 假裝to, but it was under the magical魔術般 effect 影響of that devastating 致命的evocation 召喚that I decided to call Rosa Cabarcas for help in celebrating my birthday with a libertine 放蕩者的night.

I’d spent years at holy peace 維持聖潔的平靜with my body, devoting my time to the erratic狂熱地 rereading of my classics 古典and to my private programs 私人的喜愛of concert music, but my desire that day was so urgent緊急 it seemed like a message 訊息from god.

After the call I couldn’t go on writing. I hung the hammock i吊床n a corner of the library where the sun doesn’t shine in the morning, and I lay down in it, my chest 胸膛heavy with the anxiety of waiting 因等待的焦慮而沉重.

I had been a pampered 嬌生慣養 child, with a mother of many talents 天份who died of consumption 肺炎at the age of fifty and a formalistic 形式主義的father who never acknowledged 承認an error 錯誤and died in his widower’s bed 鰥夫的床上on the day the Treaty of Neerlandia 尼蘭地條約was signed簽定, putting an end to結束 the War of the Thousand Days and the countless無數 civil wars 內戰of the previous century 前一世紀.

Peace changed the city in a way that had not been foreseen 預見 or desired 渴望. A crowd 群of free women解放的女人 enriched to the point of delirium the old taverns 光顧酒店,使酒店發大財到狂喜程度along Calle Anche, which later was known as Camellon Abello, and now is called Paseo Colon, in this city of my soul loved so much by both natives 原居民and outsiders 外來客for the good character 善良特性of its people and the purity 柔和 of its light 光線.

I have never gone to bed with a woman I didn’t pay, and the few who weren’t in the profession 非妓女行業I persuaded勸說, by argument or by force半說服半強迫, to take money even if 即使they threw it in the trash 垃圾箱.

When I was twenty I began to keep a record 記錄listing 列出 name, age, place, and a brief notation 注釋on the circumstances 情況and style 風格of lovemaking.

By the time I was fifty there were 514 women with whom I had been at least once 有過一夜情.

I stopped making the list when my body no longer allowed me to have so many and I could keep track of 記錄them without paper.

I had my own ethics 倫理學. I never took part in orgies 狂歡會or in public encounters 公開的約會, and I did not share 分享secrets秘密 or recount描述 an adventure 豔遇of the body or the soul, because from the time I was young I realized that none goes unpunished每次秘密外洩,總是受到懲罰。

The only unusual 不尋常的relationship 關係was the one I maintained維持 for years with the faithful 忠實的Damiana. She was almost a girl, Indian-like, strong, rustic質樸, her words few and brusque 寡言直率, who went barefoot 打赤腳so as not to disturb 擾亂me while I was writing. I remember I was reading La Lozana andaluza—The Huughty Andalusian Girl—in the hammock吊床 in the hallway 廊道, when I happened to see her bending 彎身over in the laundry洗衣室 room wearing a skirt 裙子so short it bared 不暴露her succulent 豐滿的curves 曲線.

Overcome 壓倒by irresistible 不可抗拒 excitement 興奮, I pulled her skirt 裙子up in back, pulled her underwear 內褲down to her knees 膝蓋, and charged 攻擊her from behind 背後.

Oh, Senor 先生, she said, with a mournful悲切 lament哀鳴, that wasn’t made for coming in but for going out 前後方向搞錯了.

A profound 深深的tremor 震撼 shook her body but she stood firm 堅定地站住.

Humiliated at having humiliated her 羞辱她而後覺得自己受羞辱, I wanted to pay her twice what the most expensive women cost 花費at the time, but she would not take a cent 一分錢都不拿, and I had to raise提高 her salary 薪資calculated計算 on the basis of one mounting 增加a month, always while she was doing the laundry洗衣, and always from the back.

雄伯註
32hsiung@pchome.com.tw

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: