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经典科幻文学:《 再见 多谢你们的鱼》

So here I am. And what I would like to know, is how you know my name. “这样,我就来到了这儿。现在我想知道,你是怎么知道我的名字的。”
Perhaps we ought to first sort out, said Arthur, looking back over his shoulder as he eased his car into the motorway traffic, where I’m taking you. “也许我们应该先弄清楚,”阿瑟说着,把头转过去让车子安详地开上高速路,“我要把你送到哪儿。”
Very close, he hoped, or long away. Close would mean she lived near him, a long way would mean he could drive her there. 非常近,他希望,或者非常远。离着近意味着她住的离他近,离着远则意味着他可以开车送她。
I’d like to go to Taunton, she said, please. If that’s all right. It’s not far. You can drop me at… “我要去汤顿,”她说,“拜托了。如果可以的话。那里不远。你可以让我在……”
You live in Taunton? he said, hoping that he’d managed to sound merely curious rather than ecstatic. Taunton was wonderfully close to him. He could… “你住在汤顿?”他说着,暗地里希望自己能把语气中的狂喜掩饰为好奇。汤顿离他家相当近。他可以……
No, London, she said. There’s a train in just under an hour. “不,我住在伦敦,”她说。“在一小时内汤顿有班火车。”
It was the worst thing possible. Taunton was only minutes away up the motorway. He wondered what to do, and while he was wondering with horror heard himself saying: Oh, I can take you to London. Let me take you to London… 这可能是最糟糕的事了。汤顿离高速路只有几分钟的车程。他思考着该怎么办。当他恐慌地瞎想时他听见自己说:“哦,我可以载你去伦敦。让我载你去伦敦吧……”
Bungling idiot. Why on Earth had he said “let” in that stupid way? He was behaving like a twelve-year-old. 大白痴。苍天啊,他怎么能用这么蠢的方式说“让”这个词?他他表现得就像一个十二岁小孩。
Are you going to London? she asked. “你要去伦敦么?”她问。
I wasn’t, he said, but… Bungling idiot. “不是,”他说,“不过……”大白痴。
It’s very kind of you, she said, but really no. I like to go by train. And suddenly she was gone. Or rather, that part of her which brought her to life was gone. She looked rather distantly out of the window and hummed lightly to herself. “你真是个好人,”她说,“但真的不用了。我想坐火车去。”突然间她消失了。或者应该说,让她重回人间的那部分消失了。她从窗子望向远方,轻轻地哼着什么。
He couldn’t believe it. 他不敢相信。
Thirty seconds into the conversation, and already he’d blown it. 只有三十秒的对话,他就把一切都搞砸了。
Grown men, he told himself, in flat contradiction of centuries of accumulated evidence about the way grown men behave, do not behave like this. 成年人,他对自己说着,几个世纪以来积累下来的成年人的行为证据表明,成年人不会干这样的事。
Taunton 5 miles, said the signpost. “汤顿 5”——路标显示着。英里
He gripped the steering wheel so tightly the car wobbled. He was going to have to do something dramatic. 他紧紧攥着方向盘,车子都随之摇晃。他必须做点戏剧性的事了。
Fenny, he said. “芬妮,”他说。
She glanced round sharply at him. 她用锐利的目光略微扫视着他。
You still haven’t told me how… “你依然没有告诉我你怎么……”
Listen, said Arthur, I will tell you, though the story is rather strange. Very strange. “听着,”阿瑟说,“我会告诉你的,尽管这个故事有些诡异。非常诡异。”
She was still looking at him, but said nothing. 她仍然看着他,但没说话。
Listen… “听着……”
You said that. “你说过这句了。”
Did I? Oh. There are things I must talk to you about, and things I must tell you… a story I must tell you which would… He was thrashing about. He wanted something along the lines of Thy knotted and combined locks to part, and each particular quill to stand on end like quills upon the fretful porpentine but didn’t think he could carry it off and didn’t like the hedgehog reference. “我说过了?哦。有些事情我必须跟你谈,有些事情我必须告诉你……一个我必须告诉你的故事,那个故事将……”他烦躁不安。他希望能够说出诸如“你的纠结的鬈发根根分开,像愤怒的豪猪身上的刺毛一样森然耸立”(注)一样的语言,但他认为自己没法艮下去,而且他不喜欢提到刺猬。
…which would take more than five miles, he settled for in the end, rather lamely he was afraid. “那个故事将需要不止五英里来讲述,”他终于说完了,但他担心这可能更糟。
Well… “那么……”
Just supposing, he said, just supposing he didn’t know what was coming next, so he thought he’d just sit back and listen that there was some extraordinary way in which you were very important to me, and that, though you didn’t know it, I was very important to you, but it all went for nothing because we only had five miles and I was a stupid idiot at knowing how to say something very important to someone I’ve only just met and not crash into lorries at the same time, what would you say… he paused helplessly, and looked at her, I… should do? “只是假设,”他说,“只是假设”——他不知道下面是什么,所以他想早知道还是不要说比较好——“假设你在某方面对我超乎寻常地重要,而且,虽然你不知道,但我对你非常重要,但是这一切都将化为乌有因为我们只剩下五英里的路程而且我是个大白痴,不知道该怎样一边避免撞上卡车一边同时对一个我刚邂逅的人说一些非常重要的事。你会说什么……”他无助地停下来,看着她,“我……该做什么?”
Watch the road! she yelped. “看着路!”她尖叫道。
Shit! “要命!”
He narrowly avoided careering into the side of a hundred Italian washing machines in a German lorry. 他差点就一头撞进一辆德国卡车里的一百台意大利洗衣机中。

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I think, she said, with a momentary sigh of relief, you should buy me a drink before my train goes. “我认为,”她解脱地叹了一小口气,“你应该在我的火车走之前请我喝一杯。”


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