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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Budding Writers -> 
Nothing gold can stay (II)
    2016-10-12  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    At the very center of the riot, stiff and adamant as a lighthouse, a cobblestone refused to move. No matter if sea waters climbed in an attempt to suffocate. No matter if red waves broke black. The cobblestone did not budge.

    I leapt past the ants and their agonized endeavor. I was a little (no more) red riding hood navigating my way through a forest of shadows (the skyscrapers stabbing up and beyond evasive like shadows) but I knew my foes and I knew my way. I also knew my friend.

    Corner Street One. Turn left. Into the alley. Out, light. Cross the plaza. Squeeze in between the buildings. You see the shell-like opening the stairs out-stuck like a tongue. Shuffle down the tube.

    Merge into the crowd and pretend to not be.

    Jump onto the right metro. I inherited a sense of direction amidst traffic and dodging the wrong train was second nature. Poking a foot in and claiming the perimeter of space around it. I came face to face with air-conditioning that leaked past my veins and stringed hanging masks that blinked that did not have eyes. I could see, though, how they gaped, demanding. And upon the little but adequate space I rooted I seemed to be toppling, realizing not for the first time but with fresh amazement at how balance was a third-dimensional abstraction with neither force nor credibility, and how land was the only thing that lasted but it was losing.

    But time I had. So I stood looking. The man with a pocked face was sullen-faced also, drooping from the weight of his glasses so that with legs the length of my body he looked like a wooing ostrich. Other faces adjusted themselves to pocket screens within the stretch of index finger and thumb the way sunflowers moved to the quadratic routine of the sun. A woman was putting on contacts.

    Nobody seemed to see.

    But then I didn’t expect them to. It was an inside joke only Friend 001 could get. Friend 002 might, but that was all.

    The metro pulled to a stop. I dug my way through the entangling mess of bodies, beating inertia backwards. I mounted the tubes. Outside nothing seemed to have changed. Skyscrapers projected the lost shadows of a forest. Cars sped and screamed. But as I said, I knew my directions. I needn’t stop for no wolf.

    After two turns left, two turns right and once crossing the road you reach Loser’s Theater. It was one of those back corners of the Metropolis, buried half-dead in cobwebs and oblivion. The narrow staircase that dug to two floors and a world of fluorescence underground, that opened in between an out-of-business bank and a out-of-business convenience store appeared in most if not all days nonexistent to passersby who looked left but not right. We visited often.

    First floor down was the parlor, where guests lingered for entire afternoons absorbed in their own bubbles of thought, waiting for a movie, healing from a movie, sitting. There I found Abigail, her face upturned topped by a cap, feigning sleep.

    “I fell asleep,” she said, sweeping off the cap.

    “Sure you did.”

    I looked at her, grinning. Abigail rubbed her eyes.

    “You are late. Shame on you, loser!”

    I didn’t talk, only grinning. And she said, “What’s that supposed to mean? What you up to?” and I

    fingered my shirt. She looked, stagnant for a while.

    “Terrible handwriting. But come on, we’ll miss the start.”

    Abigail tried to stand but I towered like a wall before her and she fell back. I fingered the words.

    “Harvard boy. You see? I’m a Harvard boy.”

    But she only frowned. Her eyes distorted into a shape of not-Abigail. I felt a tickling tightness of

    throat.

    “Do you not get it? Quentin,” I said, “Quentin. I am Quentin Compson.”

    Abigail stood abruptly, nearly knocking me off my feet. “What nonsense,” she said.

    I watched her go down the stairs. Then all at once I did not feel like watching “Midnight in Paris”

    anymore. Light spilt as I surfaced climbing, a malicious blaring gold too strong to confront. I traced

    my way back to the station.

    I was one foot in the metro when the ringing started again. I fumbled at my pocket. A lit screen:

    some number I could not recognize. I put it to my ear.

    “Hello.”

    “Honey, I’m sorry for leaving you like this.”

    “Mom?” I said. The flat rectangular four dimensional device all of a sudden acquired a snake-like

    smoothness and I held on to it the way a mother held on to a dying baby. “Is everything okay?”

    The mother’s voice came through quiet. “Yes.” it said. “How are you?”

    “I’m fine.” The phone was a snake.

    “Good. I might come home late tonight. Is it okay if...”

    All of God and world’s creations lay drawn to the central gravitation of the land, that pivoted and

    directed us, that was the ultimate cause to life and death and start and end, that in the end destroyed

    us and in doing so brought peace. And so I was to lose grip to this great central attraction irresistible

    to even gold, much less snakes. It plummeted with barely a thump. Taking with it missing letters

    and dead words. Taking with it me.

    I plummeted, snatching the phone from my few cubic meters of ground and crushing it to my ears

    in not desperation but longing. But words lost were words lost. The snake had stopped talking,

    leaving me to silent vibrations and a crowd of noiseless sounds. I got on my feet and was starting to

    hope no one had seen me when I realized, no one ever sees.

    The troop of ants still roamed the corner of the apartment building. The cobblestone was gone.

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