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Personal Narrative: A Very Cold World(记叙文─冰冷的世界)
送交者: 天边的红霞 2020年06月05日07:02:31 于 [五 味 斋] 发送悄悄话

2016-10-19

【Aiden in English】

        Growing up in the better areas of America, children take life for granted. We all expect the food to be provided on our plates every night, and new sneakers given every year before school starts. Most children and teenagers simply view this as a normal way of life, experiencing only one face of a multi-platform world. There aren’t many things that worry us other than grades or losing followers on Instagram. I was one of these kids who took life for granted. Looking back at what I’ve been through, I realize there is so much more in this world to worry about other than a letter written on the top of an essay.

        I didn’t realize that when the mother said it was freezing outside that she actually was serious. Then again, she hardly jokes, which now seems like something I should have noted. With autumn coming to its close, the season should’ve hinted at the upcoming weather changes. Unfortunately, the temperature of the past week was quite misleading. In fact, kids at school were still joking about how global warming has accelerated. “Finally,” we would say, “meteorologists actually got something right.”

        Stepping outside, the first feeling I received was … nothing, surprisingly. Although the thermostat said it was under the freezing level, I quickly disregarded its information. Just a day ago, it had read the indoor temperature around 120 degrees. We really needed to change its battery, I thought, walking to my bus stop.

        By then, the pricks had started in my hands. I had worn shorts with my favorite red Nike jacket. Stuffing them into the pockets, I realized then, a slight trickle in the back of my mind, that this may have been a mistake.

        Just my luck, the bus was late that day. When the sound of a squealing brake turned the corner, I had already begun to feel a growing, mysterious warmth within. Either that or I was hallucinating. School seemed fine enough, with only a slight headache to deal with, possibly from the cringy video in science. Stepping off the school bus in the afternoon, the bright sun seemed to shine a little less. Oddly, I couldn't tell what was wrong. My neighbor was hopping home, taking off his sweatshirt. I, on the other hand, bundled up even further, as if afraid of the sun.

        My house felt even weirder than outside. At this point, beads of sweat began to appear on my brow. That night, I went to bed early, disregarding my mother’s questions and worries. By then, I was dragging myself into bed, feeling as if my body was being pulled down by a supernatural force. Fortunately, I fell asleep quickly. Unfortunately, I woke up at night, with a huge chill in my stomach and a splitting headache. It was then I notified my mother, which led to the decision of taking me out of school.

        Obviously, by now I understood that I was sick. My family wasn’t sure what the issue or disease was just quite yet, but it wouldn’t be the first time a sickness impacted my life. Around every year, I have one really bad week of colds or the flu, where I take days off school in order to stay sane. It’s a very odd experience to feel so cold when your body is so hot, as it brutally messes with a person’s senses. This year was no different. Because of the experience with colds, I expected all the symptoms before most started. This year was an especially bad sickness. The world around went completely cold, and even though my breaths weren’t turning into crystals, the very air seemed to freeze up upon touching my skin.  Constantly checking a thermometer, the blood pounded through my ears, drumming with more intensity with every hour that passed. Sometimes, when things got too cold, I would use the heat radiating from my forehead to warm my hands. This might as well have been considered the only exercise for a week.

        The next few days were kind of a blur. They kind of all came in the same style. Eat a small breakfast, staring at the ceiling, drifting to sleep, it all felt like time and space had no relativity anymore. Reality had its color and life leeched away by a menacing ice-age. As I slipped between the conscious stages, I realized the difference between watching and seeing. Watching is just pointing your eyes towards something. Seeing is the actual image being broadcasted to the brain. Worst of all, I had nothing to do. The silver lining to being sick is the ability to stay home all day and do all the fun events. Surprisingly enough, even the simple pleasures of YouTube and videogames had no appeal, not to mention food, drinks, or sports. Mother, rather than feeling sympathetic, became quite tired of me not doing anything proactive the entire day, thinking in a very strict manner of things strict women would think about, such as school, missed work, projects, and practicing piano. Just another person that's gone cold. Therefore, I returned to school the next day.

        The description of Advil (200 mg) says that the drug has an effect of around four hours. Apparently, stacking up doses does not mean it will extend the effective time. Coming home after a particularly bad day at school, where I looked like a zombie without any of the human flesh appetites, mother figured that it was time to send me to the hospital.

        It was particularly dreary on that fateful night. Looking back at that exact moment, it felt like one of those dramatic movie scenes where the main character has he “has to go”, even though he “knows all the risks”. A thought protruded my wandering mind, saying this was for the good of my own health. Unfortunately, it sounded exactly how the main character always says “the world is counting on me”. But in this case, nature doesn’t seem to want me to survive.

        Children Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), located in Philadelphia, is a top-notch hospital in the world. For many adolescent patients, it can deliver very efficient care to those in need, as well as those with health insurance. There was a period of time when I had blacked out, probably because it was late at night, and I dozed off. Mother looked quite worried, as you would expect. Walking in a compartment, the magnitude of the situation settled into my soul. The walls suddenly closed in, looking ever so intimidating with their sharp tools and scary diagrams of body parts. With reassuring replies to my worries from my family, I understood sometimes, there only was so long a child could remain a child. The doctors took my blood pressure, recording them in some scary charts. Finally, a nurse arrived with needles and tubes, attempting to take some blood samples my mother requested. The last time I came in touch with needles, I, embarrassingly have to admit, was not something to be proud of. I really wished she had opened the packs outside or in another room since the process just gave my heart more time to self-destruct. Turning around, the nurse rubs away the grime with the alcohol pad on my arm and primed the glinting silver needle.

        Truthfully, I never saw it coming. One second, I was answering what school I went to, the next, I was hooked up to a drip, and the nurse had taken a small vial of red, gooey blood. She left without saying much, which probably was for the better. Later on, a bottle of Gatorade was given, “with extra infused electrolytes”. I never was a big fan of Gatorade, just a bunch of sugar and a catchy name. But I couldn’t really let go of the bottle. As in that cold, empty room, in a cruel, frozen world, it was the one thing I could count on.

        Later on, when the doctor said I simply had an extremely bad cold, which was very anti-climactic, I still sat in the chair, covered in a mountain of blankets, sipping that bottle of Gatorade. Sure, I caught a break, but I knew how much this meant for my future. Life isn’t something everyone takes for granted. We all should accept what we have and be thankful for what we have. Finishing the Gatorade, I felt a little shade of color return back into everything around. A warmth tingled within, but this time, I knew it was real.

【红霞译文】

        在美国优裕地区长大的孩子把生命视为理所当然,要么希望每晚餐盘上备好下肚的食物,要么期待每年开学前添置新款运动鞋,多数少年儿童以为这是天经地义的,毕竟自己在多元化世界中所处的生活层面大都如此,平日除了应付学业成绩或关注照片墙上粉丝多少,对其它事情不管不问,我也不排除在外。回顾自己亲身经历,我意识到人世间有很多东西远比上述标题里的字母更值得重视。

        听到母亲提醒外面开始上冻后我没当回事,天气确实恶劣,再说她从不瞎开玩笑,现在到了我该注意的时候。 既然秋天马上过去,季节本身已经暗示未来天气变化,坏就坏在上周气温带点误导作用,其实校园内同学们仍旧拿全球快速变暖一事寻开心。 “终于,”大家会说:“气象学家干点靠谱的事。”

        走出屋外,我首先感觉……没有差异,真邪了门。虽然气温计指出零度以下,但我转眼就把它抛到脑后,就在一天前,它竟然显示室内华氏温度高达120度左右。下午赶往车站的路上,我还想莫非该换个电池。

        那时寒风已开始吹得手痛,我下着短裤、上穿本人最喜欢的红色耐克外套,双手揣进兜内,之后我隐约意识到可能犯了一个错误。

        偏巧那天校车晚点,当拐弯处刹车声响起,不知是因为寒冷还是出于幻觉,我心里萌生一股越来越神秘的亲切感。学校活动如常进行,我稍微闹点头痛,也许要怪那部讨厌的科学视频。下午坐校车回家途中,灿烂的阳光似乎暗淡一点,奇怪的是我丝毫没觉察出任何不适。邻家朋友脱掉运动衫跑回了家,而我却裹得严严实实,好像害怕太阳似的。

        我家似乎比屋外更加莫名其妙,此时我额头上开始挂满汗珠。到了晚上,我顾不上母亲盘问焦虑,早早上床睡觉。我强迫自己躺下,感觉身体被超自然力拽住,好在很快入睡,哪曾料到夜晚醒来,胃口难受得要命并伴有头痛发作,我随即叫醒母亲,决定干脆请假在家养病。

        显然,直到这个时候我才知道自己生病,家人拿捏不准缘何而起,但我也不是第一次遭受疾病煎熬,其实每年都有这么一周我不是得重感冒就是患重流感,因此总得病休几天养精蓄锐。身体发烧的时候你却感到冷得要命,这种体验非常奇怪,它毫无人情地混淆感官认知,今年也不例外。基于以往感冒经验,在尚未发病之前,我对全部病症了如指掌。这次感冒特别较劲,周围世界变得冷酷难忍,即使我呼出的气没被冻成冰棍,寒意似乎令我窒息。我不停地测量体温,血流震得耳膜嗡嗡作响,而且一阵比一阵剧烈。有时当冷到一定程度,我会把双手搁在发热的额头上取暖,这可能是我本周以来唯一做过的运动。        

        接下来几天有点迷迷糊糊,反正每次发病形式大同小异。早餐吃得很少,眼睛看着看着天花板便坠入梦乡,好像时空不再有任何关联,可恶的寒冷让现实黯然失色叫生活索然无味。当介于两种意识阶段左右摇摆时,我深知观看与看见不同。所谓观看无非眼睛跟随东西移动,而看见则为实际图像进入大脑,糟糕的是我与两者互不搭嘎。生病的唯一好处莫过于可以整天耗在家里耍着玩,出乎意料地,这回我对优兔和电子游戏这类人见人爱的玩意兴趣索然,更不必说吃喝运动。面对我整天无所事事,母亲以严厉女性的敏锐思维而不是恻隐之心去考虑诸如学校、落下的作业、研修课题、练习钢琴等问题,另一位着凉抽风的人。既然如此,第二天我返校上学。

        布洛芬(每片200毫克)说明书指出药效保持四个小时左右,显而易见,加大剂量服用未必延长药物作用时间。在校期间我如同行尸走肉,感觉特别糟糕,回到家后母亲见状二话不说立马带我去医院就诊。

        生死攸关的夜晚特别沉闷,回顾那一时刻,如同故事片主人公出现的场景,“明知山有虎”,可他“偏要虎山行”。我脑海里冷不丁冒出一个念头,生病有利本人健康,乍听起来好像主角一直在说:“世界离不开我”,但眼下老天爷似乎没指望我撑过来。

        位于费城的儿童医院在世界上首屈一指,对于很多青少年患者而言,它提供立见成效的医护保健服务,因为深更半夜我睡着了,所以一度出现记忆断片,如你所知,母亲显得非常焦虑。一走进诊室,我预感病情严重,四周墙壁突然紧闭,上面挂着尖利的医疗器械和恐怖的肢体解剖图片,不由得心惊胆颤。家人想方设法安慰我,我明白有时孩童的天真瞬间即逝。医生给我量血压,并汇总到一些可怕的表格里去,最后护士带来针管,准备按照母亲旨意抽血化验。我大言不惭地承认,上次跟针头打交道表现欠佳,真希望她在屋外或别的房间打开包装盒,当面操作让我身心备受折磨。我转过头去,护士用酒精棉消毒胳膊并扎入亮闪闪的银针。

        说实话,我从来不看抽血。前一秒钟我刚回答在哪上学,下一时刻护士已收集完一小管又红又稠的血样。她走时没说太多,也许这样更好,过后又送来一瓶佳得乐,“额外补充电解质”。我一向不是这种饮料的忠实粉丝,它除了甜还享有时髦的名称,可我又不能不喝,在冷若冰霜的世界里身处这么寂寞空荡的地方,它是唯一我能得到慰藉的东西。  

        后来当医生告知我不过得了重感冒(成心跟气候唱对台戏),我依旧坐在椅子上,身上盖着厚厚的毯子,嘴里啜饮那瓶佳得乐。没错,我得空休息一下,但心里明白这种调整对未来意味着什么,生命并不是人人认为理所当然的,大家都应该珍惜并感激自己所拥有的一切。喝完佳得乐,我觉得周围有点焕然一新,禁不住荡起阵阵暖意,这回真的心生感动。

相关博文:

ER in Children Hospital of Philadelphia(费城儿童医院医急诊)

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