黃昏之戀 04

黃昏之戀 04

Memories of My Melancholy Whores
By Garbriel Garcia Marquez 馬奎士

A little before ten I climbed into a taxi and asked the driver to take me to the Cemnterio Universal 環球公墓so he wouldn’t know where I was really going.

Amused 感到興趣, he looked at me in the mirror 鏡子and said: Don’t scare 嚇到me like that, Don Scholar 教授學者, I hope God keeps me as alive as you are我希望上帝讓我像你一樣長壽。.

We get out together in front of the cemetery 公墓because he didn’t have change零錢 and we had to get some in la Thumba, a destitute 生意清淡tavern 酒店where the poor drunkards 醉漢of the small hours深夜 weep 哭泣for their dead.

When we had settled accounts結完帳目, the driver said to me in a serious 嚴肅voice: Be careful, Senor, Rosa Cabarcas’s house isn’t even a shadow of what it was 不復以前熱鬧.

All I could do was thank him, convinced相信, like everyone else, that there was no secret under the sun for the drivers on Paseo Colon 司機司空見慣,沒什麼好隱藏。

I walked into a poor district地區 that had nothing to do with one I had known in my day. It had the same wide streets of hot sand 熱沙, house with open doors, walls of rough 粗陋wooden planks 木板, roofs 屋頂of bitter 刺痛的palm棕櫚葉, and gravel 砂礫courtyards 庭院

But its people had lost their tranquility 寧靜.

In most of the houses there were wild Friday parties 宴會with drums 鼓and cymbals 鐃鈸that reverberated 迴響in your gut 內臟.

For fifty centavos 錢幣anybody could go into the party he liked best, but he could also stay outside and dance on the sidewalk to the music 配著音樂在人行道跳舞。.

I walked, worried the earth would swallow me up 將我吞沒in my dandy’s outfit浮華的服飾, but nobody paid attention to注意 me except for an emaciated 憔悴的 mulatto混血兒 who sat dozing打瞌睡 in the doorway of a tenement 公寓house.

“ Go with God, doctor,” he shouted with all his heart誠懇地, “ and happy fucking祝你幹得爽!”

What could I do but除了 thank him? I had to stop at least three times to catch my breath 喘氣before I reached the top of the last incline斜坡

雄伯曰:爬幾個斜坡,都要停下來喘氣三次,這樣的年紀跟體力,還想狂愛,真是不自量力!.

From there I saw the enormous 巨大的 copper 紅銅色moon coming up at the horizon 地平線, and an expected urgency 緊急 in the belly 腹部made me fearful of the outcome結果, but that passed soon enough.

At the end of the street, where the neighborhood turned into a forest of fruit trees, I went into Rosa Cabarcas’s shop.

She didn’t look the same. She had been the most discreet 考慮慎重的 madam 女人and for that same reason the best known, a very large woman whom we had wanted to crown 推崇 as a sergeant 隊長in the fire department 消防隊, as much for her corpulence 肥胖as for her efficiency 效率in putting out 撲滅fires among her clientele 客戶.

But solitude 孤獨had shrunk 變瘦her body, withered 乾枯her skin, and sharpened 使尖銳her voice with so much skill that she resembled 相像an aged 年老little girl.

All that was left 剩餘to her from the old days were her perfect teeth, along with one she had capped鑲嵌 with gold for coquettish 賣弄風情reasons.

She dressed in strict 嚴格mourning 悼傷 for the husband who had died after fifty years of a shared共同 life, added to which was a kind of black bonnet 帽子 for the death of her only child, who used to assist 幫助her in her illicit不合法 activities.

Only her clear, cruel 殘酷eyes were still animated 有活力, and because of them I realized her character 性格had not changed.

The shop had a dim模糊 light bulb 燈泡hanging from the ceiling天花板 and almost nothing for sale on the shelves 架上, which did not even serve as 充當a screen簾幕 for a notorious 惡名昭彰 business that everyone knew about but no one acknowledged 承認. Rosa Cabarcas was taking care of a client 客戶when I tiptoed in 躡足進入.

I don’t know if she really did not recognize 認出me or if she was pretending 假裝for the sake of appearances 為了外表緣故.

I sat on a bench 長椅子to wait while she finished up 完成, and in my memory I tried to reconstruct 重新建構her as she had been.

More than a few times, when both of us were strong and healthy, she had saved me from my own delusions 幻覺.

I think she read my mind 看出我的心思because she turned toward me and scrutinized審察 me with alarming令人驚嚇 intensity 熱烈 .

Time doesn’t go by for you, and she heaved 發出a mournful 感歎sigh 歎息.

I wanted to flatter恭維 her: it does for you, but it makes your better. I’m serious, she said, it’s even helped to revive 回想起your dead horse’s face 嚴肅的臉恐 a little.

It must be because I changed brothels妓院, I said to tease 揶揄 her. She became animated 有活力.

As I remember, you had the tool 工具of a galley slave 古時大帆船奴隸, she said.

How’s it behaving行為? I evaded逃避 the question; The only thing different since the last time we saw each other is that sometimes my ass hole 老二burns燙熱 . Her diagnosis 診斷was immediate: Lack of use 太久沒用. I have it only for the use God intended 意圖, I said, but it was true that it had burned for some time, always when the moon was full.

Rosa searched through her sewing縫紉kit 工具箱and opened a little tin 錫罐of green salve軟膏 that smelled of arnica山金菊 liniment 擦藥.

You tell the girl to rub 擦it in with her finger, like this , and she moved her index finger食指 with brazen 厚顏色eloquence 侃侃而談 .

I replied that thanks be to God I was still capable of getting along without peasant 農夫ointments 藥膏.

She mocked嘲諷 me, saying: Ah, Maestro, excuse me for living 原諒我三句不離本行. And she turned to business.

The girl had been in the room since then, she told me; she was beautiful, clean, and well-mannered 有禮貌, but dying of fear 非常害怕because a friend of hers who ran away with a stevedore碼頭工人 from Gayra had bled 流血to death in two hours.

But then, Rosa admitted承認, it’s understandable 可了解because the men from Gayra are famous for making she-mules 女生 sing.

And she returned to her subject:主題 Poor thing, besides all that she has to work the whole day attaching 裝配buttons 紐扣in a factory 工廠.

It didn’t seem to me like such hard work.

That’s what men think, she replied, but it’s worse than breaking rocks 岩石.

She went on to confess 坦承that she had given the girl a mixture 混合of bromide鎮定劑 and valerian 鎮定劑to drink, and now she was asleep

I was afraid her compassion 同情might be another trick詭計 to raise提高 the price, but no, she said, my word is as good as gold 遵守承諾不抬價.

With set rules明確規則: each thing requiring要求 separate分別payment付款, in cash and in advance預先. And so it was.

I followed her across the courtyard, moved by wrinkled 皺紋skin and the difficulty she had walking because of her swollen 腫脹legs, encased 套在in heavy cotton stockings 長襪.

The full moon was climbing to the middle of the sky and the world looked as if it were submerged潛沒 in green water.

Near the shop was canopy 頂篷made of palm 棕櫚樹for the wild revels狂歡活動 held by public administrators 公共行政人員, with a good number of leather stools 皮凳子, and hammocks 吊床hanging from the wooden columns 木柱子.

In the back courtyard, where the forest of fruit trees began, there was a gallery 陳列館of six unplastered 未塗灰泥adobe 泥磚 rooms with burlap 粗麻windows to keep out mosquitoes 蚊子.

The only one that was occupied 佔用had a dim模糊的 light and Tona la Negra singing a song of failed love失落的愛 on the radio.

Rosa Cabarcas sighed 嘆息: The bolero 波雷若舞曲is life. I agreed, but until today I haven’t dared write it.

雄伯曰:作者身為音樂評論家,既然同意,波雷若舞曲是生命,卻又迄今不敢寫舞曲,為什麼?顯然的,面對自己真實的生命需要勇氣,如同他以九十高齡卻狂戀青春少女需要勇氣,不敢跨出第一步,空有才華能力,徒增欷歔。

She pushed the door, went in for a moment, and came out again.

She’s still asleep, she said. You ought to let her rest for as long as her body needs it, your night is longer than hers.

I was bewildered 困惑: What do you think I should do? You ought to know, she said with unwarranted 沒來由的placidity沉著, there’s some reason you’re a scholar學者. She turned and left me alone with my terror 恐懼.

雄伯註
32hsiung@pchome.com.tw

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