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我与布里塔尼的故事----第635期美文赏析【2011.11.21】

本文属阅读资料

I  was awkward in middle school: bony and athletic, with a high grade in science and a low one in self-esteem. Though I had friends, I didn't fit the mold of popularity. I was picked last in flag football and I sometimes ate lunch by myself.

中学时代的我很令人尴尬:擅长运动,却骨瘦如柴;理科成绩好,自尊心却不强。虽然我有朋友,但我并不是人人都喜欢的那种类型。在夺旗橄榄球比赛中,我总是最后一个被选中上场的。有时候,我还会独自一人吃午餐。

I remember the day Brittany came to our school. She was from the Bay Area, and told us stories of how she had snuck out at night to meet older boys and smoke in the park. Her teeth were crooked, and she was a little overweight. Not that mattered though, because she walked around like she was better than all of us put together. She was incredibly intimidating, outspoken, and aggressive—a person you didn't want to cross.

我仍记得布里塔尼来我们学校的那天。她从旧金山湾区转学而来,当时还给我们讲了她以前如何在夜里溜出去跟年长的男生会面并在公园里吸烟那些事。她的牙齿长得歪歪扭扭,人也有点胖。不过这些都没关系,因为她走起路来趾高气扬,好像我们所有人加在一起都不如她似的。她极有震慑力,说话直来直去,还总是一副咄咄逼人的样子——她就是一个你不想去招惹的人。

Around Brittany, I tried my best to go unnoticed. Standing out or stealing her spotlight could only result in one thing: confrontation. I considered myself a chameleon, blending in with my surrounding and remaining the shy sixth-grader I had always been. I wore skorts and Tommy Hilfiger sneakers with red and blue laces, and my blond hair was frequently in a ponytail. Brittany and her friends wore shorts with words like "Hottie" on the seat. She dyed her brown hair black and got a perm like the other popular girls. All the boys were completely smitten with her.

只要在布里塔尼旁边,我就尽量保持低调。太引人注目或抢她的风头只会有一个下场,那就是与她发生冲突。我觉得自己就像一条变色龙,与周围的环境融为一体,保持着自己作为一个六年级学生一贯的腼腆形象。我穿裙式短裤和镶有红蓝相间的蕾丝花边的汤米·希尔费格牌球鞋,一头金发总是扎成马尾。而布里塔尼和她的朋友们却穿臀部印有诸如“辣妹”字样的短裤。她还像其他很潮的女生一样把一头棕色的头发染黑烫卷。所有男生都彻底被她迷倒了。

Although I could run for a touchdown, Brittany was always the first girl picked in flag football at recess and I was lucky if I was picked at all. I was thrown the ball while she stood with the quarterback, chatting about the last keg party she'd gone to. I didn't even know what came in a keg and had never contemplated drinking. She was flirtatious and mysterious while I was a declaration of what good parenting and strong Christian morals could produce. I had never been kissed, nor did I understand the tactics to get as far as she had gone with a boy.

虽然我可以持球触地得分,然而在课间的夺旗橄榄球比赛中,布里塔尼却总是第一个被挑中上场的球员,而我若能被选中,就算我的运气。别人向我传球的时候,她却在跟四分卫大谈自己最近参加的啤酒宴会。那时我还不知道啤酒宴会是什么样子,也从没想过要喝酒。她举止轻佻,很是神秘,而我则是良好家教和严格的基督教道德准则所能培养出的典范。从没有人吻过我,我也不懂那些伎俩,不知道如何像她一样与男生交往。

One day, Brittany bribed a classmate to ask me to the school dance. I wasn't allowed to go, and I told him so, but I was flattered. I felt elite and accepted by those around me. I told myself, though I am alone, I am desired and that is good enough for me. I blended in the most perfect way: well enough to fit in and not nerdy enough to stand out. Then Brittany told me during science class that she had put him up to it. She asked in front of everyone, "Why would anyone even want you?" And I believed her.

一天,布里塔尼贿赂了一位同学,让他邀请我参加学校的舞会。尽管我告诉他家里人不允许我去,但这件事却仍让我觉得受宠若惊。原来,自己也是优秀的,我觉得身边的人接纳了自己。我对自己说,虽然我总是孤零零的一个人,可还是有人喜欢我的,这就够了。我以最理想的方式融入了他们当中:既能与他们相处融洽,也没有出尽风头招人讨厌。后来在自然课上,布里塔尼告诉我,是她唆使那个人邀请我的。她当着全班同学的面反问我:“别人怎么会要你这样的?”我把她的这句话当真了。

I went home and cried, questioning whether I was an alien. I told myself over and over that she would amount to nothing while I still had time to grow. She would become a middle-aged trailer park renter in Northern California, with lots of kids with her same bucktoothed smile, while I would somehow turn into a high school social butterfly and move to New York City, Chicago, or Washington D.C., cosmopolitan and sophisticated. We would never be in the same league.

回到家后,我哭了一场,怀疑自己是不是一个异类。我一遍遍地告诉自己,她将一事无成,而我还有时间成长。她将人到中年,带着一大群孩子在加州北部租住活动屋;她的孩子们笑起来和她一样,龅牙外露。而我将成为高中的交际花,会迁居至纽约、芝加哥或华盛顿特区,成为一个见多识广而又成熟老练的人。我们永远也不会成为同一种人。

Secretly, I emulated her. Through everything that she did to me, I wanted to be 20 times better. Although she was seemingly perfect in everyone's eyes, I wanted to be everything she wasn't and yet a million times more perfect. Where she was loud and mocking, I wanted to be reserved and coy. She wore tight pants that exposed her chubby stomach, but I wanted to be thin and muscular. Brittany was intimidating and violent, but I wanted to be, and was then, serene and not at all confrontational. I wanted to be the polar opposite of her, showing how much better I was than her.

私底下,我暗暗与她较劲。就凭她对我做的这一切,我就要比她好一百倍。尽管她在每个人眼里似乎都完美无缺,我却要处处跟她唱反调,做一个与她完全相反的人,但却要比她更加完美。当她扯着嗓门冷嘲热讽时,我就要含蓄内敛矜持腼腆。她穿紧身裤露出她丰腴的腹部,而我则要变得修长健美。布里塔尼气势汹汹叫人害怕,而我却想文静安详不与人争吵冲撞(那时的我就是这样的)。我想和她完全相反,以此证明我比她要优秀得多。

I forgot about Brittany somewhere between eighth grade and freshman year. I found a new group of friends—girls from other schools who finally became the "in-crowd" in high school. Looking back, I was and am better than Brittany, and though I let her rule over my inadequacies in middle school, I never did again. She was exactly what I hated then and is the type of person I will never let myself become.

从八年级到大学一年级的那段日子里,我忘记了有关布里塔尼的往事。我结交了一群新朋友,她们来自其他学校,最终成了我们高中的风云人物。现在回过头看,不论是过去还是现在,我都比布里塔尼更优秀。尽管她曾对我中学时代的种种缺陷指手画脚,但我再也不会让她得逞了。她的的确确就是我当时所憎恶的人,而我永远也不会允许自己成为她那种人。

I found Brittany's online profile a few weeks ago and discovered nothing outwardly shocking. She still has the same chubby face and mocking smile, flipping off the camera as if she couldn't come up with anything original. I cringed at some half-naked pictures with captions that read "GeT bLaZeD." As I read on, I realized that Brittany had died in a drunken driving accident a year ago. She had been 16 and pregnant at the time. Suddenly my perception of Brittany changed from a bad influence into a struggling little girl whose life was taken before she could decipher right from wrong. I had wanted everything bad to happen to her, but no one deserves that. No one. Those who worshiped her may never again, but I will always think of Brittany as the girl who never had the chance to find herself.

几周前,我在网上看到了布里塔尼的个人主页。从外表来看,我并没发现她有什么太糟糕的地方。仍旧是那张圆圆的脸庞,脸上依然挂着嘲弄人的窃笑。她对着相机竖起中指,好像再也摆不出什么新颖的姿势。看到她拍的那些以“变得激情四射吧”作为说明的半裸照片,我感到尴尬不已。等我继续读下去,才发现布里塔尼已于一年前在一次因酒后驾车引发的事故中丧生。当时她只有16岁,还有了身孕。突然之间,我对布里塔尼的印象发生了转变,由一个对周围产生很坏影响的人,变成了一个苦苦挣扎的年轻女孩,一个在能明辨是非前就已失去生命的人。我曾希望一切不幸都降临于她,可是,没有人应该受到这样的惩罚啊。没有人。也许那些曾经爱慕过她的人再也不会念及她,但我却会一直想到她——一个永远都没有机会发现自我的女孩。

My experience with Brittany taught me that though we are all naive in our youth, the choices we make will impact us forever. The people we choose to be will remain a part of us. I will always remember Brittany as that loud, overconfident girl, and a part of that shy, insecure person I used to be will always keep me humble.

这段与布里塔尼有关的经历教会了我一个道理:尽管年轻时我们都天真幼稚,但所做的选择却会影响我们的一生。我们选择成为什么样的人,那种人的特征就会成为我们的一部分留存下来。我会一直记住布里塔尼,那个举止招摇而又张狂自负的女孩。而曾经腼腆而又不自信的我也会一如既往地保持那份谦卑。

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