初恋 First Love

2021年1月28日
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初恋 First Love

A surge of adrenalin, a rush of blood, a thing of innocence and pain that lasts a lifetime...

心荡神驰、心潮澎湃的往事,蕴藏着一段纯真的情,铭刻了一生的痛……

I remember the way the light touched her hair. She turned her head, and our eyes met, a momentary awareness in that raucous fifth grade classroom. I felt as though I'd been struck a blow under the heart. Thus began my first love affair.

我记得阳光撒落在她头发时的模样;她回眸的一瞬与我目光相撞,五年级的教室里人声鼎沸,而我的脑海却一片空白,只剩下瞬间的意识,我感到胸口仿佛被拳击中了,我的初恋便由此开始。

Her name was Rachel, and I mooned my way through grade and high school, stricken at the mere sight of her, tongue-tied in her presence. Does anyone, anymore, linger in the shadows of evening, drawn by the pale light of a window—her window—like some hapless summer insect? That delirious, swooning, a sexual but urgent and obsessive, that made me awkward and my voice crack, is like some impossible dream now. I know I was so afflicted, but I cannot actually believe what memory insists I did. Which was to suffer. Exquisitely.

她叫雷切尔,看到她,我就心神恍惚;在她面前说话时,我总是语无伦次,我如此这般百无聊赖地读完小学跨入了中学。一束微弱的灯光从她窗户飘出,直引得一只不幸的小虫子在夏日的夜幕中久久徘徊,现在还有谁会像这只小虫子一样呢?那种心醉神迷、狂热纯真的情感令人感到急迫与痴迷。在这种情感的支配下,我的举止变得笨拙可笑,说话时嗓音发哑。回想起来,当时的情形真像梦魇一般令人难以接受。我知道我那时有多痛苦,但是现在看起来却真是难以置信。这是一段令我感到痛楚的回忆。

I would catch sight of her, walking down an aisle of trees to or from school, and I'd become paralyzed. She always seemed so poised, so self-poised. At home, I'd relive each encounter, writhing at the thought of my inadequacies. Even so, as we entered our teens, I sensed her affectionate tolerance for me.

去学校的路上种着一排树,走到那里时,我总能看到雷切尔——看到她,我便浑身瘫软,不能前行,而她看上去却总是那么镇定自若。回到家里,我便细细回味起与她一次次的不期而遇,每每想到自己举止笨拙,便懊恼不已。然而,十几岁时,我察觉到雷切尔克制住了对我的感情。

“Going steady” implied a maturity we still lacked. Her Orthodox Jewish upbringing and my own Catholic scruples imposed a celibate grace that made even kissing a distant prospect, however fervently desired. I managed to hold her once at a dance—chaperoned, of course. Our embrace made her giggle, a sound so trusting that I hated myself for what I'd been thinking.

沉稳标志着成熟,而我们当时并不具备这种品质。雷切尔从小接受正统的犹太教育,而我则顾忌天主教徒的身份,伴随而来的矜持感让单身男女间热切期盼的亲吻都成了遥不可及的梦想。在一次舞会上,我和雷切尔抱在一起,当然是因为她是我的舞伴。我们抱在一起时,雷切尔发出了咯咯的笑声,她笑得如此真诚,令我痛恨起自己长期以来对雷切尔产生的种种想法。

At any rate, my love for Rachel remained unrequited. We graduated from high school, she went on to college, and I joined the Army. When World War Ⅱ engulfed us, I was sent overseas. For a time we corresponded, and her letters were the highlight of those grinding, endless years. Once she sent me a snapshot of herself in a bathing suit, which drove me to the wildest of fantasies. I mentioned the possibility of marriage in my next letter, and almost immediately her replies became less frequent,less personal.

我对雷切尔的爱恋没有得到任何回应。中学毕业后,雷切尔上大学继续读书,而我则参了军。第二次世界大战爆发,战争也波及了我们,我被派到了国外。一段时间里,我们鸿雁传书,在那冗长乏味的日子里,她的信像灯塔一样穿透黑暗照亮了我。有一次,雷切尔寄给我一张她穿浴衣时的照片,这让我不禁浮想翩翩。在给她的回信中,我提到了与她结婚的设想。紧接着,雷切尔给我的回信便不像往常频繁了,语气也变得客套起来。

The first thing I did when I returned to the States was to call on Rachel. Her mother answered the door. Rachel no longer lived there. She had married a medical student she'd met in college. “I thought she wrote you,” her mother said.

我回国的第一件事就是去拜访雷切尔,开门的是她母亲。雷切尔不住在那里了,她嫁给了读大学时认识的一位医学院的学生。“我以为她已写信告诉你了。”她妈妈说。

Her “Dear John” letter finally caught up with me while I was awaiting discharge. She gently explained the impossibility of a marriage between us. Looking back on it, I must have recovered rather quickly, although for the first few months I believed I didn't want to live. Like Rachel, I found someone else, whom I learned to love with a deep and permanent commitment that has lasted to this day.

我在等待退役时,收到了雷切尔的绝交信。她在信中委婉地解释了我们不能结合的原因。现在想来,对于那次的打击,我恢复得够快的,尽管头几个月我的确不想活了。和雷切尔一样,我也找到了自己心仪的爱人,我学会去爱她,并给她深沉而永久的承诺,这份承诺一直延续至今。

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