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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





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.



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。
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。
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。”

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