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没人告诉你婚姻有多长

更新时间:2018-4-25 20:13:04 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Nobody Tells You How Long a Marriage Is
没人告诉你婚姻有多长

I used to want to leave you.

我想过离开你。

I loved you. But I couldn’t stay.

我爱你。但不能留下。

I wanted to live in a city, with access to hiking trails, and coffee shops and bookstores that I could walk to. Not our Florida suburb full of palm trees and shopping plazas, a place I had never wanted, but settled in because you were already there, establishing roots. If I left, it would have freed you to live the suburban family life that belonged there, the one I assumed you wanted, the one I could never give you.

我想在一座城市里生活,附近有徒步旅行路线,有我能步行到的咖啡店和书店。不是我们这个尽是棕榈树和购物中心的佛罗里达郊区,这个我从来都不想要的、却只因你在这里所以才定居的地方。我要是离开,就能让你自由地过上属于这里的郊区家庭生活,那种我以为你想要的生活,我永远无法给你的生活。

We went to Seattle for a wedding, and spent a day climbing the hills and touring the gardens in and around the city. “I love it here,” I said. “This is what I want.”

我们去西雅图参加了个婚礼,花了一天的时间爬山,游览城市内外的花园。“我喜欢这里,”我说。“这是我想要的。”

But it was 2009, and our house in Florida was worth $150,000 less than what you had paid for it. We were stuck.

但那是在2009年,我们佛罗里达的房子比你买来时贬值了15万美元。我们没了去路。

My legs went numb. I saw a doctor, an acupuncturist, a therapist. The doctor said nothing was wrong. The acupuncturist listened to me cry during our pre-treatment consultation, and the therapist asked me if I felt stuck.

我的双腿开始麻痹。我看了一个医生、一个针灸师和一个心理治疗师。医生说什么问题都没有。针灸师看着我在治疗前期的咨询中哭泣。心理治疗师问我是否感觉走投无路。

“I don’t feel stuck,” I said. “I feel trapped.”

“我不是感觉走投无路,”我说。“我是感觉深陷其中。”

The numbness was worse when we walked our little neighborhood together, and I tried to get you to discuss the prospect of leaving. All my pain and anxiety would pour into my legs until I couldn’t feel them. I was walking on stumps. I couldn’t believe that you wanted this life. You were baffled by my need to leave.

当我们一起在那小小的居住区走着,我的麻痹会加重。我也试过和你讨论离开的可能。我所有的痛苦和焦虑都灌进了我的双腿,直到我再也无法感觉到它们的存在。我迈出的步伐沉重。我不敢相信你会想要这样的生活。你无法理解我为什么这么想离开。

Our friends who married in Seattle had a baby. We got the notice and cried together on the bathroom floor. I was surprised by your grief, but not by mine. I carried mine with me, grieving for something I wanted but could not have. And because I couldn’t have it, I wanted a do-over. And I wanted to give you one too.

我们那对在西雅图结婚的朋友生了个孩子。我们得到了消息,然后在浴室的地板上一起哭泣。我惊讶于你的哀伤,但不惊讶于我的。我承载着我的悲伤,哀愁于那些我想要拥有却不能拥有的东西。而又因为我不能拥有,所以我想重新选择,也想让你能重新选择。

But I knew you would stay exactly where you were. And eventually find and fall in love with someone else. And have a child or two. And I would see you somewhere, years down the road, with a pair of beautiful toddlers on your hips. And you would be happy. But there would be a part of you that would want to stay with me, and a part of me that would want to stay with you, and we would leave the encounter devastated. I would go to my small, expensive apartment and cry, missing you and the life you were living.

但我知道你还会留在你现在的这个地方。最终你会找到并爱上另一个人,生一两个孩子。多年以后,我会在某个地方看到你,怀中抱着一对漂亮的小孩。你会很快乐。但是在你的心里,会有一部分想要和我在一起,我的心里也会有一部分想要与你一起。我们会被这次遇见击垮。我会回到我狭小而昂贵的公寓里哭泣,会想念你,和你过的生活。

I traveled by myself, going to writers’ conferences in California, where I’d try to imagine a life without you. Instead, I imagined the menu items that you might order if you were there, the conversations we’d have and the things you’d point out to me. I sat in Golden Gate Park, in the shade of old-growth eucalyptus, and watched the pollen swirl in the filtered light. I imagined taking our children there after school each day, and walking home just in time to greet you after work.

我曾独自出行,去加利福尼亚参加作家研讨会,试想一种没有你的生活。但是,我想的是如果你在这里,你会点菜单上的什么菜,我们会有怎样的对话,你会向我指出哪些事情。我在金门公园里,坐在古老桉树的树荫下,看着在透射的光线中打旋的花粉。我会想象,每天放学,我带着我们的孩子去那,再及时地步行回家,迎接下班的你。

We went to Germany and Switzerland and Holland. With each place, a new dream. We could live in Freiburg and go hiking every day. We could live in Amsterdam and run a little shop out of the ground floor of our home. Always, we would fly back to Florida, back to our lives, and I would feel that sadness touching down.

我们去过德国、瑞士、荷兰。每个地方,都是一个新的梦想。我们可以在弗莱堡生活,每天去远足。我们可以在阿姆斯特丹生活,在自家房子的一层开一间小商店。但我们总会飞回佛罗里达,回到我们的生活,飞机落地时,那悲伤也随之而起。

I was trapped inside myself. Each day I would go to a job that I hated and come back to a house that didn’t feel like mine and I would drink too much, climbing into a small, dark hole made for one.

我被自己所困。每一天,我都要去做我憎恶的工作,回一个不像是自己的家。我会酗酒,钻进一个只能容下一人的狭小黑洞。

I asked if it was O.K. with you if I quit my job and went to Arizona for a few months, just so I could spend some time alone, to write and think and find my foundation, the bedrock that had been surgically cut and irradiated out of me.

我问你,能不能接受我辞掉工作去亚利桑那州待上几个月,这样我能多点时间一个人待着,写作,找找自己的根基——那块被手术切除了的、被放射线照没了的基岩。

“No,” you said. “It’s not O.K. We’re married. We’re here. I need you to stay.”

“不,”你说。“不可以。我们结婚了。我们就在这里。我要你留下。”

I didn’t know it then, but I needed to stay too. I thought I wanted to be alone but what I really wanted was for you to be free of me. I wanted you to be able to move on and to have what I couldn’t give you.

我当时并不知道,其实我也需要留下。我以为我想自己待着,但我真正想要的其实是让你脱离我的束缚。我想要你能向前看,想让你拥有那些我无法给你的东西。

But I know now that you never saw it that way. When my cancer was diagnosed, you never once stopped to think about how your life might be affected by the loss of my fertility. You only thought about me, and what I needed. So you slept beside me each night in the hospital, and went home each morning to shower and walk the dog. You worked all day, went back home to the dog, and then to Whole Foods so I wouldn’t have to eat hospital food, and then came back to the hospital, and slept beside me once more. I was drugged and swollen. I didn’t realize how long the days were, or what it must have taken you to keep going. This is why you now say “we went through cancer.” Not “she,” not “Lauren,” but us, together.

但是现在我知道,你从没这么想过。我被确诊得了癌症后,你从没停下来想过,由于我失去生育能力,你的生活可能会受到什么影响。你只考虑我和我的需要。所以你每天晚上都到医院里睡在我身边,每天早晨回家洗澡、遛狗。你工作了一整天后,回家照看狗,然后去全食超市给我买吃的——这样我就不必吃医院的食物了——然后再回到医院,睡到我身边。我服了药,身体臃肿。我没有意识到过了多少天,也没有意识到你一直这样坚持需要多大的毅力。所以你现在总是说“我们经历了癌症”。不是“她”,不是“劳伦”,经历了癌症,而是我们一起经历了癌症。

Last year we were in Japan, hiking the Kumano Kodo, when it got dark. I was angry with you for causing us to miss the bus that took us to the trailhead, for causing us to spend four additional hours hiking the ancient pilgrimage route under the weight of our heavy packs. My knees, hips and shoulders were in excruciating pain. I decided I couldn’t take another step. I started to cry. I was desperate and exhausted. “Leave me here,” I said through tears.

去年我们在日本的熊野古道徒步时,天黑了。我很生你的气,因为你让我们错过了载我们回起点的公共汽车,导致我们背着沉重的背包在古老的朝圣道路上多走了四个小时。我的膝盖、髋部和肩膀剧烈疼痛。我觉得自己一步也走不动了。我开始哭泣。我筋疲力竭,感到绝望。“把我留在这儿吧,”我泪流满面地说。

“Wait,” you said, and shifted your pack onto your chest, and took my pack and lifted it onto your back. Together, we descended the slippery rocks, hand-in-hand. I pointed my flashlight at our feet, and you used yours to illuminate the path ahead.

“等一下,”你说。你把自己的背包挪到胸前,把我的背包背到你的背上。我们一起手拉手在光滑的岩石上往下走。我用我的手电筒照亮我们的脚下,你用你的手电筒照亮前方的路。

It’s been 10 years since the cancer. And those sad years that followed feel almost like another sickness I went through, a fever or drug interaction. I still have no idea why you stayed. Why you tolerated me. But I’m glad you did.

癌症已经过去十年了。之后的那些悲伤的岁月像是我经历的另一场疾病,发烧或药物反应什么的。我还是不知道你为什么留下来。为什么容忍我。但我很高兴你这样做了。

Nobody tells you how long marriage is. When you fall in love, when you have fun with somebody, when you enjoy the way they see the world, nobody ever says, “This person will change. And so you will be married to two, three, four, five or 10 people throughout the course of your life, as you live out your vows.” Nobody warns you. But you, my dear. There is something deep and hard and lasting inside of you. And I wish I had known, when I was searching again for my bedrock, that all I had to do was reach out my hand.

没人告诉你婚姻有多长。当你坠入爱河时,当你和某个人在一起很快乐时,当你欣赏他们看世界的方式时,没人会告诉你:“这个人会改变。所以,在你的一生中,在你履行誓言的过程中,你实际上是和两个、三个、四个、五个或十个人结了婚。”没人提醒你这个。但是你,我亲爱的。你的内心深处有一种深厚、坚硬、持久的东西。我希望当初在我再次去寻找我的基石时,我就知道这一点,那样的话,我需要做的,只是伸出我的手。

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