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双语故事:那些在国外租房而居的日子

2019年11月09日 英语美文 暂无评论
摘要:

30年前,我乘坐美国全国铁路货运公司(Amtrak)的火车抵达了纽约宾州火车站(Penn Station),一下车,扑面而来的是燥热的空气和恶臭。我手里拎着一个巨大的垃圾袋,里面装满了我的衣服。

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verywen.com

Thirty years ago, I stepped off an Amtrak train into the heat and stench of New Yorks Penn Station clutching an oversize trash bag full of my clothes.
30年前,我乘坐美国全国铁路货运公司(Amtrak)的火车抵达了纽约宾州火车站(Penn Station),一下车,扑面而来的是燥热的空气和恶臭。我手里拎着一个巨大的垃圾袋,里面装满了我的衣服。
I had $1, 000─my life savings─tucked into the front pocket of my bluejeans, and a piece of paper with an address scrawled on it in my back pocket: 228 Sullivan St.
我蓝色牛仔裤的前袋里塞了1,000美元,那是我所有的积蓄,后裤兜里有一张纸条,上面潦草地写着一个地址:苏利文大街( Sullivan St.)228号。
I had never laid eyes on the apartment in an improbably pink building that I was about to call home for the next three months. My impulsive decision to leave Boston and move to Manhattan came for complicated reasons: a new love affair, the hope of learning how to become a writer and some romantic vision shaped by the Saturday-matinee Doris Day movies of my childhood. Also, like many people who move away from home, I was escaping. A few months earlier, my only sibling, Skip, had died in a household accident and I had spent all the time since futilely trying to comfort my parents. I was 25 years old, and the thought of living in that grief even one minute more was too much for me to imagine. Here, among the piles of trash that lined the street and the smell of falafels and exhaust, I thought I might take refuge.
这是我头一次见到这栋荒谬可笑的粉色建筑内的公寓,未来三个月这里将是我的家。我冲动地做出了离开波士顿搬到曼哈顿的决定,这其中有着复杂的原因:我刚开始一段新的恋情,也希望学习如何成为一名作家,还有童年时期每周六多莉丝戴(Doris Day)的日场电影带给我的浪漫幻想。和许多离家在外的人一样,我是从家里逃出来的。几个月前,我唯一的兄弟斯基普(Skip)死于一场家庭事故,此后我一直试图安慰我的父母,但却是徒劳。我当时才25岁,哪怕在这种悲伤中再多活一分钟也令我难以忍受。在这里,道路两旁堆着垃圾,空气中弥漫着炸豆丸三明治和汽车尾气的味道,我觉得我可以在这里得到庇护。
Heather, the woman subletting the apartment to me, was a dancer, blonde and lithe with Betty Boop eyes. She was moving across town to live with her on-again, off-again boyfriend. Eager to start her own new life, she showed me the dishes and cups─there were two of each─her coffeepot, which involved boiling water and pouring it through what appeared to be a sock, and all of the other things that made this Heathers home. I thought longingly of my Mr. Coffee tucked away in storage, my Farberware pans and Marimekko comforter. Heather gave me a quick tour of the neighborhood─where to buy coffee and a newspaper, where to go for a drink. Then she was gone.
把公寓转租给我的女子叫希瑟,她是一名舞蹈演员,金发,长着一对贝蒂娃娃(Betty Boop)似的大眼睛。她要搬到城市的另一头与她分分合合的男朋友同住。希瑟迫不及待地要想要开始新生活。她向我展示了她成对的杯盘、咖啡壶以及家中其他的生活用品。那个咖啡壶可以把水煮开,再把水从一个袜子样的兜里滤出来。我格外想念我塞在储物柜里的Mr.Coffee咖啡壶,我的Farberware平底锅和Marimekko被子。希瑟带我快速地在周围转了一圈,告诉我哪里可以买到咖啡和报纸,哪里可以喝东西。然后她就走了。
I sat on the bed, a door on top of two sawhorses and topped with foam, and wondered what to do next. I grew up in a family that didnt move. My mother still lives in the house where she was born 81 years ago. All of her siblings lived and died within a 5-mile radius of that house. Even though I had lived away, I had never stopped thinking of it as my home, too. But now, alone in a new city in someone elses home, I felt less tethered, unsure.
我的床是一扇搭在两个锯木架上的门板,上面覆了一层泡沫,我坐在床上,想着接下来要做什么。我生长在一个从不搬家的家庭。我母亲现在仍居住在81年前她出生的房子里。她所有兄弟姐妹一生都住在距离这座房子5英里(约1.6公里)的范围内。虽然我搬了出来,却也从来没认为那不再是我的家。但现在,独自在一个陌生的城市里,在另外一个人的家里,我感到少了些归属感和安全感。
The next morning, I made coffee in Heathers coffee pot and drank it out of her cracked mug. I hung a map of the neighborhood on the refrigerator door with her magnet and wrote lists with her pencils. Soon I could not remember the exact shade of orange on that packed-away comforter. In fact, my old belongings all grew blurry and dull.
第二天早上,我用希瑟的壶煮了咖啡,并用她带裂缝的杯子把咖啡喝掉。我用她的磁铁把这个社区的地图吸在冰箱门上,用她的铅笔写购物清单。很快,我忘掉了自己那条收起来的被子是哪种橘色。事实上,我对过去自己拥有物的印象都变得模糊而黯淡了。
Eventually, Heather returned and I moved to another sublet, a slightly larger apartment in Chelsea. Outside on 21st Street, Tara handed me the keys, advised me to keep the gate on the window locked so burglars didnt come up the fire escape and into the apartment. Then she disappeared down the subway steps. Tara had a fondness for Indian prints and incense, and the apartment had a vague hippie feeling to it. Soon, the smell of patchouli that clung to my clothes and hair made me queasy, and I saw that by subletting apartments, I was beginning to understand who I was, what I liked and disliked, how I wanted to shape my own life.
希瑟最终搬了回来,我又搬到了另一间出租房里,这是位于切尔西(Chelsea)的一间略大些的公寓。在21大街上,塔拉(Tara)把钥匙交给我,并建议我把窗门锁好,防止窃贼从消防梯爬上来进入公寓。然后她就走下了地铁台阶。塔拉喜欢印度印花和香料,这套公寓有一点嬉皮风格。很快,粘在我衣服上、头发上的广藿香气让我感到恶心,我发现,通过租房,我开始明白了我是谁,我喜欢什么,讨厌什么,以及我想要怎样的人生
From each sublet─the one in the Ansonia building that smelled of mothballs and had fake Picassos; the East Village walk-up with the bathtub in the kitchen; the Barrow Street two-bedroom with padlocks on the kitchen cupboards─I took a piece of that persons life and held it up against my own. At night in all of these borrowed beds, my own idea of home started to take shape.
我租住过的公寓包括,安索尼亚(Ansonia)大楼的公寓,这里有樟脑丸气味和山寨毕加索画作;东村(East Village)没有电梯的一套公寓,这套公寓的浴缸在厨房里;巴罗(Barrow)大街的带两间卧室的公寓,这套公寓厨房碗柜上挂着挂锁。每一次租房,我都把房东生活的一部分和我自己的生活拼凑在了一起。在所有的租来的床上度过的夜里,我开始形成了自己对家的憧憬。
Eventually, of course, I got my own apartment, and then left the city and moved into my own house. When I think back to my first night in Manhattan, on the door that served as a bed in that tiny Sullivan Street apartment, I remember how frightened I had been─of the city, of the grief for my dead brother that I had carried there with me, of the new love I thought Id found. I remembered longing for even one thing that was mine, something I could hold on to through the long night. I didnt know it all those years ago, but I had come in search of a home. And I had found it on plywood and futons and all the other pieces of lives I borrowed as I, bit by bit, built my future.
当然,最终我有了自己的公寓,我离开纽约,搬到了自己的房子里。当我回想起在曼哈顿度过的第一个夜晚,在苏利文大街的狭小公寓里,在门板搭成的床上,我记得当时自己是多么的害怕,怕这座城市,怕对我死去兄弟忘不掉的悲痛,怕我自己以为已找到的新的爱情。我记得我是那么渴望拥有哪怕一件属于自己的东西,可以在漫漫长夜中拥之入怀。在那之前我并不知道,其实我是在寻找一个家。在胶合板、蒲团以及我借来的所有他人生活的碎片里,我找到了它,并一点一点地,建立起属于自己的未来。 verywen.com

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