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小苏

小苏
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Chapter1
I have made up my mind. I’ve decided to cheat on Nanda. She is lying face up, beside me. She is cold and I am on my side with my arm resting on her, my elbow over her belly and my hand on her bare breast. I have my leg over her and can feel the bottoms of her cold feet on the top of my foot. She just fell asleep, not two minutes ago—I can tell by the random twitching of her arms and legs. This is the way we like to sleep: our nude bodies touching as much of each other as possible.
Moonlight covers us. I look at Nanda, her face, her bare breasts, and am reminded of a black and white Chanel advertisement within the pages of a fashion magazine. I lie beside her, holding her, and fall asleep.

The sound of the alarm clock wakes me. It’s not dawn yet. I sit up and reach over across Nanda to turn it off. I feel Nanda begin to move.
“I don’t want to get up,” she says.
“Neither do I.” I lie down. I close my eyes and put my arm around Nanda. I feel the warmth of her body. She’s asleep again, snoring lightly. She smells good. I listen to distant trucks making deliveries before the first customers begin to arrive. The sounds fade and I’m asleep.
Nanda wakes. She jumps out of bed. It’s late. “Can you make breakfast?” she says. She runs around the room throwing things onto the bed systematically assembling her outfit an article at a time.
I’m downstairs in the kitchen. Eggs. Ham. Toast. No time for pancakes. I hear the shower go on upstairs. A bar of soap hits the shower floor. A few more moments. She shower is off. Breakfast smells good. I’m hungry. I serve us both. She runs down. We eat, hardly say a word.
“You finish packing everything yesteday?” I say.
“Everything.”
We’re out the door. The luggage is one moment air-borne, then resting on the back seat. We weave down small streets onto bigger ones. There are few cars around. It’s still dark. A jogger. An old man walking a dog. We arrive at the airport. “Go ahead,” I say, “I’ll catch up with your things.”
She runs off. I start after her, pulling one suitcase on noisy wheels, carrying the other. I’m losing ground. The airport seems gloomy, underlit照明不足. It smells empty. There are two people in line before Nanda. The line moves quickly. The check-in woman is friendly. She looks tired. Papers are exchanged and the suitcases are taken away.
There is time before the flight leaves. We sit on a bench near the terminal. Every time she leaves I’m sad. I hold her hand. “Take me with you,” I say. She laughs. “I’ll stay at the hotel room and jump on the bed while you’re away.” I don’t want her to go. It’ll only be a few days. A week if anything unexpected comes up.
“I’ll be back before you know it.” She comes in close and hugs me. “Be good.”
“See you soon.” I see her walk off 离开into the terminal.











I’m home and the sun’s just starting to show itself. I’m tired and want to go back to sleep, but I can’t. I’m thinking of Nanda. Two years ago, on one of her work trips, she slept with another man. We’ve spoken about it at length. She made a mistake and is very sorry for it. I have forgiven her, but I can’t forget. Sometimes it drives me crazy. The thought of another man touching her, fucking her, infuriates me. I wish I could trust her like I once did.
I lie in bed, awake, crazy. I hate it. I can’t forget about it. I wonder why I can’t move on from this. It hardly makes sense, but this is why I have decided to cheat on Nanda. I want to see what she felt. Maybe this way I can get over this.
I can’t sleep and decide to go online. I check e-mails, read news, and look for books on Amazon. I try to, at least. I can’t read now. I can’t focus. I get up and go to the backyard. It’s a beautiful morning. The air is cool and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. There is an alley behind my house where all the neighborhood backyards meet. It’s a strange alley in that it’s closed off at both ends and cars don’t have access to it. There are many trees that overlook the alley from the backyards of other houses and it’s difficult to see the sky from here. I walk along, and through the branches I see the sky slowly brighten above me.
I walk to the end of the alley, about sixty yards from my house, and begin to walk back. I’m looking down at the ground as I walk and see a pair of sunglasses. I pick them up and look around. I don’t see anyone and begin walking again. Then I hear, “Can I have those?”
I look back and don’t see anyone.
“Up here.”
I look up and there is an Asian girl in a treehouse sitting back in a rocking chair. She’s typing away on a laptop.
“Can you catch?” I say.
“Come up.”
I look around and before I can find a way into the backyard, she points me to a gate. I walk in and find myself standing at the base of a large elm. A rope ladder dangles from above. I check to see that noone’s around. There isn’t. I reach for the ladder and step onto the bottom rung trying my best to steady myself. As I begin to climb up, I’m having second thoughts about the whole thing. I stop on the third rung and look up. What am I doing? A gentle wind is blowing and I’m swinging like a large pendulum that is about twenty seconds away from coming to rest. I start climbing again.
I’m at the top of the ladder, just under the entrance to the treehouse, and reach for the sunglasses in my pocket. I hold them out above me through the entrance for the girl to take, but she says, “Come sit down. If I knew you’d leave right away I wouldn’t have dropped them.”
The girl looks about fourteen and is wearing denim cover-alls无所不包的 with a white t-shirt, black bra strap showing. There is a lawn chair a few feet away from the rocking chair. I climb up through the opening缺口,通口, sit down, and place the sunglasses on the armrest. She reaches for them and puts them on.
“You want a beer?” she says. She’s focused on the computer screen, typing intermittently.
“You have beer up here?”
“No. But I can get you one.”
“I’m fine.” This all seems so strange. She’s leaning back in the rocking chair now and has stopped typing. Because of the sunglasses, I can’t tell which way she’s looking or even if her eyes are opened. “So you dropped the shades on purpose?”
“I saw you walking by. I haven’t seen you back here before.”
“I’ve been back here a few times. It’s been a while一会儿, though.”
“I’m Yuni,” she says.
“I’m Keith.”
“I think Moonx suits you better. I’m going to call you Moonx.”
“Moonx?”
“Sounds kind of like the name of a superhero, doesn’t it?”
“How do you spell it?”
“I don’t know, I just came up with it. You can spell it however you want.”
“I think it should end in X.”
“Whatever spelling suits you is fine with me.”
“What are you doing?” I say.
“I’m bidding on a Voltron.”
“A Voltron?”
“You haven’t heard of Voltron?”
“What are you going to do with a Voltron?”
“I like Voltron.”
“So this is normal for you?” I ask, “Being out here this early, bidding on a Voltron.”
“I couldn’t sleep. I’m usually not up this early.”
The tree house is solid结实的 and well-built体格健美的, and I wonder how long it took to build. “I couldn’t sleep either,” I say. There are three books lying on a small wooden table in the corner. “Aren’t you supposed to be in school?”
“I don’t go to school.”
She’s focused on the screen again and is typing in short bursts between pauses. I watch her as she types. The pauses between bursts become shorter. She’s typing fast now; the pauses are gone. Her typing becomes for a moment frantic and then comes to a sudden end. She throws her hands up over her head. She looks over at me and smiles, almost embarrassed.
“Sorry.” She tucks a lock of hair behind her ear.
“What was that all about?”
“No Voltron for me.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
“You can’t win them all.” She turns off her computer, puts it in a case, and then puts the case on the floor. She gets the three books from the table and has me pick one. The books are: Pale Fire; My Sixty Memorable Games; and an introduction to Portuguese. I’m surprised she has My Sixty Memorable Games.
“You play chess?” I say.
“Nope.”
“What are you doing with My Sixty Memorable Games?”
“I got it at a good price好价钱 on ebay,” she says.
“You buy books just because you can get them at a good price?”
“Some books.”
“You’re weird,” I say.
“I buy stuff on ebay and sell it for profit,” she says, handing me My Sixty Memorable Games. “This book sells for卖 as much as a hundred fifty dollars or more. I bought it for thirty-five.”
“What else do you buy and sell?”
“Just about几乎 anything,” she says. “Jewelry, computers, movies, concert tickets. Anything I think I can make money off of.”
“You’re an entrepreneur.”
“Where do you live?” she says.
“Three houses down.”
“The one with the pool?”
“No pool.”
“Red shed?”
“That’s the one.”
“I can’t believe I’ve never seen you before.” She takes the two other books and flips through浏览 them. The Portuguese book goes back on the table. She sits down and puts Pale Fire on her lap.”
“Have you read it?”

“Pale Fire?”
“Uh-huh.”
“I’ve read Lolita and Despair. Not Pale Fire, though”
“It’s a trip. You should read it. I’ll lend it to you if you want.”
“Are you going to sell it online?”
“Not Pale Fire. That one I bought for me.”
“What’s the last book you read?” I say.
“I think I’ve seen your wife.” I’m starting to see she’s good at ignoring questions. “Short woman with straight black hair?”
“Yep.”
“She’s cute.”
“Thanks.”
“I’ve seen her reading,” she says.
I turn my head and look out the window to see if my house is within view from here. It’s hard to see through the trees, but I’m able to make out the shed in the back and the right half of the balcony.
“So you like to read,” I say.
She pulls a pack of cigarrettes out of one of her pockets, takes out a cigarrette, and holds it between her lips.
“Smoke?” she says holding the pack of cigarrettes out to me.
“No, thanks.”
She takes out a book of matches and lights the cigarrette.
“How old are you?” I say.
“Old enough.”
“How old is that?”
“I’m sixteen.”
I look at her. “No you’re not.”
“You’re right. I’m fifteen. My birthday was last month.”
“You shouldn’t smoke,” I say.
“You shouldn’t be sitting in a treehouse with a fifteen year-old girl you’ve never seen before.”
She has a point.
She leans back and blows a cloud of smoke up above her head. “What’s my name?” she says. I search my memory for her name and just as I find it, she says, “It’s Yuni. You’re not good with names, are you?”
“What’s my name?” I say.
“You’re Moonx.”
“What’s my real name?”
“You want to hear a story?” she says, ignoring me again. Before I can answer, she cuts in, “I was eating by myself at the mall a few months ago and this guy comes and sits with me. I have no idea who he is. ‘Do you mind if I sit here?’ he says. I tell him I don’t. He tells me I seem different than anyone he’s ever seen and that he had to come meet me. We talk for about five minutes and then he tells me he has to go, but that he’d like to get to know me better. He suggests we go to a coffee shop, and I agree to meet him at the Starbucks near here.” The end of her cigarrette lights up a bright orange and then she leans back and blows another cloud of smoke up into the air above her. “So I meet him there and I’m nervous and I guess he was nervous too and the conversation sucked. It was just terrible. ‘Where were you born?’ ‘How many brothers do you have?’ ‘What do you do for fun?’ These kinds of questions. The he starts telling that he’s a freshman at the University and that he’s studying political science. ‘I want to be the president of Mexico one day,’ he says. He tells me about all the problems Mexico is facing and what it’ll take to turn the country around. I suppose the conversation—it was more a monologue at this point—could have been interesting to some people, but I’m just not into politics. Not at all. I told him I had to leave and I did. I haven’t seen him since.”
“I suppose you could have done your part尽自己的职责 in contributing to the conversation,” I say. “From what I can tell, it’s not hard for you to steer操控 conversations the way you want them to go.”
“I guess I was nervous. I hate dates like that. There’s too much pressure.” A long stem of ash has accumulated at the end of her cigarrette and without Yuni’s noticing, breaks off and falls to the floor. “I’d love a date where instead of starting at the beginning with silly questions about how many brothers you have, you can start at the middle, as if you’ve known each other for a while暂时.”
“I’m trying to imagine what that would be like,” I say. “Wouldn’t you have to get through the beginning before getting to the middle?”
“I don’t think so, as long as you agree to it beforehand. I can say to a guy, ‘Okay, I’ll meet you at the coffee shop, but we have to start at the middle as if we’ve known each other a long time. We’ll each take a book and study or whatever. While we read we can randomly say something about our day or anything interesting that might          come to mind. Like we could be reading and then I could say that my aunt from Japan called and how I haven’t seen her since I was a little girl. Then we could go back to reading. The silences aren’t awkward because they’re planned. There’s going to be a bunch of silences because we’ll be reading. I could also say that I weighed myself and gained two pounds from the week before, that sort of thing.’ So you see, pretty soon不久, we’ll have talked about so much middle stuff, that we’ll know each other just as well 幸好不妨or even以至 better than if we’d started at the beginning.” She notices the ashes on the floor and takes one last puff烟 of her cigarrette before turning it out against the sole脚底,鞋底 of her running shoe. “We could try it right now.”
“You want to pick things up in the middle?”
“Yep. See if it works.” She looks out the window and then turns her attention to Pale Fire. I start to read the introduction to My Sixty Memorable Games. “Can you believe a Russian wrote Lolita?” Yuni says. “That first paragraph—the one that starts, ‘Lolita, light of my life. Fire of my loins. My sin. My soul.’—it’s so beautiful.”
“Nabokov said that Lolita was his love affair风流韵事.,强烈爱好 with the English language.”
“Well you really should read Pale Fire one day.” Her attention is back on her book. I start going over one of Fischer’s games againt Tal, but without a board I lose track of the pieces after about ten moves. I play through the game the best I can and use the diagrams as landmarks.
“The other day,” I say, “I was at the mall and there was a piano recital. A bunch of little kids were playing Bach and Beethoven. There was one little girl in particular who caught my eye引起人的注意. She must have been about five years old. She was so happy just to get through her piece and her parents seemed even happier. It was a cool moment: the little girl on stage and her parents watching her while I watched all three.”
“I used to play piano.” She closes her book, marking her place with her index finger. “I still do, but don’t take lessons anymore. I’m learning guitar. I’ll play some guitar for you one day. Sometimes I come here and play.” She looks over and tries to make sense out of the page I’m on. “You can borrow it if you like. Bring it back when you’re done.”

The two of us keep reading. The sound of the rustling leaves is very soothing. I start another game and when I’m finished I look over at Yuni and find her asleep with the book on her lap, index finger marking her place again. I flip through the pages, stopping at diagrams that catch my attention, and try to wade through很吃力地辛苦地读完 some of the variations. I read for about half an hour and then start drifting off into sleep too. I try to fight it, but can’t, and when I wake up, Yuni, her computer, and Pale Fire are gone. She’s left a note for me under the Portuguese book. It reads: “Moonx, meet me here at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday. Breakfast on me. Yuni.”
I climb down from the tree house and when I’m at the base of the tree, I notice an old man in a straw cowboy hat 草帽 kneeling beside a flowerbed with his hands in the soil. He doesn’t notice me. I walk out through the gate and go home.

小苏 最后编辑于 2009-06-21 19:46:00

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cheerfulangel

cheerfulangel
     2 楼
finish reading:)

hyq

hyq
     3 楼
She’s asleep again, snoring loudly .:D


Keep on going

小苏

小苏
| 只看楼主
     4 楼
there are few chapter also!

我爱飞机

我爱飞机
     5 楼
where have you gotten it

土拨鼠1号

土拨鼠1号
     6 楼
is this the start of the whole story, like to see more:Z

小苏

小苏
| 只看楼主
     7 楼
原帖由 土拨鼠1号 于 7/16/2009 9:48:00 AM 发表
is this the start of the whole story, like to see more:Z 



  OF COURSE IT‘S JUST FIRST CHAPTER

nodoor

nodoor
     8 楼
I have forgiven her, but I can’t forget.

小苏

小苏
| 只看楼主
     9 楼
原帖由 Yokki 于 8/9/2009 12:49:00 PM 发表
is it direct translation from chinese..?
it doesn't look lk eng essay to me


    纯美式小说。上

heenacruzl

heenacruzl
     10 楼
您的帖子对我很有用。 我将其保存以供参考。cat mario
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