Monday, 29 November 2010

小说 “笙歌” 第贰章 之(四) “照鬼超声波”

第二章之四
照鬼超聲波
竹毛冷?玲娜出奇地問:竹子也可以造毛冷的嗎?
可以。怕有幾十年歷史了。口氣中沒有絲毫不耐煩或者覺得媽媽無知。
媽媽不加思索地又補上一句:就是顏色比較單調。
夏麗心想:我的媽呀,你三分種前才說這毛線很漂亮!但口裡還是慢條斯理地解釋著:我故意挑中性顏色,男女合穿,彈性較大。
除了准媽媽夏麗之外,差不多全世界都知道即將面世的寶貝是個男孩,只是沒有人夠膽向她透露。玲娜很瞭解和尊重女兒的心意。與自己的孩子初次見面,是人生最珍貴的一刻,不應該事前把這份驚喜刻意破壞。她也懂得天機不可洩漏的道理,不過,那珍貴的一刻,也是最令她擔心的一刻。小男孫會活著出來嗎。。。?

夏麗不許任何人在她面前猜度肚裡孩子的性別。醫生們看兩眼超聲幻影便當了自己是神仙,能知過去未來,其實是白日見鬼。超聲波那東西本來就是照鬼鏡。她懷孕三個多月的時候,帶著緊張好奇的心情和宋煥第一次去照超聲波。誰知螢光屏上出現的小胚胎令她失望,震驚,傷心,甚至毛骨悚然。
一團灰中帶紅的肉瘤,浮沈在屏幕玻璃後面,毫無生氣,像隻泡在河面的爛蘿蔔,又像剝了皮的死老鼠。模糊的頭部,大得不合比例。手腳看上去幼小無力。其中一隻手以太空漫步的姿態擺了幾下,懶洋洋地向大家揮了一揮。
甚麼新生命!這鬼東西很老,老得很!
在打照鬼鏡之前,夏麗覺得腹中這塊肉無論肉體和靈魂都是自己的一部份。但浮現眼前的卻是個不慌不忙,在她體內吐吶養神的老幽靈,一隻準備借她的身體搞投胎的野鬼!她看了兩眼便無法看下去,按不住的淚水一下子湧了出來。沒有醫生的專業訓練,她和宋煥當然看不出死老鼠是男是女。
夏麗,好消息:看來一切良好。是不是很想知道小寶寶是仔仔還是女女呢?黃醫生用專業口吻,得意地賣了個關子。 
你不用說!我不想聽!夏麗重重的一句,把黃醫生的興致硬邦邦地截斷。黃大夫還未反應過來,她便接著發命令:叫其它人也不要自作聰明,在我面前猜三度四。是男是女,生了出來自有分曉。到時用不著專家幫忙,我自己會鑒定。
黃醫生給夏麗突如其來的連環悶棍打了幾下,默不作聲,像個鬧脾氣的小孩子。他望著表情尷尬的宋煥,示意著:老兄,老婆是你的?那麼凶,你來應付吧。
宋煥本來對這最新一代的三維空間超聲波掃描技術很有興趣,想借機跟黃醫生交流一下。現在事態有變,只有把好奇暫且擱置,把老婆的心情平復了再說:你放心。這點我來保證。
夏麗聽了老公的保證,才平靜下來。
她一閉上眼睛,腦海便頓時充滿了剛才的鬼影。它胸有成竹地向她招手,似乎在取笑外面的人小題大做。

老子要來要去,變男變女,你管得了嗎?

夏麗覺得自己只不過是個靈魂回收站,負責把這老幽魂的過去洗擦乾淨,重新組裝,翻新,包裝成一個新生命。。
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除了天氣預報,夏麗對一般的預測都興趣不大。
不論是星座運程,占卜算命,或者是統計推斷,聲波掃描,不管你當它是科學還是迷信,預測通常只會帶來無謂的不安和焦慮。凡事都有它的時候。時辰未到,只宜安心等待,盲猜瞎算沒好處。這人生態度本來頗有東方味道,但她老公卻偏偏沒有這種修養,甚麼都想預知,都要計劃。
其實人就算偶憑僥倖或小聰明預測准了,最終也不能改變事實。全球暖化就是個好例子。手頭數據多的是。大家拿著一大堆質料胡扯瞎鬧,政治作秀,甚麼也做不出來。結果除了氣候之外,其它通通不變。所以一切推測在夏麗眼中均屬多餘。夏麗只希望那多餘的掃描,沒有影響在她體內成長的小寶貝。她肚裡的生命,跟黃醫生那長短波加混雜聲描出來的翻新遊魂是兩碼事。甚麼解像度,像元單位等一大串似是而非的名詞,用來形容宇宙間最神聖,最不可思議的一件事,何止荒謬,簡直放屁!
她打算叫她 Sonja —— 宋妮。夏麗不用甚麼鬼掃描也知道她是個女孩。可惜人們都情願相信機械,也不信媽媽的第六感。小宋妮在她肚子里又暖又安全,翻翻身,抓抓腳,吃吃手指,打打嗝。不急。慢慢來。一切順應天時。時辰一到,自然相見。半秒不差。
見面的時辰既然未到,母女暫且分秒不離,合二為一。人常道與天地為一,萬物為一,心神合一,都是空談枉說。有甚麼比媽媽和腹中骨肉的結合更實在,更自然,更徹底?不過老實說是有些吃力,腰馱得挺累。

那麼重,會不會是個男的呢?

但夏麗心裡只有個小女孩,像娃娃,令她想起自己的小時候。自懷孕之後,夏麗對玲娜份外諒解。媽媽的喜怒哀樂,希望,擔憂,突然間都較以往合理。夏麗一向很疼愛媽媽,只不過希望玲娜有些地方能夠改變一下。至於具體方面,怎麼講呢。。。算啦算啦,不講啦。
想到這裡,夏麗感到一陣溫馨直湧心頭。她抬頭看著玲娜,有股衝動,想繞過那巨大咖啡桌,吊著肚子把母親擁抱。剛好這時玲娜揉著肚皮,站起來準備去廁所:唷,肚子感覺有些古怪。不會是吃錯了甚麼東西吧。。。

哎喲!我剛才咒你拉肚子,只不過是無心牢騷,想不到那麼靈驗;真對不起哦媽媽!

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2010年11月 29 日 於过渡网发表
2014年11月修訂

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Man’s Last Song Chapter 2-2: BREAD DELIVERY & 2-3 isä’s ASHES


Man’s Last Song Chapter 2-3:  isä’s ASHES

Alone in a frenziedly beeping airport, embroiled in foreign noises that droned without meaning, not even a rhythm, Laina felt dizzy. 
Why am I doing this? she asked herself, travelling so far away from her cosy apartment, the comfort of familiarity, from Heikki, to be stuck in the sticky time-zone of this clamorous terminal. 
All for Sari, she thinks. 
Her daughter was trapped by love at the end of the planet, in a dot of a place without dark rye bread. She had never been anywhere that didn’t have some form of ruisleipä. She couldn’t imagine. Help; her girl evidently needed help although she had no idea what on. And if Sari knew of her secretly helpful intentions . . . Alas.

Her baby girl was turning twenty-five in a few months, stolen by time, intoxicated with love, she was afraid. Afraid of what? Wasn’t that what she once searched? Why then was she worried? And Sari was twenty-five. 

Already twenty-five! 
Only twenty-five. 

So parlous: Still young, but threatened by age; still hopeful, but desperately tired. One day, it feels the exciting beginning of a new chapter. Next day, it feels the hasty ending of an unfinished book. What a critical turning point. So brutal. Better be there for her one and only daughter, her dearest person in this world, just in case.  
When Laina turned twenty-five, life was yet to begin. Quarter of a century had slipped by. Not much had happened. What was that something big she had been preparing for, while the body and spirit quietly started to wilt? A young and zestful girl woke up one morning to discover the shadow of an old woman in the mirror. Hidden; but she saw it. The realisation was abrupt, nearly shocking, and cruel. At twenty-five, she was only young in the eyes of those who didn’t matter. When exactly does middle-age start? The little girl lost grip of her dream.
Dream? What dream? 
She couldn’t say. Did she have one? Most certainly yes. It was here a moment ago,  yet . . . With each passing day, she became less sure that she’d ever had one. Her dreams had vanished like the soap bubbles her mother blew at her when she was little. So many, each with a rainbow on its skin. But she had never caught one. Blip. They never existed. She giggled.
What good is a young woman without dreams? Her surefooted steps to become somebody, achieve something or, perhaps, something else, never existed. Intoxicating love never existed. In their place loomed an uncompromising urgency. Hanging emptily. 

How did I live in a vacuum for so long without the smallest alarm? She was mortified. It was about time. Yes.
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She married Sari’s father the following year. 
They grew up in the same neighbourhood. He had been in love ever since she could walk, and himself only a few years older. Evidently an infatuation carried over from a previous life. With drained blue eyes, he watched her drift in and out of his life over the years like the tides, unstoppable both ways, eroding his fragile heart. 
He had been her storm shelter. On a nice day, she would set sail and disappear beyond the horizon, frolicking into the bright blue sky cheerfully without a compass or destination. When it turned dark and windy, she’d rush back whimpering. He’d be there - still there - staring at the horizon, waiting. It’s Ok. Here, take the towel, dry yourself; have some warm coffee. She knew she could count on that much in life.
He was a book-keeper with the local supermarket. Steady, loyal and honest. Sensitive to others, everything, especially her. Never opinionated when he opened his mouth on rare occasions. Put all his attributes on a piece of paper, and you have a perfectly nice guy. “Too nice,” she’d said to her girlfriends. She was a salesgirl at the music store, envisaging a career in some kind of art. “A good match,” their friends said, but never elaborated why.
His reticence deepened after they married. A year later, just after Sari was born, he came down with postnatal depression in her stead. His love and hurt could not escape through words. Only vodka could release them through tears. The blue in his eyes started to run, and became more pale. He drank more and cried louder. 

The first Saturday after Sari’s fifth birthday was a beautiful and crispy early autumn day. The weather wasn’t to blame. He spent the afternoon drinking at home, weeping on and off, and condemning himself for that. The kitchen was saturated with sad vibes and the fume of alcohol. After putting Sari to bed, Laina leaned over his shoulders and whispered: “Pathetic” before going to bed, putting her head between pillows. He woke her up early next morning with a severe fit of cough, and died in the hospital fifteen hours later. The doctor said it was a particularly spontaneous and fatal strain of pneumonia. 
Even back then, it was pneumonia.
Laina decided to scatter her husband’s pulverised remains at the lake where his parents’ cottage was. “That’s what he’d have wanted. I know. I was his wife,” she wrote in his Facebook memorial.
It was cold and sunny. The wind was up. She took Sari out to the middle of the lake in the paddle boat. Their faces were numbed by the slashing wind. The wooden box provided by the crematorium sat heavily on her lap, giving the feeling of stability and contentment. She emptied the ashes into the wind without ceremony. Most of the sand-like remnants of the man who loved her under any circumstances got blown away in a hurry. She thought it ironic that after a lifetime of waiting and dithering, his last days had been hasty in every respect. A few heavier particles, probably dental fillings, made silent and negligible splashes. 
On the drive up, she had visualised his final ripples waning softly in his beloved lake, gently nudging up to her. It was to be her poetic farewell to his unconditional love, unmitigated melancholy, and pathetic sadness. Instead, everything rushed off with the wind, and denied her the last opportunity to have one romantic moment in their deceased marriage posthumously. 
“Say good-bye to your father,” she turned to her daughter, almost commanding. 
Sari was sitting beside her, stiffened by the lifejacket, frozen. She knew what this was all about, yet didn’t quite know what this was all about. 
Moi moi isä,” she complied. 
Laina flung the empty box off. It spun like a rectangular frisbee, landed with a crash.
Äiti, can we go now? I’m cold.”   
Laina wept for the first time in her marriage. He had monopolised crying. Now that he’s gone - flung off - she can again cry.
The next morning, they went down to the beach before heading home. Sari spotted the box in a patch of bulrushes. It’d been washed ashore last night. Laina threw it back out as hard as she could, propelled by an unreasonable annoyance with Sari for having noticed the damn thing. 
The wind had died down earlier. A light mist hovered above the still lake. The box made a crispy splash, shattering the morning silence. Startled gulls appeared out of nowhere, screeching like demons rejoicing their escape from hell, causing a rare moment of excitement in the tranquil northern air. The box, as if stunned by the violent rejection, undulated dazedly where it landed.

“Let’s go!” She grabbed Sari’s hand and started flouncing back to the car. Sari, half pulled along, turned to take another look at the box. Concentric ripples, gleaming softly in the lazy autumn light, rushed belatedly towards an empty beach. 
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Posted 23 Nov 2010 on Guo Du Blog

小说 “笙歌” 第贰章 之(二)“送面包” 和(三)“爸爸的骨灰”




送麵包

玲娜上次來香港是六年前的事了。那次是她生平第一次離開歐洲。
女兒在大學專修國際貿易時,到上海一家芬蘭電子產品公司暑期實習。短短的幾個星期,她便跟從香港去的工程師宋煥互相著迷。其實大部份的男女關係都屬一見鍾情。把戀愛拖長談無非作狀,培養信心和社會交待而已。夏麗回國後,他倆便經電郵繼續發展。宋煥只要抓到任何藉口,都會跑到芬蘭受訓學習,或開會交流。
2041年,夏麗移居香港。
女兒搬到地球的末端不過幾天,便發來驚人訊息:她希望媽媽寄她一些硬朗粗糙,營養豐富的芬蘭黑裸麥包。據說香港的麵包軟綿綿,白濛濛,吃到肚裡一陣空。媽媽收到要求,心如刀割。

這是甚麼鬼地方?黑麥包也沒有? 

她想起有關中國的電視新聞,好像都是負面的。當然,電視新聞一般都是負面的;好消息沒有市場。但她總得親眼看過才放心。第二天她便訂了機票,把一個大行李箱塞滿黑麥包。雖然香港的名字很熟悉,但出發前夕她還是翻了一下地圖。唷!就只有一點,一個句號那麼大。裡面的人比整個芬蘭還要多。不可能吧!
坐長途機原來挺難受。赫爾辛基到曼谷一程還可以。乘務員都會芬蘭話,也有芬蘭作風,對她不大理睬。各有各坐飛機,高度尊重互相的私人空間。
在曼谷等轉機那三個小時卻認真受罪。
熱鬧的機場像個市集。形形種種的商鋪,五光十色,看得玲娜心花怒放。 到處都是人;每個人都在發聲。笑的笑,叫的叫。與寧靜得教人耳鳴的芬蘭相比,是兩個極端。
她平生也未見過那麼多絲綢。紅黃橙綠金,應有盡有。不應有的也有。平日在樸素的芬蘭穿可能太奪目,但出席音樂會的時候應該可以。她的男友霍啓今年六十歲,在管弦樂團拉大提琴。出公家的糧,也算是公務員。他咿咿呀呀地拉琴可以吵上一天,人卻沈默寡言,坐到釘子上也不吭聲。是個典型的老派芬蘭男人。不過他心底里究竟是個藝術家,喜歡創意。玲娜如果穿上耀眼的真絲晚服,孔雀般現身霍啓的音樂會,他肯定不會開口大贊,但會暗自歡喜。好!就來一套!
除了漂亮的真絲,好東西多著呢!精緻的茶具,相框,皮革,手袋,電子產品,用象牙雕的小榕樹,用榕樹頭雕的小笨象,她甚麼都想買。可惜這個聲浪世界只懂英,泰,華,日語。要衝破語言隔膜不但費勁,還很傷神,甚至傷心。玲娜除了芬蘭話,還懂瑞典話。英語嘛,用不著的時候還可以。到用得著的時候,一句也說不出來。於是甚麼也買不成。
三小時變了一百八十分鐘,一萬多秒:忐,忑,忐,忑地慢慢捱過去。每捱過一秒,她便多添一分不安。學了哪麼多年英語,到哪啦?怎可能一句也派不上用場?她怪責自己從前不用功,出發前又不準備。機場的廣播系統似乎有重要宣佈,聲音很著急。急甚麼呢?她毫無頭緒。她平常很少哭。現在卻很想痛快地哭一場。她開始感覺到時差帶來的困倦,心內很不踏實。
四圍都是人。玲娜卻覺得前所未有地孤單。她問自己,為何要受這個折磨。為甚麼要離開熟悉的環境,親切的家和沈默的霍啓,千里昭昭來到這個機場市集鬧頭暈?
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爸爸的骨灰

玲娜屈在經濟艙內,跨山越洋十多個小時,上洗手間也要排隊,還不是為了要發揮母愛?女兒雖然已經有了自己的家,但一個人身處異邦,一個連像樣的麵包也沒有的怪異之邦,做媽媽的可以就手旁觀嗎?
時間是生命的盜賊;再過幾個月女兒便二十五了。
對一個女人來說,二十五是個危險的尷尬年齡。她一方面還年輕,捨不得少女情懷。另一方面被時間迫得喘不過氣,要開始面對成熟的負累。心情好的時候,二十五是精彩人生的開始。不好的時候,二十五是懸崖的盡頭,前路急轉直下,一不留神還會掉進谷底,粉身碎骨。
玲娜二十五歲時就十分迷糊。昨天還好好的在準備迎接幸福的來臨。不知怎的,一下子風起雲湧,一切都被黑蒙蒙的現實籠罩。四分一個世紀溜走了,怎麼沒給她留下半片彩雲?多年來的夢想,若隱若現,凌亂地重疊著。當她精神沈醉在青春美夢的時候,沒留意身體這叛徒在暗地謀反。今天終於給她看出來了:在二十五歲的青春背後,有個老太婆,鬼鬼祟祟,急著要出來當家作主。
別人可能看不見,但她自己不用鏡子也照得一清二楚。老太婆已經急不及待要出來了,小女孩還想繼續做夢?
做夢?做甚麼夢?
她一下子竟然想不起她曾經做過甚麼夢。
人驚醒了,才發覺光陰已逝,連個像樣的夢也沒有發好,簡直是枉費青春。
不妙!事態嚴峻!白馬王子墮馬死掉啦!
那從未怎麼跳過的事業心也爆了血管啦!
玲娜的少女夢幻,就像小時候媽媽吹的肥皂泡,一個個在眼前飄走。不能抓。一抓便會爆破消失。如此不實在的東西,可能根本沒有存在過。擺在眼前是個模糊,絕情,不耐煩,冷冰冰,沒有斟酌餘地的現實。
沒錯,是時候啦。
__________________

幾個月後,玲娜便和夏麗的爸爸結婚了。
他倆一起長大,算是青梅竹馬。她才會走路,他便已經鬼上身似的著了迷,經常任她欺負,發刁蠻 。冤孽:很明顯是前世的孽,今生化為情緣償還,有冤報冤,有債還債。他碧藍的眼睛好像從未歇息過,下面掛著瘀藍色的眼袋,疲累得令人看見心酸。年復一年,他眼巴巴的看著她像潮水般在生命里任意往來。一下子湧進來,讓他充滿希望。一下子湧回去,消失得無影無蹤。她每次退潮還會有意無意在他脆弱的心靈上刮上一道血痕。連一句唷,不好意思,痛嗎?也沒有。
他也只能怪自己無條件的痴迷。玲娜和閨中密友談到他時,評價是:人品還可以,就是可靠得有些討厭!原來可靠也可以是一種罪過。外面勢頭好,她把他扔下便跑,眼也不眨。外面世情轉惡,她吃了虧,受了傷,便哭著回來。他反正風雨不改,老站在那裡傻乎乎地等。見她回來,便遞上毛巾給她搽眼淚。 
他肯定是個好男人:誠實可靠,是本區超市的出納。她在隔壁買樂器的小商店當售貨員,希望有一天能搞點藝術,碰個好運名利雙收。街坊們都說他們是天生一對,但沒有說明理由。他人特別溫厚,但心裡的話總是說不出口來。多喝了兩杯伏特加後,想說的話,要嘆的氣,倒會化成眼淚外流。
結婚翌年,夏麗出生後,他陰差陽錯地患了產後長期抑鬱,開始越喝越多,越哭越傷心。夏麗五歲生日後的星期六是個風和日麗,秋高氣爽的日子。太陽還未下山,他便與伏特加和眼淚開始了一場生死搏鬥,把整個廚房搞得愁雲慘淡。玲娜吃過晚飯,等夏麗睡好後,抱著她哭泣的丈夫的頭,在耳邊說了句:不知所謂,才自己上床,用枕頭蓋著耳朵抱頭大睡。第二天清早,玲娜被他的咳嗽聲吵醒。十五個小時後,他便在醫院死去。醫生說是一種罕見的急性肺炎。
原來肺炎在那個年代已經流行,並不是甚麼新的死亡藉口。

在芬蘭,差不多每家每戶都有棟湖濱渡假屋。湖多人少就有這個好處。他生前好像提過,也好像沒有提過,希望死後骨灰撒在陪他渡過童年的湖里。反正死無對證,玲娜決定假設他生前確有此意,好為他的終結抹上一點浪漫色彩。
北歐的初秋,是熙和陽光與凜冽寒風交替的時令,每天氣候不同,可以差異極大。撒灰那天,陽光與冷風都同時在場。玲娜帶著夏麗,踩著腳踏小船到湖中心。夏麗的面頰和耳朵給秋風刮麻了,冷冰冰的沒有感覺。火葬場給玲娜的木盒子,沈沈的壓在她大腿上。她第一次從丈夫身上得到一種說不出的穩重和安全感。
玲娜把盒蓋打開,看著裡面的灰,本想說點甚麼,但老想不出來,唯有默默地把丈夫凌亂的殘渣在船邊撒入湖中。她本來希望有個詩意的道別,看著他的骨灰在平靜的湖面漾起柔波,一環一環地把她再次擁抱,一環一環地帶走他與生俱來的愛意,和無窮的憂鬱。可惜天不造美;一陣疾風把他在人間最後的一口灰粗暴地吹走,未留半點依戀。
一生人都在痴痴地等,為何到最後一刻要這般無情倉促呢?
玲娜轉過頭來望著夏麗,帶著命令的口氣:跟爸說再會吧!
救生衣把夏麗凍僵了的脖子磨搽得有點紅痛。五歲的她,大概知道發生了甚麼事,也大概不知道:爸爸,拜拜。
玲娜隨手把空盒拋得老遠。
媽,我很冷。回去好嗎?
玲娜哭了。六年來,她第一次流淚。哭一直是他的專利。現在他不在,玲娜可以再哭了。
第二天吃過早餐,把行李放上車後,玲娜拖著女兒到湖邊最後道別。夏麗一眼便看到爸爸的骨灰盒在蘆葦堆中,大概是晚上被衝上岸的。玲娜把它撿起來,猛力一揮,再扔了出去。別的不見你那麼眼利!她毫無道理地怪責女兒。
經過一晚上,風已吹竭。湖面平靜如鏡,蓋上了薄紗似的煙霞,跟玲娜本來想像的情景相似。盒子撞落水面,一聲脆響,嚇得幾隻水鳥從蘆葦間飛起,連聲尖叫,像成功逃出了鬼門關的冤魂,劃破了寂靜的北國晨空。
玲娜拖著夏麗的手,大步往車子的方向走去。夏麗給媽媽拉著,邊走邊回頭看。那盒子突然給無情地拋棄,好像覺得有些冤屈和不解,愕然地浮沈著,漾起一圈圈的微波,慢慢奔向岸邊。

  
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2010年11月 23 日 於过渡网发表
2014年11月修訂

Friday, 19 November 2010

On Profanity

On Profanity


In the middle of a meeting with a lady bureau director in Guangzhou, China, in the mid 1980’s, I was shocked when she casually referred to someone we were chatting about as a dumbfuck. Back in those days, a Hong Kong person, particularly a woman, in her position would never swear or fart in public. I was therefore taken by surprise. I did my best to recover after swallowing a phantom blob of saliva, by muttering something like “no shit” to demonstrate solidarity, and to lessen my embarrassment (I was embarrassed by my embarrassment, since no one else present seemed embarrassed). The Revolution had made women as crass as men back then. Female profanity was more than swearing, it was a social statement, like Vivienne Leigh in Gone With The Wind I suppose. Perhaps I should say “it had been a social statement” because to my lady director, it had already become a habit, and ceased to carry any meaning or political gesture of gender equality.
It’s interesting to see how we take turn doing the same thing. While swearing by educated women has gone out of fashion in the mainland, more and more young people “in the outside world”, boys and girls, are swearing publicly, frequently, in high decibel these days. I wish they were also a statement of some kind, but they aren’t, not any more anyway. So, why do I think profanity is an issue one way or the other? 
First of all, let me declare: I swear, of course. In fact, I enjoy swearing at the right moment because I like descriptive words that convey emotions, can be delivered with passion, or an exclamation mark. Many a cuss word fall into that category. Furthermore, I don’t discriminate whether an oath has been uttered by a man or woman,  except for some Cantonese expletives that seem to be for men only because of physiological restrictions if you take it literally. 
So, the issue of profanity, to me, is quality. Like many things these days, swearing has lost it’s spark because of unthinking application. Something that should be colourful and emotional has, again, become banal in the 21st century. Take the subway train, go to a bar, look up Facebook, watch a Hollywood thriller, or, if you’re in a cool business, attend a business meeting: One small word, a single four-letter word, is threatening to dominate the English vocabulary. Surprised? Oh fuck! Excited? Oh fuck again! Angry? Fuck! Fuck fuck!! Envious? Ooh fuck . . . Sad? Ah . .  fuck. Frustrated? Fuck!!!  Impressed? Fuck me! Some Hollywood big star (I can’t think of an example, sorry) staring at a tsunami wave rushing towards him at 200km/h would mutter: Ooh fuck, ooh fuck, oh my Gawd! before turning and running to safety towards the camera, against all odds and gravity. 
Oh well, what’s wrong with one word fits all. Imagine, when you’re texting or chatting on line with a limited vocabulary, when you are, you know, you know, stuck for words, but compelled to say something, anything, then just type: “ooh . . . fuck . . .”, and click SEND. You could be meaning anything: Support, objection, approval, condemnation, admiration, concern, disgust, all at the same time, or none of the above. You can’t find a more powerful and versatile word in the history of language. No other word can give the impression of a strong and definite opinion without committing to any position. It’s a great way to be part of an online circle of 527 friends without having to think. Why bother the brain huh? It’s fucked anyway. 

讲讲粗口

讲讲粗口

在八十年代中期,我有一次到广州开会,与一位女局长闲谈之间,她神态自若地用常规广东粗话形容某某人“憨九九”。突然而来的一句,我差点把口里的茶喷了出来。在哪个年代的香港,讲粗口是男性特权;有教养的女性,绝对不会公然爆粗或放响屁。在大陆,革命破除了传统的男女之别;女的,当时已变得同男的一样不雅了。所以局长的一句 “憨九九”,其实充满了革命意义,为中国社会的历史性转变,打了个感叹号,与当年费雯丽 (港译:慧云李)在 “乱世佳人” 里哄动一时的轻轻一句,有异曲同工之妙。不同的是局长比起费雯丽年长的多,亦比她能干,果断,声大,和有严重哨牙而已。
随着世界退步,女人讲粗口,已经再没有什么革命含意,不值得大惊小怪。但世界轮流转,当今大陆的女强人,开始穿高跟,扮高雅,有屁死忍;而香港很多年轻男女,却越来越粗口,越爆越大声,在地铁,酒吧,网上,高声地屌,大字地屌,开怀地屌;虽然整句的英文说不出来,但拿着一个 F 单音字制造现代感,则绰绰有余。我也感觉到他们有点儿渴望得到周围的注意,认同他们豪,放,串,酷!
首先声明,我也讲粗口。在适当的场合和时候,在某种情况之下,粗话确实比文言文更加豪情,更能发挥,配合气氛。在工地工作不讲粗口,也可能给人当衣冠禽兽,受到鄙视。至于男人和女人讲粗口,在这个年代,对我来说已经分别不大。那么粗口这个课题,又有什么好啰嗦的呢?
问题不是粗口,而是粗话的水平,越来越低。粗话,本应多不少带点激情,冲动,粗胚和发泄的力量;在21世纪,也变得淡然无味。看看 Facebook,时下年轻人,惊喜时:哇 F; 愤怒时:F!FF!!气不顺:噢 F!刺激,妒忌,伤心,懊恼,喝彩,通通一个 F 字包办。看情况以后修读语文系,肯定越来越轻松。这个与好莱坞电影有些关系。看!海啸爆发,滔天巨浪冲入城内,男主角逃难之前,还得面对大浪 “噢F,噢F,我的天呀!” 一轮,才转身拔脚而逃,与大自然赛跑。电影中的男男女女,一般在紧急关头,若要发号施令,控制局面,第一,必定要够大声,第二,要不停的 F! F! F!,以示事态严重。
世界越来越繁复,普通人交友广阔,在 Facebook 随便有五六百个Friend;每天要应付的通讯极度频繁,能够 “以一字以概之”,也未尝不是好事。一句 “噢。。。F!”  让你积极参予了对话;不过语调虽然兴奋,但对你的立场,丝毫未有透露。因为不论赞成,反对,羡慕,感慨,捧场,喝倒彩,都可以用 “噢。。。F!”来代表。如果在外交场合可以爆粗,哪么 fuck 应该是有语言以来最有概括性,最不须要伤脑筋,和最受外交家欢迎的一个字。唯一牺牲了的,只是我们的想像力和表达能力而已;但那是小事。

Monday, 15 November 2010

小说 “笙歌” 第贰章 之壹 “永恆的笑容”


永恆的笑容


“Yksi. Kaksi. Kolme.”  
一,二,三 夏麗用芬蘭語輕聲數著針數,全神貫注手中的小冷帽。她督促自己不能分心。。。

甚麼也不要想。。。專心編織!
小得那麼可憐,太可愛啦!要不要加多幾針?
“Neljä, viisi, kuusi . . .” -  四,五,六 。。。

夏麗能說四種語言,平日主用英語。但心算時還是以芬蘭話為主。數字這東西很奇怪,似乎只喜歡母語。她的愛人宋煥也有同樣經驗。他在辦公室和家裡都要靠英語溝通。習慣了,連做夢也中英合璧。但心算時仍然偏袒廣東話。但中文太容易啦:一二三 —— 噹噹噹 —— 簡單響亮,那有芬蘭語那麼複雜? 一二三在芬蘭的另一官方語言瑞典話是 ett, twa, tre;也挺清脆。德語嘛是 eins, zwei, drei,大有日耳曼人一就一,二就二的倔強。連最熱衷於把事情複雜化以求浪漫的法國人,也不介意 un, deux, trois 單調平庸。
一二三這麼常用的數字,在夏麗懂得的語言中都很簡潔。唯獨是出名沈默直截的芬蘭人,卻把它弄得出奇地複雜。不信再數下去看看:七八九十是 Seitsemän, kahdeksan, yhdeksän, kymmenen。要深呼吸才能一氣呵成。在她的老家倒數元旦,起碼得花上二十秒。芬蘭沒有七十一實在有其原因。Seitsemän Yksitoista 又長又繞口,怎似一家便利店的字號呢?

每個字都那麼費勁,難怪我們寡言。

白日夢令夏麗發出的內心一笑,像湖底升起的小氣泡,在平靜的水面漾起柔波。她好像戴了人皮面具,把真面目與外界隔絕,很久沒有真正笑過了。薄薄的兩片嘴唇經常保持著一個難以捉摸的假笑:一方面表現心滿意足,一方面透露著叛逆。在面具背後,她時刻提醒自己要高度克制。身邊的每個人,每件事,包括體內的動蕩激素,都串通了要對付她,想把她迫瘋。

嘿!沒哪麼容易。。。

維持一個永恆笑容很勞累,令她想起了蒙娜麗莎。
她首次瞻仰這幅名畫,是在巴黎盧佛爾博物館。人龍很長, 她排在遊客老李夫婦後面。雙腿累得發漲的遊客碎步推進,終於來到了蒙娜麗莎的面前。老李的老婆即時進入半興奮狀態,聲浪上調二十個分貝。
看呀老李,這是不是甭拿麗莎
呃,沒錯。就是!漂亮吧?
就是顏色比較沈悶,一點也不鮮豔!
可以拍照嗎?
不理它。來!站這裡!
夏麗看著蒙娜麗莎。心想這位中世紀的佛羅倫薩女士,可能造夢也想不到會淪落到此地步。除了週二博物館休息外,她每天朝九晚六被吊在這裡賣笑。她忽然覺得那笑容背後蘊藏了百般無奈。面對只懂拍照,不解風情的遊客,她肯定滿肚牢騷,只是有口難言。

李先生,走快兩步吧,後面不知所謂的人多著呢!

唉,每天成千上萬的遊客慕名而來,當中有多少人對那神來之筆背後的天才,激情,掙扎和挫折有感受?又有多少人知道她那耐人尋味的一笑,笑的是甚麼?

老李呀,這笑容有甚麼了不起呀?我笑得比她甜吧?

李太太,請你尊重一點好嗎?

你地上撿到錢肯定比她笑得甜,笑得凶!


你狗口長不出象牙!
我長出象牙來,你還不等我睡著時拔掉去賣!
我呸!


算啦算啦,看了半天畫,快悶死啦。腳也發脹。去找點東西填填我這個狗口好嗎?

太好啦!再見。有空最好不要再來。別忘了帶走你的老婆哦!Arrivederci Signore

蒙娜麗莎在天之靈可能最緬懷當年與油畫大盜共渡的逃亡日子。憑她一笑而身價不蜚的名畫,被竊匪如珍似寶地收藏起來,也是一種寵幸。不像現在。。。唉!再讓時光繼續倒流,在油畫尚未完成的日子,神秘的畫中人跟著畫家流浪,如影隨形。她自問平淡的嫣然一笑,竟然在他的腦海中慢慢凝聚,一點一筆地化為不朽。
對了!夏麗突有所悟。笑容背後蘊藏的原來是蔑視!
你看!那不是鄙視是甚麼?達芬奇當時的社會封建迷信,被宗教壟斷。雖然仰慕他的粉絲不少,但真正瞭解和接受他的是鳳毛麟角。所以他擅用密碼把不尋常的才華藏匿。幾筆油彩,把他對世人一份蔑視和失望掩飾,好方便大家附和著潮流贊賞。
沒錯!那一笑其實是蔑視 -含蓄的蔑視。這是個迷人的秘密。

夏麗現時的處境有些像蒙娜麗莎。
她也需要經常保持著常規笑容。笑本來是喜悅的表現。但強制的笑容也可以裝飾自己,和增強決心。憋嘴一笑,整個人便心裡有數地堅強起來。夏麗就是用這暫時的永恆微笑來支持自己與外界對峙。她的世界和蒙娜麗莎的有點兒相似:都充滿了愛意和無知,也都頗為討厭。但她不斷提醒自己要容忍。要死忍,不能失控。

為了肚裡的小寶貝,絕對不能失控。
他們的出發點是善意的。
冷靜。。。冷靜。。。容忍。
小寶貝,不用怕:媽會一切聽從這群有精神病的笨蛋。他們其實都想我們好。媽會保持積極,健康,快樂,等你出來。
我們很快就見面啦!
__________________

夏麗捏了下身旁的線球。看來仍然足夠完成手上的這頂小帽。雖然第六感告訴她腹中的寶貝是女孩。為保險計她還是選擇了比較中性的顏色。
Neljä, viisi, kuusi . . .” 她輕絲絲地數著四,五,六。。護士們都取笑她:香港這天氣,一頂已經有多啦。那麼多,你不怕小寶寶生熱痱嗎?唉,她們懂個屁。這是芬蘭傳統。小孩子剛出世,頭上絕對不能招涼。五六頂一點不多。再者,編織不單只是拒人於一米之外的有效手段,一針一線地重復穿插還可以集中思緒,壓制念頭,其實大有禪機。她開始明白從前參禪的人為甚麼可以天天擦馬桶,擦呀擦,擦呀擦,一擦十載而突然開悟!
Seitsemän, kahdeksan, yhdeksän,”  她舉起那細小得不像樣的帽子欣賞一番,心裡一陣甜絲絲的暖流。
媽媽玲娜坐在咖啡桌的另一邊。咖啡桌方正笨拙,特大奇醜。用那麼多木頭來承托幾杯咖啡,真個小題大做。只有在政府機關才有這樣的傢具。玲娜身子筆直,手放大腿,望著女兒傻笑。夏麗用眼角瞥了母親一下,心想:幾十歲還坐得那麼直, 像個幼兒園學生等老師派糖果。她對媽媽又羨又憐,既愛且惱。玲娜看著女兒編帽子,覺得非常滿足。可以看上一天。
Yksi. Kaksi. Kolme. 夏麗故意低頭數針。
媽媽無條件,無聲無息,無時無刻的關愛,有時令她感到窒息。不過母愛就是如此!自己快做母親了,還不瞭解?
偉大歸偉大,夏麗但願偉大的媽媽能夠找本書看,或者學宋煥找個房間小睡。又或者到外面散散步,好給自己片刻的私人時間。否則學學編織,兩母女同坐  “編織禪也未嘗不可。都沒有興趣的話,那麼拉個肚子,到廁所獨坐一回也比整天坐在這裡盯著自己傻笑有意思呀!想到這裡,夏麗有些內疚:怎可以詛咒自己的母親呢!她抬頭看看玲娜,深長地笑了一笑。算是暗中道了歉。 
玲娜把握機會,打破母女間親切的沈默對峙:這毛冷很漂亮。
喜歡嗎?夏麗眼光已放回小帽:竹造的。又軟又自然。在芬蘭不好買。
哦!真的嗎?玲娜毫無頭緒地問。

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2010年11月 15日 於过渡网发表
2014年11月修訂