本周跟大家分享读书。Colm Toibin在The New Yorker上登载的最新作品，《睡眠》
We are in New York, on the Upper West Side, and when I open the blinds[窗帘] in the bedroom we can see the river and the George Washington Bridge. You don’t know, because I will never tell you, how much it frightens me that the bridge is so close and in full view. You know more about music than I do, but I have read books that you have not read. I hope that you will never stumble[绊倒] on a copy of James Baldwin’s “Another Country”; I hope that I will never come into the room and find you reading it, following Rufus through New York to his final journey up this way, on the train, to the bridge, the jump, the water.
There is a year missing in your stories of your life, and this makes everyone who loves you watch you with care. I have asked you about it a few times and seen your hunched[隆起的]shoulders and your vague[茫然的], empty look, the nerdy[讨厌的卑微的] look that you have when you are low. I know your parents dislike the fact that I am older than you, but the knowledge that I don’t drink alcohol or take drugs almost makes up for that, or I like to think it does. You don’t drink or take drugs, either, but you do go outside to smoke, and maybe I should take up smoking, too, so that I can watch over you casually when you are out there and not have to wait and then feel relief when I hear the doors of the elevator opening and your key in the lock.
There is no year in my life that I cannot account for, but there are years that I do not think about now, years that went by slowly, in a sort of coiled[盘绕的] pain. I have never bothered you with the details. You think I am strong because I am older, and maybe that is the way things should be.
I am old enough to remember when things were different. But no one cares now, in this apartment building or in the world outside, that we are men and we wake often in the same bed. No one cares now that when we touch each other’s face we find that we both need to shave. Or that when I touch your body I find a body like mine, though in better shape and twenty and more years younger. You are circumcised and I am not. That is a difference. We are cut and uncut, as they say in this country where we both live now, where you were born.