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每天读一点英文:那些美好而忧伤的记忆 20 与父亲共舞

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A Dance with Dad


I am dancing with my father at my parents' 50th-wedding-anniver-sary celebration. The band is playing an old-fashioned waltz as we move gracefully across the floor. His hand on my waist is as guiding as it always was, and he hums the tune to himself in a steady, youthful way. Around and around we go, laughing and nodding to the other dancers.

\We are the best dancers on the floor, they tell us. My father squeezes my hand and smiles at me. All the years that I refused to dance with him melt away now. And those early times come back.

I remember when I was almost three and my father came home from work, swooped me into his arms and began to dance me around the table. My mother laughed at us, told us dinner would get cold. But my father said, "She's just caught the rhythm of the dance! Our dinner can wait." Then he sang out, "Roll out the barrel, let's have a barrel of fun," and I sang back, "Let's get those blues on the run."

We danced through the years. One night when I was 15, lost in some painful, adolescent mood. My father put on a stack of records and teased me to dance with him. "C'mon," he said, "let's get those blues on the run."

When I turned away from him, my father put his hand on my shoulder, and I jumped out of the chair screaming, "Don't touch me! I am sick and tired of dancing with you!" I saw the hurt on his face, but words were out and I could not call them back. I ran to my room sobbing hysterically.

We did not dance together after that night. I found other partners, and my father waited up for me after dances, sitting in his favorite chair. Sometimes he would be asleep when I came in, and I would wake him, saying, "If you were so tired, you should have gone to bed."

"No, no," he'd say, "I was just waiting for you."

Then we'd lock up the house and go to bed.

My father waited up for me through my high school and college years when I danced my way out of his life

Shortly after my first child was born; my mother called to tell me my father was ill. "A heart problem," she said, "now, don't come. It's three hundred miles. It would upset your father."

A proper diet restored him to good health. My mother wrote that they had joined a dance club. "The doctor says it's a good exercise. You remember how your father loves to dance."

Yes, I remembered. My eyes filled up with remembering.

When my father retired, we mended our way back together again; hugs and kisses were common when we visited each other. He danced with the grandchildren, but he did not ask me to dance. I knew he was waiting for an apology from me. I could never find the right words.

As my parents' 50th anniversary approached, my brothers and I met to plan the party. My older brother said, "Do you remember that night you wouldn't dance with him? Boy, was he mad? I couldn't believe he'd get so mad about a thing like that. I'll bet you haven't danced with him since."

I did not tell him he was right.

My younger brother promised to get the band. "Make sure they can play waltzes and polkas," I told him.

I did not tell him that all I wanted to do was dance once more with my father.

When the band began to play after dinner, my parents took the floor. They glided around the room, inviting the others to join them. The guests rose to their feet, applauding the golden couple. My father danced with his granddaughters, and then the band began to play the "Beer Barrel Polka".

"Roll out the barrel," I heard my father singing. Then I knew it was time. I wound my way through a few couples and tapped my daughter on the shoulder.

"Excuse me," I said, looking directly into my father's eyes and almost choking on my words, "but I believe this is my dance."

My father stood rooted to the spot. Our eyes met and traveled back to that night when I was 15. In a trembling voice, I sang, "Let's get those blues on the run."

My father bowed and said, "Oh, yes. I've been waiting for you."

Then he started to laugh, and we moved into each other's arms.

与父亲共舞

 

在父母五十周年结婚纪念日那天我与父亲跳舞了。乐队演奏着旧式的华尔兹,我们在地板上优美地滑动着。他的手环着我的腰,像以往一样指引着我,平和而又充满活力地哼着调子。我们跳了一圈又一圈,不时地向其他舞者笑着点头致意。他们说我们是舞场中最优秀的舞者。父亲握着我的手,露出了微笑。
我们继续着舞步,这时我想起在我三岁那年,父亲下班回家,一把将我搂在怀里,围着桌子开始跳舞。母亲笑着说,饭都要凉了。但父亲却说:“她刚好跟上舞蹈的节奏,饭可以等会再吃。”然后,他开始哼唱:“Roll out the barrel, let's have a barrel of fun。”我就唱道:“Let's get those blues on the run。”那天晚上,他教我跳波尔卡、华尔兹,还教我跳狐步舞。那晚我们连饭都没吃。
我们每天都要跳舞。在我五岁时,父亲教我跳shuffle off to Buffalo。后来,我们在露营少女团夏令营中,赢得了舞蹈比赛的冠军。我们还去美国劳军联合组织所在的地方表演吉特巴舞。每次父亲进入舞池之后,都会与所有的人跳舞,与在场的女士们旋转,甚至还有士兵。我们都为父亲欢呼、鼓掌,因为他是一个真正的舞者。
我十五岁那年的一个晚上,或许由于青春期的多愁善感,我非常悲伤。父亲拿出一堆唱片,非要我跟他跳舞。“来吧,”他说,“Let's get those blues on the run。”我没理他,独自承受着自己的痛苦。他走过来把手放在我的肩上。我跳下椅子,对他吼道:“别碰我!别碰我!我讨厌和你跳舞!”我看到了他脸上受伤的表情,但话已出口,我无法收回。我痛哭着跑回了房间。
从那之后,我再也没和父亲跳过舞。我有了其他舞伴,而父亲总是会穿着法兰绒睡衣,坐在自己最喜欢的椅子上,等我回家。有时当我回来,他已经睡着了。我便把他叫醒,告诉他:“既然你这么累,就该早点去睡觉。”
他总是会说:“不,没有。我在等你呢。”
然后,我们就锁上房门,各自去睡了。
在我上高中和大学的几年里,每次我出去跳舞,父亲都会一直等我回家。
在我的第一个孩子出生不久的一个晚上,母亲打电话告诉我说父亲病了:“是心脏的问题。现在不要过来,三百英里太远了,你父亲会生气的。等等吧,有了结果我会告诉你。”
父亲的检查显示他压力有些过重,不过合理的饮食使他恢复了健康。只是暂时的小毛病。背部椎间盘问题,心脏问题,白内障晶体移植。但是他从未停止跳舞。母亲写信说他们参加了一个舞蹈俱乐部。“你还记得你父亲多么喜欢跳舞吗?”
是的,我记得。我的眼中充满了对过去的回忆。
父亲退休之后,我们又聚在了一起。每次见面,我们都要相互拥抱,亲吻。但是父亲从未让我陪他跳舞。他和外孙女们跳舞。我的女儿们还不识字就知道怎么跳华尔兹。
“一、二、三,一、二、三,”父亲总是数着舞步。“能来和我跳支华尔兹吗?”每次我希望父亲对我说出这句话的时候,心里都会感到阵痛。但是我知道父亲在等我的道歉,而我总是很难找到恰当的语言。
而随着父母结婚五十周年纪念日的到来,我的兄弟和我计划为他们举办一次舞会。我哥哥说:“还记得你拒绝陪他跳舞的那个晚上吗?天哪,他简直疯了。真不敢相信他为了此事竟如此伤心。从那以后,你肯定没和他跳过舞吧。”
我没有回答,但他说得没错。
弟弟说他能够搞定一支乐队。
我告诉他:“一定要保证他们能够演奏华尔兹和波尔卡舞曲。”
他说:“爸爸可以跳任何一支曲子。你不想跳吗?是不是很紧张啊?”我没有告诉他,我只是想和父亲再跳一次舞。
晚餐过后,乐队开始演奏,父母步入了舞池。他们在房间里翩翩起舞,并邀请其他人加入。客人们都站起来,一齐为这对金婚夫妇喝彩。父亲开始和他的外孙女跳舞,乐队演奏起了“Beer Barrel Polka”。
我听见父亲在唱:“Roll out the barrel”。我知道现在是最佳时机。我知道要想让父亲和我跳舞,我需要说些什么。我穿过人群,拍了拍女儿的肩膀。
“对不起。”我说,有一种窒息的感觉。“我想这是我的舞曲。”
父亲呆了一样站在那里。我们都注视这对方,思绪飞回到我十五岁的那个夜晚。我用略带颤抖的声音唱道:“Let's get those blues on the run。”
父亲鞠躬道:“噢,当然。我一直在等你。”
说完,他大笑起来。我们挽着彼此的胳膊,停了一下,以便跟上舞曲的节奏。

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