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          雙語 ● 黃昏時分 Twilight Time

          所屬教程:詩歌散文

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          qinting

          2019年10月02日

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          ■ 黃昏時分 Twilight Time

          ◎ Anonymous

          Reflexively I reached to turn on my car radio, preset to KGBX, the soft-rock station I always listen to on my early-morning drives to my job at the post office. Then I glanced at my 14-year-old daughter in the passenger seat and thought better of it.

          下意識地,我伸手打開車里的收音機,預先調好的KGBX臺是我在清晨開車去郵電局上班的路上經常聽的軟搖滾音樂臺。我看了一眼坐在乘客座位上14歲的女兒,又把收音機關了。

          Liz wore a dress. That in itself bespoke the seriousness of the occasion. We were on our way to the Springfield, Missouri, district wide music competition, where Liz would be playing a flute solo, her very first. I knew from my own competition days back in Minnesota that it messed with your concentration to hear any music besides the piece you were planning to play.

          莉斯穿著禮服,從著裝可以看出,她要去的是一個隆重的場合。我們在去往密蘇里州斯普林菲爾德的路上,前去參加全區的音樂競賽,莉斯將要表演長笛獨奏,這是她第一次正式獨奏。我以前在明尼蘇達州參加過競賽,知道任何別的音樂都會擾亂你的注意力,除了你自己將要演奏的曲子。

          “Dad said he might come.” Liz said. Her father hadn’t been a big part of her life since our divorce 10 years earlier, and she sounded both excited and scared.

          “爸爸說他可能會來。”莉斯說。自從我們10年前離婚后,她父親就不再是她生活中的重要組成部分了。她的聲音聽起來既興奮,又有些害怕。

          Boy, did I know that feeling—wanting to impress your father and at the same time, being terrified of letting him down? Suddenly I was 12 years old again, sitting onstage at the Minnesota state music competition, fingers poised[18] on the keyboard of my shiny black Pan Italia accordion. I looked out at the audience of proud parents. Then I saw him. My dad. He sat at the end of a row, arms folded, crew cut bristling. His piercing blue eyes narrowed behind his black-rimmed glasses and focused unwaveringly on me.

          噢,想給父親留下深刻的印象,又擔心他失望——我是否有過這種感覺?突然間,我仿佛又回到了12歲,坐在明尼蘇達州音樂比賽的舞臺上,手指平穩地放在我那耀眼的黑色Pan Italia手風琴鍵盤上。我看見觀眾席上坐著的那些自豪的家長,然后看到了他,我的父親。他坐在最后一排,雙臂交叉放在胸前,平短的頭發根根直豎著。他那雙銳利的藍眼睛在黑框眼鏡后面瞇縫著,目不轉睛地注視著我。

          I completely choked. I’d practiced my contest piece for months until I knew it by heart, inside and out. But my fancy accordion might as well have been a cardboard box that afternoon. I forced out some semblance of a tune and fled the stage in tears.

          我完全窒息了。我已經把競賽曲子練習了好幾個月,直到背得滾瓜爛熟。但是那天下午,我別致的手風琴好像變成了紙板盒。我擠出了一小段不倫不類的調子,滿眼淚水地逃離了舞臺。

          No consolation[19] came from my father, a World War II veteran who epitomized authority. He didn’t say a thing to me. He just took the wheel of our station wagon, his mouth a grim line as we set off on the 150-mile drive back to Duluth. I didn’t say anything either. What could I say, really, after what I’d done? I knew how hard Dad worked to scrape together enough money for my accordion and lessons. But the one time he was able to come to a competition, I let him down.

          我的父親,一個重視家長威嚴的“二戰”老兵,沒有給我任何安慰。他什么也沒對我說。他只是握著旅行車的方向盤,雙唇冷酷地緊閉著,駛在回德盧斯150英里的路途中。我也一言不發。真的,在這樣的表現之后,我還能說什么呢?我知道,為了支付我的手風琴和課時費,父親是多么辛苦工作才勉強湊足錢的。但是,就在他有機會出席的唯一一次比賽中,我卻讓他失望了。

          The farther we drove, the more the silence in our station wagon grew until it stood like an impenetrable wall between Dad and me. It seemed an especially cruel punishment considering music had been our deepest connection.

          我們開得越遠,旅行車里就顯得越寂靜,直到在我和父親之間筑起了一堵密不透風的墻。想到音樂曾經是我們內心深處最緊密的連接,這就像是一種極其殘酷的懲罰。

          By the time I came along, the last of five children, my father was worn out from the demands of supporting a large family. My brothers and sisters and I tiptoed around him when he came home from his shift at Jeno’s Pizza factory. But on Sunday afternoons, Dad would sit back in his recliner and ask me to play for him. He loved the music of the Big Band era, and none more than the song Twilight Time . I taught myself the tune from the sheet music, just for him. It didn’t seem to matter that my rendition was lacking in style. My father would hum along, his eyes closed, tears escaping from the corners as if I’d transported him to some magical, heavenly place.

          家中5個孩子,我排行老幺,當我來到這個家時,父親已經為了養活這個大家庭而累得精疲力竭。在他從杰諾比薩廠下班回來后,我和哥哥姐姐們總是踮著腳尖圍著他。但在星期天下午,父親會靠在他的躺椅上,讓我為他演奏。他喜歡大爵士樂隊時代的音樂,尤其喜歡《黃昏時分》這首歌。我從樂譜上自學了這首曲子,就是為了他。他似乎并不在乎我沒有什么演奏風格。父親會跟著哼唱,閉著眼睛,淚水從眼角悄然滑落,仿佛我把他帶入了一個魔幻般的世外桃源。

          Dad never said a word the entire way home, never again attended one of my competitions. I never got over the hurt of having disappointed the one person I’d most wanted to make proud. I’d lost more than my composure that afternoon. I felt as if I’d lost the key to my father’s heart, and he died before I could find it again.

          回家的路上,父親沒有說過一個字,也沒再出席過我的比賽。我最希望能因我而驕傲的那個人就是父親,但我讓他失望了,我永遠也無法從這種痛苦中解脫出來。那天下午,我失去的不僅僅是鎮靜。我感覺自己仿佛失去了打開父親心扉的鑰匙,而在我重新找回這把鑰匙之前,他就去世了。

          “Why did you let me fail my father?” I’d often wondered to God in the years since, “Couldn’t you at least have given me a chance to make it up to him?” “Mom, this is it.” My daughter’s voice snapped me back to the present. I parked in the lot at Central High. “Good, I have time to warm up.” Liz said as we walked into the school.

          “你為什么要讓我辜負我的爸爸?”自那以后多年,我經常質問上帝,“難道你就不能給我一個彌補的機會嗎?”“媽媽,到了。”女兒的聲音把我拽回了現實。我把車停在了中央高中的停車場。“還好,我還有時間熱熱身。”莉斯一邊說著,一邊和我走進了學校。

          In the practice room, Liz took her flute out of its case, unfolded her music and ran through her piece flawlessly[20] . Just before we stepped into the recital hall, I gave her a hug. “Relax,” I said, “you’re going to do great.”

          在練習室里,莉斯把長笛從盒子里拿了出來,打開樂譜,完美地吹奏了一遍曲子。進演奏大廳之前,我給了她一個擁抱。“放松點,”我說,“你會吹得很棒的。”

          Liz laughed nervously. “Maybe you should wait till the competitions over before you decide that.” One after another, the soloists scheduled before Liz played. The clock clicked ominously close to her 11:05 performance time. “Dad’s here,” Liz whispered to me, “I can hear him in the hallway.” Her father trooped in, carrying a video camera. I felt a flutter of anxiety for Liz. The next thing I knew she was no longer in the seat next to me but standing stiffly[21] onstage beside the piano. Mr. Hillme, her social-studies teacher and accompanist, winked at her.

          莉斯緊張地笑了笑。“也許你該等到比賽結束后再下判斷。”排在莉斯之前的獨奏選手一個接一個地表演完了。時針不祥地逼近了她的演出時間:11點5分。“爸爸來了,”莉斯低聲告訴我,“我能聽見他在走廊里的聲音。”她的父親隨著人群走了進來,帶著攝像機。我不禁為莉斯感到一陣焦慮。接著我才發現,她已不在我身旁的座位上,而是拘謹地站在舞臺上的鋼琴旁。希爾米先生是她的社會課老師兼伴奏,向她眨眼示意。

          “Hey, not as bad as one of my tests, is it?” Liz chuckled, the tension easing from her face, and lifted the flute to her lips.

          “嘿,總不至于像我的考試那么差勁吧!”莉斯咯咯地笑著,緊張的神情漸漸從她的臉上褪去,她舉起長笛放到了唇邊。

          Lord, please let her play her best.

          上帝,請讓她發揮出最好的水平吧!

          Liz took a deep breath and launched into her solo. Her fingers danced along the silver keys. The melody floated out of the instrument, sweet and pure and honest. I closed my eyes, letting myself be carried away by my daughter’s song.

          莉斯深吸了一口氣,開始了她的獨奏。她的手指在銀色的按鍵上翩翩起舞。樂器飄揚出甜美、純凈而樸實的旋律。我閉上眼睛,任由女兒的音樂充斥著整個大腦。

          I forgot about the competition. I forgot about Liz’s nervousness at performing in front of her father.

          我忘記了比賽,忘記了莉斯在她父親面前表演的緊張情緒。

          All at once I pictured my own father, patiently enduring my nightly accordion practice sessions though he must have yearned for peace and quiet after his long days at the pizza factory. My practical dad, adamantly opposed to any kind of debt, conceding to make payments on a top-of-the-line, full-size accordion when I’d outgrown my secondhand student model. My stern, serious dad, cranking up our Lowrey organ, picking out the notes of a swingy Big Band tune and getting the whole house jumping. My unsentimental, overworked father? Leaning back in his recliner, his burdens chased away by tears of joy at hearing his youngest child play his favorite song.

          突然,我想起了我的父親。雖然他在比薩廠待了一整天后一定渴望清靜,但還是耐心地忍受著我每晚練習手風琴的那段時間。我務實的父親堅決反對任何形式的債務,但當我長大用不了二手的學生型手風琴時,他讓步了,為我買了一臺最好的標準尺寸的手風琴。表情嚴肅的父親打開我們的手風琴,彈奏了一小段節奏強勁的大型爵士樂曲,整個屋子歡騰了起來。嚴肅無情、過度操勞的父親斜靠在躺椅上,聽著他最小的孩子演奏他最喜歡的曲子,喜悅的淚水趕走了他的負擔。

          My dad, who must have felt so awful knowing his presence prevented me from playing well onstage that he hadn’t known what to say or do to comfort me—except to stay away and not upset me at my subsequent competitions. Dad, I’m sorry I thought you were disappointed in me. I know you loved me even more than you loved music. I wish you could know how much I love you too. I wish I could play Twilight Time for you again.

          我的父親——他知道自己的出現令我無法在臺上正常發揮,必定非常難過,他甚至都不知道說什么或做什么來安慰我,唯有不再出席后來的比賽,不再干擾我。爸爸,對不起,我以為您對我失望了。我知道,您愛我更甚于愛音樂。我也希望您能明白,我是多么地愛您。但愿我能再為您演奏一曲《黃昏時分》。

          Liz put down her flute and took a bow to thunderous applause (well, thunderous to a proud mother, anyway). “Mom, I didn’t even see the music,” Liz exclaimed in the car on the way home, “I mean, I was looking at it, but I didn’t have to read it. I just played and let it take me away.” I knew what she meant.

          莉斯放下長笛,在全場雷鳴般的掌聲中鞠躬致謝(無論如何,至少對一個自豪的母親來說,這掌聲如同雷鳴一般)。“媽媽,我甚至連樂譜都沒看!”回家的路上,莉斯在車里喊著,“我是說,我只是看著它,但我沒有讀。我只是演奏,任由音樂帶著我走。”我明白她的意思。

          Monday morning after Liz’s competition, I set out for my 4:30 a.m. shift at the post office. I clicked on my car radio. Silence. Then instead of KGBX’s soft rock, out of the speakers came the unmistakable brassy sounds of a 1940s-era big band. Where did this station come from?

          在莉斯比賽之后的周一清早,我出發去郵局上4點半的班。我打開了車上的收音機。開始沒有聲音,接著從揚聲器里傳來的并不是KGBX的軟搖滾音樂,而很明顯是20世紀40年代大型爵士樂隊的銅管樂。這個電臺是從哪里來的呢?

          A woman’s smoky contralto crooned words I’d never heard sung, though they were printed on the tattered sheet music in my old accordion case. “Heavenly shades of night are falling, it’s twilight time. / Out of the mist, your voice is calling, it’s twilight time. / When purple-colored curtains mark the end of day, I’ll hear you, my dear, at twilight time.”

          一個女低音歌手幽幽地哼唱著我從未聽人唱過的歌,雖然我曾在我的舊手風琴盒里破爛的樂譜上見過這些歌詞。“天空的夜幕落下,已是黃昏時分。/ 透過薄霧,傳來你的聲音,已是黃昏時分。/ 當紫色天幕預示著一天的結束,我將聽到你的聲音,親愛的,在那黃昏時分。”

          Tears trickled out of the corners of my eyes. The music of God’s love had bridged the years and the silence between my dad and me at last.

          眼淚一滴滴地從我的眼角滑落。上帝的愛之音樂,終于在我和父親之間架起了一座橋,跨越了那沉默的歲月。

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