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什么让你觉得,该跟这个人分手了?

更新时间:2019/3/21 20:30:30 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

How Do You Know When It’s Time to Break Up?
什么让你觉得,该跟这个人分手了?

My boyfriend is a clumsy, lovable brute who once hiked from Mexico to Canada and breaks more things than he fixes. He fixes a lot. He’s smart but socially awkward, able to name obscure bones in the human body but unable to keep his foot out of his mouth — a grown man with perpetually scraped knees. I have no idea how he manages to injure himself so regularly. Maybe his skin is fragile.

我的男友是个笨拙、可爱的狂人。他曾搭车从墨西哥到了加拿大,弄坏的东西比修好的多。他修了很多东西。他很机灵但不善社交,能说出人体一些生僻的骨骼的名称,却无法让自己远离麻烦——一个成年人,膝盖上却总有擦伤。我完全搞不清他怎么能这么经常伤到自己。也许他皮太嫩了。

I had known him casually for a few years when I called one day to ask for help with an apparent rodent infestation; I had something living in my walls. It was a long shot, summoning an acquaintance for such a favor, but I felt overwhelmed and he seemed like the kind of guy who could handle it.

我之前跟他半生不熟认识了有几年了,直到有一天我打电话,请他帮忙处理严重的鼠患——我家墙里头住着些什么东西。叫熟人来帮这样的忙,也是希望渺茫,但我觉得招架不住了,他又看上去像是能对付这种问题的男人。

Twenty minutes later he appeared at my door in painting overalls and rain boots, carrying traps, gloves, a bucket and some jangly homemade contraption that kept undulating out of his backpack even as he stood still. A bead of sweat dropped from his disheveled hair into the crevice of an earnest grin. He reminded me of a Ghostbuster.

20分钟后,他出现在了我家门口:穿着刷油漆的工装,脚蹬雨靴,手里拿着老鼠夹、手套、一只桶,还有些叮叮作响的自制小装置;即使他站着不动,那些玩意也在不停地往他的双肩包外震动。一粒汗珠从他蓬乱的头发上滚下,落入他裂开嘴角的真切笑容里。他让我想起一个捉鬼敢死队员。

I did not expect him to spend the night, but I was in the throes of third week pneumonia, and as my weary head nestled into the couch, I heard the rodent in the wall directly behind me, chewing. As the warmth drained from my body, I muscled open my eyes, scanning the room for my knight in shining armor.

我没想过留他过夜,但我尚处于肺炎第三周的痛苦之中,并且当我疲惫的头蜷缩到沙发里时,我听到有老鼠在正对着我身后的墙里吱吱作响。当身体渐渐变冷,我努力睁开眼睛,环视房间,寻找穿着闪亮盔甲的我的骑士。

And there he was, balancing precariously on a chair like a circus elephant, using a fork to pry open a light fixture in the ceiling. He had my favorite hair brush in his hand, about to angle it into some unspeakable hole for non-grooming purposes. His methods were horrifying, but I was grateful for the help and the company. I didn’t ask him to leave.

而他就在那里,像马戏团的大象一样小心翼翼地在一把椅子上保持着平衡,一边用叉子撬开天花板上的灯具组件。他手里拿着我最心爱的梳子,就要把它伸进某个说不出是什么的洞里,况且不是用于梳妆打扮。他的方法太过骇人,但我对他的帮助和陪伴很感激。我没让他离开。

The trap in the ceiling went off several times during the night, like a pistol fired in an empty chapel, the unholy racket magnified by the oddly magnificent acoustics. Each time, as I lurched forward out of my cough medicine stupor, I felt a warm, comforting hand on my arm.

夜间,天花板里面的鼠夹脱落了几次,像一把手枪在空荡荡的教堂里走了火,可怕的喧闹声被一种奇异恢宏的传音效果放大。每一次,我在服过咳嗽药的昏沉中蹒跚向前时,我的手臂上都能感到一只温暖的、给人以安慰的手。

“Don’t worry,” he would say. “Go back to sleep. I’ll take care of it.”

“别担心,”他会说。“继续睡吧。我来处理。”

Later, I would learn that taking care of it required just one utensil, the fork, which he would use to remove the dead mouse and then dip back into my organic peanut butter to apply more bait. Kitchen hygiene would become a regular topic of discussion in the months ahead.

后来,我了解到这个处理只需一样工具——叉子,他会用它移走死老鼠,然后从我的有机花生酱里面再蘸一些,放上更多诱饵。接下来的几个月,厨房卫生会成为经常性的讨论话题。

When he cooks on my stove, he chucks aside the burners and chars directly on the gas, to obsidian and beyond, saying it reminds him of camping. One day, I heard what sounded like a murder and found him on the kitchen floor, ripping the handles off a perfectly good pot to “make it smaller.” When I mused about possibly getting rid of a chair, he grabbed it, bent it over his knee and snapped it in half.

在我的炉子上做饭时,他会把炉头扔到一边,直接在火上烤,烤成黑曜石色,再继续烤,他说那让他想到露营。有一天,我仿佛听到一场谋杀正在进行,然后发现他在厨房地板上,正在扯下一个好端端的锅的把手,好让它“变小点儿”。当我琢磨着可能要扔掉一把椅子时,他一把拿过它,在膝盖上折弯,把它掰成了两半。

My genie suffers from a frustrating condition known as premature wish-granting. That, and a proclivity for collateral damage.

我的魔仆患有一种令人烦恼的病症,叫作“过早承诺满足愿望”。此外还有附带伤害的倾向。

He shredded my broom trying to fish something out from under the refrigerator, put a hole in the wall going after a spider, mangled multiple appliances and hung ridiculously crooked curtain rods, twice. He’s a problem solver, not a perfectionist. My Ikea furniture projects made him livid. He would curse and flail and break at least one vital piece in a fit of rage, but he always managed to improvise and finish the job.

他把我的扫帚劈成了细条,只为把什么东西从冰箱底下钩出来,为追蜘蛛在墙上戳了个洞,损坏了好几台电器,把弯曲到不成样子的窗帘杆挂了上去——两次。他是个问题解决者,不是完美主义者。我添置的宜家家具让他恼怒不已。怒不可遏的时候,他会咒骂、摔打、弄坏至少一个重要的部件,但他总有办法即兴发挥,把它修好。

My darling is an open book, a straight shooter. He tried lying a few times about little things and gave himself away with an adorable cheeky-toothed grin, as if it was his first day of kindergarten. I never have to question his love, even in the worst of times.

我的宝贝是本摊开的书,直来直去。他会试着在小事上撒几次谎,然后用一脸可爱、厚脸皮的咧嘴笑“现出原形”,就好像他第一天进幼儿园一样。即便最糟的时候,我也从无需质疑他的爱。

He’s a prolific chef. Not everything tastes good, but he’s constantly placing giant, steaming bowls of food before me with all the charm and ambiguity of macaroni art. (“What did you make, honey? A smoky porridge? Oh, lasagna. Right. Yes. Of course.”)

他是个能折腾的厨子。虽不是每样味道都好,但他时常会把大碗大碗热气腾腾的饭菜端到我面前,带着通心粉艺术的魅力与困惑。(“你做了什么,亲爱的?烟熏味的粥?噢,烤宽面条。是啊。当然是这个。”)

They are gifts at the feet of the deity, treating me as if I am his goddess. In the beginning, we played our roles with a bit of tongue in cheek, but at some point the sheer make-believe wore thin, leaving just earnest adoration.

它们是摆在神脚下的献礼,把我当成他的女神对待。起初,我们有点戏谑地扮演着各自的角色,但在某一刻那种纯粹的假装变淡了,只留下真切的爱慕。

And I adore him. If I’m having a bad day I can just touch his warm skin and feel better. It’s some kind of heavenly temperature. He lets me rake his hair like a Zen garden, ad infinitum. With me, he’s infinitely patient.

我喜爱他。倘若一天过得不顺,我可以抚摸他温暖的皮肤,感觉就会好些。那是种舒服极了的温度。他任我无限度地随意拨弄他那禅景花园般的头发。对我,他总是无比耐心。

He always has time for the scenic route. He took me to the forest to watch shooting stars, the desert to see the super bloom. We bicycled down thrilling back roads in the dead of night and walked the beach in the rain. He would lip sync through long country songs, two inches from my face, so he could cry through his favorite parts while holding my hand. Never mind that I was in the middle of brushing my teeth. The more I foamed at the mouth, the more he wanted to kiss it.

他总有空走风景好的那条路。他曾带我去森林里看流星雨,去沙漠看“超级绽放”。我们曾在夜深人静之时,骑车走下令人胆战心惊的乡村小道,也曾在雨中漫步沙滩。他会对着口型唱完长长的乡村歌曲——离我的脸两英寸,以便在最爱的部分他能一直牵着我的手哭。他从不介意我正在刷牙。我嘴里的泡沫越多,他就越想亲吻。

His solutions are simple but brilliant. If I am cranky at the end of a long day, he picks me up, plops me into bed, tucks me in and switches off the lights. Problem solved.

他的解决办法简单却奇妙。如果我在漫长一天结束时烦躁不已,他会来接我,径直把我送上床,被子盖好,灯关掉。问题就此解决。

Still, other problems have lingered. There’s a fine line between opposites attract and intractable differences. We have a love story, but love isn’t enough for me, and I do feel uneasy admitting that.

但另一些问题却长期摆脱不掉。异性相吸和难以控制的差异之间有着微妙的界限。我们之间有一个爱情故事,但爱情对我来说是不够的,承认这一点我也的确感到不安。

When I was younger, I believed the holy grail of romance was the birth of love. But now I have seen that love is the easy part; love will come again and again, as many times as you allow it. And then what? What about all the other details?

小时候我相信浪漫的圣杯是爱情的诞生。但如今我已懂得,爱情是其中容易的部分;爱情会一再到来,只要你允许,多少次都行。然后呢?所有其他细微之处呢?

We disagree on how to treat people, where to spend money, what it means to explore the world. I’m a low-key creature who burns sage and collects Craigslist art. He’s an eye-for-an-eye vigilante who keeps a gun. His logical mind is razor-keen; mine is more inclined to imagery and approximation. I think he would be an excellent father, but I can’t imagine us having children together. On the verge of 37, I do think about it.

在如何待人、怎样花钱、探索世界意味着什么方面,我们都有分歧。我是个会烧鼠尾草、收藏克雷格列表(Craigslist)艺术品的低调动物。他是个以眼还眼的持枪侠客。他的逻辑思维敏锐如刀,我的则偏形象化、不求精确。我想他会是个优秀的父亲,但我无法想象我们一起生个孩子。到快37的岁数,我的确会考虑这个。

I broke up with him on Labor Day, right before the full moon. I had woken up crying and realized after a few hours that I wouldn’t be able to stop until I let him go. When my gut takes over, I can turn into a beast. I knew I had to do this but didn’t know how.

劳动节那天,满月到来之前,我和他分手了。在那之前我哭着醒过来,几小时后我意识到,除非我让他走,否则我无法停止哭泣。当我选择凭本能行事时,我能变成一头野兽。我知道我必须这么做,但不知道该怎么办。

How do you break up with someone you like being around but don’t see a future with? I should add that, along with our other differences, he’s much older than I am. We don’t make sense, or at least I can’t make sense of us.

你怎么和一个你喜欢跟他在一起但看不到未来的人分手?我应该补充一点,除了我们之间的其他差异,他还比我大得多。我们在一起说不通,至少我无法合理化。

At a loss for how to break up with him, I sought out instructions on wikiHow. I skimmed a few articles and caught the main points. Go to a private place in case he falls apart. Be honest and direct. Keep it brief. One woman says she bakes cookies for her soon-to-be-exes, the Betty Crocker kiss of death. I brought him sweet cherries and his contact lens solution.I did not tell him why I was coming to his house, but I think he knew. He had figured out early on that he couldn’t read my mind so he learned to read my heart instead. He set up two chairs facing each other and did this perfectly sweet thing where he holds my legs and gazes into my eyes. He listened for a long time before he broke.

我不知道该如何和他分手,于是就去wikiHow上查找说明。我浏览了几篇文章,抓住了要点。去一个私密的地方,以防他崩溃。诚实且直接。保持简洁。一位女士说,她为那些即将成为前男友的人烤饼干,那是贝蒂妙厨(Betty Crocker)的“死亡之吻”。我给他带了甜樱桃和他的隐形眼镜护理液。我没有告诉他我为什么要去他家,但我想他知道。他很早就发现他不能读懂我的想法,所以他学会了读懂我的心。他把两把椅子面对面摆好,做了一件非常可爱的事情,他抓住我的腿,凝视着我的眼睛。他听了很长时间才开口说话。

His first tear dropped like a pin. “Let’s go to Vegas and get married tonight,” he said. “I’ll drive all night and have you back by morning.”

他的第一滴眼泪像针一样掉了下来。“我们今晚就去拉斯维加斯结婚吧,”他说。“我会通宵开车,明早之前可以赶回来。”

I said: “Don’t hijack this conversation with a marriage proposal.”

我说:“不要用求婚来绑架这次谈话。”

His leaden forearms were leaning into my car window when I backed out of his driveway. As I pushed them away, I felt the sublime warmth of his fragile skin seeping into my body.

当我倒车离开他的车道时,他那沉重的前臂还靠在我的车窗上。当我推开它们的时候,我感到他脆弱皮肤下绝对的温暖渗透进我的身体。

He must have sensed my uncertainty, because a few weeks later he showed up to plead his case. I told myself I would only allow him to stay for an hour, but we ended up in each other’s arms and I lost track of time. I still haven’t asked him to leave.

他一定觉察到了我的犹豫不定,因为几周后他来向我陈述他的理由。我告诉自己,我只允许他停留一个小时,但我们最终在拥抱在一起,我忘记了时间。我现在也还没让他离开。

Sometimes I wonder if relationships are like math problems: You add the pros, subtract the cons, run the numbers and round up to the nearest husband. I have never been good at math, but I keep puzzling over this equation, trying to reconcile whether love for us is greater than, or less than, doubt.

有时候,我想知道感情是否像数学问题:你把优点加起来,减去缺点,计算一下数字,得出一个离你最近的丈夫。我从来都不擅长数学,但我一直在苦苦思索这个等式,试图解决我们的爱是大于还是小于怀疑这个问题。

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