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微小说:打烊后(附英文版本)
送交者: 江灵飏 2018年04月07日18:51:57 于 [恋恋风尘] 发送悄悄话

在香港某大夜总会当个临时鼓手,休息时邂逅了一名伴唱女子。
打烊后,两人坐在舞台一角,看着几个清洁工人忙这忙哪。
我笑说:〝这种地方也可以清洁的么?〞
她不睬,只瞅一瞅身边的一杯特级法国干邑。
酒是我向经理讨来的。我代他回复了积压着的外语电子邮件。
给自己倒一杯冰水。我、一直以来跟烟酒无缘、绝缘。
冰水。
想起这句故乡俗谚来:
Someone has to break the ice.
总要有人打破闷局的吧。
跟她开个玩笑看看。
〝你呀,唱粤调,真够江南韵味!〞
刚刚说完,一只粉拳就在眼前亮起来。不闪,由它落在胸膛。
〝俺是北妹,你呢?死老外!〞
不打不相识。相识了,也希望相知,在天涯。
她、一啖酒三句话地开始讲自己。
讲、也是带引。 
她带我到苏州水乡去看她的家,最后更带我去看她怎样沦落香江。
倒醉在我怀中之前,她抿嘴笑一下, 说:
〝他妈的人生。〞
——————
English Version:
FORGET THE PAST TENSE 
No story should be told in the past tense if it is meant to last. I can’t hold this thought of mine when she asks, presumably taunting this lǎowài, why Chinese verbs remain “unadulterated” irrespective of the timeline. Unadulterated? There’s something about this girl, I must admit, at the very moment we bump literally into each other. When? In an ungodly hour. Where? In a nightclub. We both get paid, though, as “night workers”. May I hurriedly add that I’m an hourly drummer. I just beat my drum. She has to make her customers’ hearts beat faster than normal. Neither of us can afford to miss a beat, pun intended.
I like her simply because she has a pretty young face that renders makeup obsolete. I like her more because she hasn’t so far accused me of checking her out (which I actually do). I absolutely do not take her for granted, and she knows that instantly and intuitively. 
Myself a teetotaler by nature, I imagine that I’m letting the wine flow for her and for her only, now that we have the whole deserted nightclub to ourselves apart from the shadows of a few graveyard-shift cleaning workers keeping their respectable distance. We have no reason to distance from each other on the abandoned stage where acting is not required.
She lights a cigarette but stops short of taking a puff on it, smiling apologetically. Oh yes, I don’t smoke. She can tell, period.
Never mind where and how we spend the remaining dark hours. 
Some years later, back in America, I am still young enough to pretend that I can plant a ci in her mind, which ends with these three lines:
口红再印別离笺
知君原属我
属我未生前
Loosely translated:
Take this blank note of mine, rouged twice, 
To where you may be 
From where I am and will always be.
For her and for her only I don’t give the past tense a damn. Always in the present tense I remember her parting words, collectively a question:
AIN’T LIFE HELL?


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