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Good evening fellow storytellers. Now you are probably wondering what does this tired looking man in the dusty old coat have to say about a love story between a Chinese man and a French woman. Hell, I look like someone you talk to when you need advice on what gun you should use when you are tryin’ to take down a grizzly bear in the Rockies. Half the time I give that kind of advice. But tonight, in response to another story in this place titled “Crying Over Him“, I feel like I got some’ to say that has been in my memory for the past 15 years.

晚上好,讲故事的伙伴们。现在你们可能很好奇,这位身着一件旧外套,满脸倦容的男人可以讲出怎样一个的关于中国男人与法国女人之间的爱情故事。见鬼,我看起来就像是那种当你想要去落基山脉干掉一只灰熊时会建议你用何种枪支的男人。我生活中有一半的时间的确都在给出这样的建议。但是今晚,为了回应另一篇题为“为他哭泣”的文章,我觉得自己有一个故事想分享给各位,这个故事在我的记忆中存在了15年之久。



Then we found out about Ella. Ella was a French girl who studied in Shanghai. Blonde hair, with the face of an angel. She, in her beautiful sky-blue dress, just did not fit in amongst the backdrop of the harsh ruggedness of the northern borderlands, their ravines of carved rocks and the huge diesel excavators belching acrid smoke into the winter sky. But there she stood, amongst the flashing lights of the rescue trucks and running figures of shouting paramedics and military men, tears streaming down her face...

然后再让我们说说艾拉吧。艾拉是一个曾经在上海读书的法国女孩。她有一头金色的头发,以及一张天使般的面孔。那天她身着一件漂亮的天蓝色连衣裙,与严酷的北方边境显得如此的格格不入。山谷中尽眼望去全是岩石、沟壑,巨大的柴油挖掘机向寒冬的天空中喷出刺鼻的烟雾。但是她就这么站在那里,站在救援车闪烁的灯光前,一边跑着,一边呼唤着医护人员和军人,眼泪浸湿了她的面孔...

Ella had met Wei when he was working in a bakery in Shanghai’s Meilong district. She had been living in Shanghai for just over 4 months, pursuing a career in the performing arts. Which was exactly the point of their first conversation, while he tried to fill orders and clean kitchenware at the same time. Their mutual understanding of English helped them out in miraculous ways. Wei loved Chinese TV serials, and the two of them talked about acting and movies in general. Their first conversation became the one of many. They began to see each other outside of work. Usually Wei would take Ella to one of the more traditional restaurants in the area and they would spend long hours simply walking around the town or watch the city skyline from the banks of the Suzhou River. Wei showed genuine care and concern for her, even going of his way to place his jacket over her when a freak snow squall began to blow one day as they tried to make it back home. Despite Ella’s insisting that she was not cold even though all she had was a light sweater, Wei told her to keep the jacket on. He said nothing, even though his shivering betrayed his true condition. But he did not say anything else. And he did not say anything else to suggest that their friendship may progress to anything else. Even though now they began to walk hand in hand and every time they said their goodbye in front of her apartment, he would kiss her hand and press it against his face for a long moment before turning to leave. And each day, Ella would look forward to spending more time with Wei, as we found out afterward. He in turn, as well, and on multiple occasions, showing more concern for her well being than his own. Even though deep inside, Ella yearned for the day Wei would ask her the question, that question never came.

艾拉第一次遇见魏时,他正就职与上海梅陇镇的一家面包店。她当时在上海从事演艺事业,已经在那里生活了4个多月。这正是他们的第一次交谈,当时他正试着一边填写着订单,一边清理着厨房用具。双方对英语的掌握奇迹般地帮到了他们。魏喜欢看中国的电视剧,因此他们两经常会谈论起表演和电影。他们的第一次谈话之后,伴随着的是后来无数次的交谈。他们开始在工作以外的场合见面。魏通常会带艾拉去一家比较传统的餐厅,然后他们会花很长时间在上海的街头巷尾闲逛,又或者是从苏州河的河堤上观赏城市的天际线。魏对艾拉表现出了真正的关怀与体贴,有一天在他们回去的路上一场暴风雪不期而至,魏脱下自己的夹克披在了艾拉的身上。尽管艾拉身上只穿了一件轻薄的毛衣,但是她依然坚持说自己并不冷,魏则让她继续穿着那件夹克。他什么也没说,但是他颤抖的身体还是让他的真实状态显露无遗。但是除此以外,他什么也没说。他没有暗示艾拉他们之间的友谊可能会发展成其他的情感。尽管他们已经开始互相牵手了,尽管每当他们在艾拉的公寓前告别时,他都会亲吻她的手,并且在他转身离开之前把她的双手捧到自己脸上,捧上好久。而艾拉则每天都期待着能和魏度过更多的时光,就事我们后来才知道。同时,魏对艾拉表现出的关怀也胜过对自己的关怀。但是在艾拉的内心深处,她渴望着魏能向她提出那个问题,然而这个问题从未出现过。



He did not see anything out of place as he went deeper into the shaft, even though the rancid odor of mercaptan was almost unbearable. Then he remembered that no power had been connected to this set of shafts yet and propane was still being used for illumination in the outer vestibule of the tunnel. The black hoses of the mainline led further back into the shaft, and in one of the recesses dug into the walls of the corridor, a large metal door, partly off its hinges and now unmovable due to it being wedged against the mouth of the recess.The stench was the most profound here and Wei decided that this metal slab had to be removed so he could look at the tanks. Despite the combined efforts of three muscular men, that damned slab just would not budge. Cursing whichever idiot had apparently rammed the door with a hi-lo machine and never bothered to report it, Wei had the door handles attached to a winch that one of the men outside had brought, mounted on the front bumper of a 500 HP FAW ore loader. The chains now connected, Wei signaled for the man in the truck to start the winch motor.

当他深入矿井时,他并未觉察到任何不寻常的地方,然而此时空气中的恶臭已经到了让人几乎无法忍受的地步了。这时他想起来这组矿井还尚未通电,隧道的外前厅依旧是靠丙烷来照明的。黑色的煤气管道被安装在了走廊墙壁上的凹槽之中,隧道内有一扇硕大的金属门,大门有一部分已经从铰链上脱落了下来并卡在了凹槽之中。这里的臭味是最浓的,魏决定将这块金属门移开,这样他才能进去检查煤气罐。尽管三个健壮一起使劲用力地去搬,但是那扇该死的金属门依旧纹丝不动。不知是那个笨蛋用升降机把门搞坏了还不费心上报这个情况,魏嘴里咒骂着。外面的一位员工带进来了一辆连接着500马力装载机的绞车,魏将铁链拴到了铁门把手上,之后他示意车里的人发动了绞车马达。



I had never met this Wei, and only have heard stories from my Uncle, when I would go visit his ranch house in the borderlands, and we would head to the saloon and guzzle down our favorite whiskeys. I would tell my uncle about my life in the USA, and how the great the hunting and fishing was in the hill country of western Pennsylvania. I would tell him about the guns, the bows, the snowmobiles and the winter nights around campfires with my backcountry friends after a day of stalking for bucks with our scoped Winchesters. He in turn, would tell me about the hardassed old guys in his neck of the mountains that still built bows of steel and bronze that could bring down elephants. But more often than not, he would tell about Wei, and how no one in the team knew he fell in love with a French woman. Whiskey is my favorite drink. In fact, it is the one of the only things I love to drink. The other being hill country homebrew straight from the cabin distilleries of the Appalachian. But no matter how warm the alcohol flowing through my bloodstream makes me feel, I cannot bring myself to think about just what went through Wei’s head the second he realized that something had gone truly and terribly wrong down in that dark and cold shaft deep in the cliff.

我从来没有见过这个魏,我只是从叔叔的故事中了解到一些关于他的事情。那时候我时常会拜访他那位于边境的牧场小屋,然后我们便结伴去酒馆喝我们最喜欢的威士忌。我会告诉叔叔我在美国的生活,以及在宾夕法尼亚州西部山区中打猎和钓鱼是多么愉快的事情。我会和他说起枪支,弓箭,雪地摩托以及和我的乡下朋友们拿着温切斯特步枪追逐雄鹿,然后在篝火旁度过那些冬日的夜晚。他则会和我谈起他在矿山中认识的那些老伙计们,他们依然在用钢铁和青铜制作出能放到大象的弓箭。但是更多的时候,他会提及魏的故事,以及团队中没有任何人知道他爱上了一个法国女人。威士忌是我最喜欢的饮料,事实上,这也是我唯一喜欢喝的东西。此外便是从阿巴拉契亚山脉直送过来的自酿酒。但是无论血液中的酒精让我感到多么的温暖,我依旧不禁地会去思考,当魏在那黑暗和冰冷的深渊中意识到一件让人绝望的事情将不可避免地发生在自己身上时,他的脑海中究竟飘过了怎样的思绪。