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白衣

Man in White

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ChineseDescription  click for English
哪里会想到那天有什么不一样呢? 那青年男子长衫雪白,手里一杆黑色长笛。 她不会让阿锦知道,她有多么爱慕那一袭飘飘的白衣,除了他,世上再没有哪个男人,能把白衣裳穿得那样好了。
ChineseNotes
资深中英翻译,翻译过小说,散文,及儿童书籍。
Written by Chen Qiling. Translated by Yuzhi Yang
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  常来寄信的一个男生叫孙立超的,慢慢地和梅华熟了。

他是中央大学国政系的新生,常给报纸投些时论稿件。

他总是穿着政府发给男生的灰布棉军装。

说话喜欢扬着下巴,比划着手,指点江山的样子。

  最初他就是这么站在边上,对梅华写的信指指点点,

“这句话多余,应该删掉,这句也是,删掉——”

梅华扭头看看他,有时候觉得有理,有时候不以为然。

  一次有个来城里帮工的女人来写信,再三叮嘱家里的那片竹林不要卖掉。

下笔“竹林”二字, 梅华就有点恍惚了,她想起竹林深处,那飘啊飘着的白衣。

  心又钝钝地疼起来,这没有着落的相思。

  有时情愿阿锦一直这么骗着她,让她以为云先生在重庆。

那晚她摔门而去,沿着嘉陵江跑。

江上点点渔火,天河点点繁星,对岸猫儿石河街闪烁着万盏的灯。

她从前深信有一点光是云先生的,这样的远望多么幸福,而现在,她没了方向,她没了位置。

  也是那晚,阿锦早产了一个女婴。

新生命带来的神奇和忙乱,让她们无声地和解了。

小余保安队日日行动,全赖梅华照顾阿锦母女。

她已将近月余没到邮政局写信了。

  想不到孙立超骑着自行车来找她,他还是穿着那件灰布棉军装,车子骑上松林坡,他脸上都是汗。

梅华穿着一件薄布衫在门口洗尿布,水凉,她一连打了几个喷嚏。

孙立超大喇喇地脱下棉军装递了去,“你穿吧!”

他小声加了一句,“我们学校的女生,最喜欢 穿着阴丹士林蓝布衫,外面披一件男生的军装!还以为好看死了。”

他没好意思说,当年中大的女孩子,一穿上灰色棉布军装外套,就证明她有了男朋友。

 梅华瞥了眼那军装,领子上一层黑黑的油腻,不知多久没洗了,她摇摇头。

孙立超有点尴尬,但他把军装往肩上一搭,马上从怀里掏出一束报纸来,

“我的文章发表了,特意拿来你看看,也好让你学些布局的章法。”

他等不及梅华擦干手,就在她眼前抖开报纸。梅华随意地放眼望去,“哪里啊。”突然,她的目光越过孙立超的手指,定住了。

  她看到“云一川”三个字,真真确确,头条位置的那篇社论,署名正是“云一川”!

“这份报纸给我行吗?”梅华急忙在裙子上擦擦手,虔诚地捧了过来。

 “行啊,你这么喜欢我的文章,明日我再拿些手稿你看。”孙立超很高兴。

  “这个云一川,你还有他的文章吗?”梅华期待地问。

  “我记不得了。” 孙立超有些失望。

  “他的文章是不是很多?”

  “他做总编,发自己的文章当然容易。”孙立超不服气地。

  梅华只管高兴地翻看着报纸,这是《民强报》,云先生是主编,社址在上海!

  “上海”。

  夜里醒来想到,梅华弯着眼睛兀自笑了。

然而隔壁又有吵声,不知是孩子的哭声引起了争吵,还是争吵吓哭了孩子。

她侧耳听,那些声音又慢慢地平复下去。

  长沟流月,这样就过了大半生。

  这是1995年,南京一个普通的住宅楼,有快递,梅华戴上老花镜出来签领。

  楼道里还能听见孙立超和孙子聊天的大嗓门。

  “当然是她追爷爷,当年一见面,你奶奶第一句话就让我脱衣裳。”

  “哇,你们当时已经那么开放了。”

  “我哪好意思,那是车站,多少人!”

  梅华哭笑不得,手里忙着,也没空睬他。

  手里是份来自香港的快递,她认识的人中,只有阿锦的女儿在香港,当年的小囡囡,如今她的儿子都上大学了。

正是囡囡寄来的,打开,又是一个信封,上面有一行字:

梅姨,你那个白衣服老头云先生忏悔生平,出自传了,第一时间寄给你重温旧梦。

  信封里是一本纯白色的书,不很厚,这就是他的一生吗?

  她捧着书,安详地坐在阳台上,秋日的太阳很温暖。

  书的名字就叫《白衣》,再细看,那封面原是一个朦胧的背影,身着白衣的背影。

那白衣皓若明月,皑如冰雪,人生的尘,岁月的沙,半点也沾它不得。

  真好。

  她笑了,脸上的皱纹细腻如菊。

  她把手轻轻地放在上面,这一刻她在思量,这一生她在思量——

  翻开,还是不翻开。

There was a boy, Sun Lichao, who often came to the post office to send letters. He got to know Meihua.

A Political Science freshman at National Central University, he liked to submit opinion pieces to papers.

He always wore the grey cotton military suit the government issued all men.

Whenever he talked, he would raise his chin and wave his hands as if he was mapping out the world.

He was doing the same thing when he first met her. He kept gesturing at the letter Meihua was transcribing.

“This sentence is extra, this one too, you can take it out --“

Meihua looked at him, his comments sometimes made sense and sometimes not.

A migrant woman wanted her letter written; she kept asking Meihua to write her family to not sell the “bamboo forest.”

Meihua was lost in thought for a minute when she wrote the words. She remembered standing in the forest, looking at that flowing white tunic.

Her heart squeezed again in pain. Her love had nowhere to go.

Sometimes she wished Ah-Jing had kept lying to her, and she would still think Mr. Yun was in Chongqing.

When she ran out of the house that night, she ran alongside Jialing River.

Glimmers of light shone from fishermen’s boats, stars dotted the sky, and there were endless flickering lamps across the street.

She used to believe that at least one light belonged to Mr. Yun. Her hope made her happy, but now, she had no direction and no place to anchor.

It was that night that Ah-Jing went into labor early and gave birth to a girl.

The new life brought magic and made things frenetic too. They seamlessly reconciled.

Since Aide Yu worked every day, Meihua was the only one who could help Ah-Jing and her baby daughter.

She hadn’t gone to the post office to write letters for almost a month.

She didn’t foresee Sun Lichao coming to look for her. Still wearing the same grey cotton suit, he rode his bicycle up the hill. His face was covered in sweat.

Meihua was washing cloth diapers in front of the cottage. She only wore a thin blouse and kept sneezing.

Lichao took off his suit jacket and handed it to her. “You can have it!”

He added quietly, “The girls at my school love to wear indanthrene blouses under a man’s jacket, they think it’s the best.“

He was afraid to add that if a college girl wore someone’s jacket, they would know she had a boyfriend.

Meihua glanced at the jacket collar. It was covered in grease, obviously dirty from being unwashed. She shook her head.

Lichao was a bit embarrassed. He flipped the jacket over his shoulder and took out some newspapers.

“My opinion piece got published. I wanted to show you so you could learn some strategies too.”

He opened the paper before she finished drying her hands. She took a look. “Which article?” Suddenly, her gaze stopped on something.

She saw the words “Yun Yichuan.” The editorial on the front page was signed Yun Yichuan!

“Can I have this?” Meihua wiped her hands and held the paper as if in worship.

“Sure, if you love my writing, I have more drafts for you.” Lichao was elated.

“Anything else by Yun Yichuan?” Meihua sounded hopeful.

“I don’t know.“ Lichao was disappointed.

“Does he write a lot?”

“Well, he’s the editor-in-chief, so he can publish his own articles anytime.“ Lichao was not impressed.

Meihua was so excited looking at the paper. This was Minqiang Daily, Mr. Yun was the editor-in-chief, and he worked in Shanghai!

“Shanghai.”

Whenever she thought of this, Meihua would smile, her eyes curved in happiness.

Noises came from the next room again, whether from the baby crying making them fight, or fights making the baby cry, she was not sure.

The noises slowly died down.

Life went on. She had gone through most of it.

It was 1995. She lived in an ordinary apartment building in Nanjing. Meihua put on her reading glasses for a courier delivery.

She could hear Lichao and her grandson talking in loud voices.

“Of course she chased grandpa back then. The first thing she said to me was to take off my shirt.”

“Wow, you guys were so forward!”

“I didn’t do it obviously, we were at a crowded train station!”

Meihua almost laughed. She was too busy to defend herself.

She had received an express package from Hong Kong. The only person she knew there was Ah-Jing’s daughter. The little girl from back then had a grandson in college now.

The package was indeed from her. Another envelope lay inside with one line,

“Aunt Meihua, That man in white, Mr. Yun, wrote an autobiography. I’m sending it asap so you can relive the memories.”

A book in white was inside the envelope. It wasn’t very thick; did it cover his whole life?

She held the book and sat on the balcony, feeling content. The Autumn sun was warm.

The book’s title: The Man in White. The cover showed a blurry figure, and the person wore white.

The color was as pure as the moon and as bright as snow; nothing from life could taint it.

How great it was.

She smiled. The wrinkles on her face were as fine as tendrils of a chrysanthemum flower.

Her hand lay on the cover. She thought for that moment, as she had thought for a lifetime.

To open, or not to open.