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    行业动态 >> 在别的世界里歌唱-转载自可可英语
 

"Information Please"

在别的世界里歌唱
When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember well the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother used to talk to it. Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person her name was "Information Please" and there was nothing she did not know. "Information Please" could supply anybody's number and the correct time.

My first personal experience with this genie-in-the-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer. The pain was terrible, but there didn't seem to be any reason in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy. I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway.

The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the foot stool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear. "Information Please," I said into the mouthpiece just above my head. A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear,"Information."

"I hurt my finger..." I wailed into the phone. The tears came readily enough now that I had an audience.

"Isn't your mother home?" came the question.

"Nobody's home but me," I blubbered.

"Are you bleeding?" the voice asked.

"No," I replied. "I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts."

"Can you open your icebox?" she asked. I said I could."Then chip off a little piece of ice and hold it to your finger," said the voice

After that, I called "Information Please" for everything. I asked her for help with my geography and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math. She told me my pet chipmunk, that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts. Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary died. I called "Information Please" and told her the sad story. She listened, then said the usual things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was unconsoled. I asked her, "Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?" She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, "Paul, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in." Somehow I felt better.

Another day I was on the telephone. "Information Please."

"Information," said the now familiar voice.

"How do you spell fix?" I asked.

All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much. "Information Please" belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow neverthought of trying the tall, shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me. Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity, I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.

A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle. I had about half-an-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now.

Then, without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said,"Information please."

Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well.

"Information."

I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying, " Could you please tell me how to spell fix?"

There was a long pause. Then came the soft-spoken answer, "I guess your finger must have healed by now."

I laughed, "So it's really still you," I said. "I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time."

"I wonder," she said, "if you know how much your calls meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls."

I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.

"Please do," she said. "Just ask for Sally."

Three months later I was back in Seattle. A different voice answered,"Information."

I asked for Sally. "Are you a friend?" she said.

"Yes, a very old friend," I answered.

"I'm sorry to have to tell you this," she said. "Sally had been working part time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago."

Before I could hang up she said, "Wait a minute. Is your name Paul?"

"Yes."

"Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called. Let me read it to you." The note said, "Tell him I still say there are other worlds to sing in. He'll know what I mean."

I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.

Never underestimate the impression you may make on others. Whose life have you touched today?

我小的时候,父亲是在左邻右舍中最早给家里装上电话的人之一。我依然清晰地记得那个固定在墙上、擦得锃亮的老式电话机,发亮的听筒挂在电话盒的一边。那时我尚小,还够不着电话,倒是常常在母亲拿起它讲话时,我在一边听得入迷。后来,我发现就在这只神奇的盒子里住着一位叫“樱芙美心·葡丽丝”的神秘人,她简直无所不知。她能答出任何人的电话号码、报出准确的时间。

我第一次直接与这“瓶中妖”的接触是在母亲到邻居家串门的那一天。我在地下室的工具凳上玩的时候,锤子砸着了我的手指头。当时痛极了,可是家里除我之外,别无他人,没有人会同情我,似乎也就没有理由哭泣。我吮着疼地钻心的指头在房间里四处乱走,不觉来到了楼梯口。

电话!我快步冲向客厅的脚凳,把它拖到了楼梯口,踩着脚凳、摘下了听筒,将听筒贴近我的耳边。我对准头上方的送话口说道,“樱芙美心·葡丽丝。”听筒里传来一两声嘟嘟声后,一个清晰、柔和的声音便在我的耳畔响起。

“樱芙美心。”

“我弄伤了手指……”我泣不成声地朝着话筒哭喊,眼泪肆无忌惮地汹涌而出,我终于找到了一名听众。

“妈妈不在家吗?”她问。

“家里只有我一个人!”我哭得更伤心了。

“流血了吗?”那个声音又说道。

“没有,”我回答,“锤子砸到了我的手指头,好疼啊!”

“你能打开冰箱吗?”她问。我说可以。

“取下一小块冰,然后敷在手指头上,”那个声音又说。

从那以后,不管有什么事,我都给“樱芙美心·葡丽丝”打电话。我问她地理,她便告诉我费城在什么地方。她帮我做算术题。她告诉我前天逮住的那只宠物花栗鼠吃水果或坚果。后来,有一次我们的宠物金丝雀“裴鹈”死了,我又一次拨通了“樱芙美心·葡丽丝”,告诉她这个令人伤心的消息。她静静地听着,然后说了些大人常常安慰小孩子的话。但是,我并未得到宽慰。我问:“鸟儿的歌唱得那么好听,不知给多少人家带来了欢乐,可是为什么死的时候却化为了蜷在笼底的一堆羽毛?”她一定感觉到了我深深的悲伤,因为她平静地说:“保罗,永远记住,它们还可以在别的世界里歌唱!”不知为什么,我感觉好多了。

一天,我再次来到了电话旁。

“樱芙美心·葡丽丝。”

“樱芙美心,”耳边传来了熟悉的声音。

我问,“fix怎么拼写?”

这一切都发生在太平洋西北部的一个小镇上。到了我九岁那年,我们举家迁移到了波士顿。我特别想念我的朋友。“樱芙美心·葡丽丝”永远属于老家的那个老式木盒子,不知怎的,我从没有试过放在客厅桌上的那个高高的、发亮的新电话。即使我到了十多岁的时候,那孩提时代的对话也从未从我的脑海中逝去。常常在我感到疑虑与困惑时,我会回想起那时拥有的那种宁静的安全感。我感激她在那个少不更事的孩子身上付出的时间,我感激她的耐心、体谅和善良。

几年后,在我西去上大学的路上,我所搭乘的飞机在西雅图降落,离我的下一班飞机起飞有约莫半小时的时间。我给住在那里的姐姐打了约十五分钟的电话。

尔后,还没有意识到自己在做什么,我就拨通了家乡小镇的接线员,说,“樱芙美心·葡丽丝”。

奇迹般地,我又听到了那熟悉极了的清晰而又柔和的声音。

“樱芙美心”。

我原本没有打算这么做,但我分明听见自己说:“你能告诉我怎么拼写fix吗?”

一阵沉寂。接下来是一个柔和的声音说道:“我想现在你的小手指头一定愈合了吧。”

我笑了,“这么说,真是你了!”我说,“你知道吗?在那个时候,你对我有多么重要。”

“我想,”她说,“你是否知道你的电话对我来说有多么重要,我没有孩子,所以常常盼着你的电话。”

我告诉她,这些年我一直想念她。我问她我再回来看姐姐时是否还能打电话给她。

她欣然许诺:“当然啦!找萨莉就可以了!”

三个月后,我再次回到了西雅图,一个不同的声音接了电话,“樱芙美心。”

我说我要找萨莉。她问:“你是她的朋友吗?”

“是的,老朋友。”我说。

“我很难过不得不告诉你,”她说,“萨莉病了好长时间了,所以过去几年来她一直做兼职。五个星期前她去世了。”

我就要挂断电话前,她说:“等一等,你是保罗吗?”

“是。”

“对了,萨莉给你留下了一张便条,她怕你万一打电话来。我读给你听。”便条上写着,“告诉他,我依然会说,还可以在别的世界里歌唱。他知道我的意思。”

我谢过她,挂上了电话。我明白萨莉的意思。

永远不要低估你留给别人的印象。今天你又走入谁的生活了呢?


作者:宏立上海翻译公司  来源:宏立上海市翻译公司
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