从荒凉中提取

2000年10月13日• Posted in 提取物 |

摘自 荒凉的, 第一章

该隐 had few possessions, even fewer memories, and no family. Nowhere seemed a perfect place to begin his new life.

出租车把他放在路边,让他坐在行李箱上,几个塑料手提袋散布在他的脚上,像是dead肿的死鸽子,乱七八糟的实鸟从电话沟里打来,电话线打扰了他。他转向人行道上旁边的木箱,抓住它的把手,当他发现自己可以轻松地将一端从地面抬起时,几乎没有感到惊讶。它的重量似乎随他自己的心情而变化。今天,他很高兴来到这里。

路牌宣布自己为“无尽的新月”,但一些机智却在明亮的蓝色油漆中涂抹了“ Nowhere”这个名字,讽刺性的故意破坏行为可能会使人迷惑不止。这种歪斜的智力在其他涂鸦上几乎没有证据,其他涂鸦装饰了街道的墙壁,偶尔出现诸如‘Darren woz yer’, and ‘曼迪有一个湿猫’, and ‘跟我走’。一些作案者将自己想象成艺术家,这种破坏行为呈现出旨在赋予个性的色彩,阴影和形状。这种自我是胡说八道,因为这项工作总是秘密进行的。该隐盯着车库侧面喷出的一大堆绿色的名字,‘Kelvin’, the tails of the ‘K’变成了粗糙的翅膀,‘i’ a hooded eye, comical when it was intended to be threatening. He wondered where 开尔文 was now, what he was doing, and whether he even knew himself.

曾经有人尝试种过树,试图将“无尽的新月”变成一条大道,但他们的努力却一无所获。薄的树桩从取下的铺路砖的正方形突出,在腰部或更低的高度折断,被踢伤并留下疤痕,并因狗屎和腐烂而变黑。他们周围的地面拥有更多的生命,杂草像树木的嘲笑一样发芽’注定存在的尝试。

街道上的房屋都很大,是现代和维多利亚时代的不寻常混合体,大多是三层楼,其中一半以上被改建成了公寓。毫无疑问的学生住宿标志包括:敞开的窗户,充满摇滚音乐和动听的舞曲,自行车绑在花园篱笆上,像危险的宠物一样,无帘的窗户上摆着六十个家庭场景。大多数房屋状况良好,尽管一两个房屋看起来好像几年前就应该受到谴责。确实,该隐所在的马路对面的一所房子似乎已被放归荒野。它的渲染被吹散并掉落在前立面上,并且其窗户被打碎,从内部登上。前花园是一堆杂草和蓬乱的玫瑰花丛。该隐可以看到这所房子’铭牌用螺栓固定在波纹铁前门旁边的墙上:‘Heaven’。当然是在开玩笑。他闭上眼睛,摇了摇头,当他再次看向时,标志仍然读着。

一个看不见的地方响起一声喊叫,一个女人’尖锐的声音叫一些失踪的孩子吃午饭。也许已经失踪了好几个月了,这位妇女每天都尝试这样做,希望持续的正常状态会使她的孩子从未知的路程中爬回她的身边。

该隐 looked down at his feet. Narrowing his field of vision helped him to calm his nerves. He shifted slightly and the suitcase flexed beneath him, threatening to burst open and spill his clothes across the street like fabric guts. He should go. He should stand and drag his possessions along to Number 13, his new home, his new life, or so he had been told. It’现在是时候站起来用自己的两只脚,脸说,递给他另一颗药。

Two children ran along the street, laughing and swearing, and laughing again at their secret rebellion. To 该隐 they seemed easily old enough to be in school, and too young to be out on their own. They stopped a few feet from him and sized him up, their eyes far too mature for their age.
All 该隐 could remember of his own childhood were the dreams.

“Hey mister!”两个孩子中较高的孩子说。“你穿那件大衣下注吗?”

该隐 glanced down at the duffel coat, up at the sky, the sun burning its way through a haze of clouds. “我来自哪里很冷,” he said.

“Where’那个他妈的’ Arctic?”矮个子说,他们都笑了。

“不,不远处” 该隐 said, trying to remember the name of the home, but there were only feelings and sensations —他的床上有粗糙的床单,无菌的装饰,肮脏的地板 —脸和声音给他建议和药丸,食物和舒适感。

“我喜欢你的新客厅” the tall kid said. “那么,我们在您厨房的哪里?在盒子里你要去哪里睡觉?”

该隐 smiled. “It’s a chest,” he said, “and I’m sure I’d永远不适合在那里。”

“Bet I would,” the short kid said.

“I’m sure you would.”

The three fell silent for a few seconds, a silence loaded with something uncomfortable that 该隐 could not quite pin down. Had he issued a slight threat? Had the kids perceived it that way? Or were they threatening him?

“I’ve just moved here,” he said, “from somewhere else.”

“The fuckin’ Arctic!”孩子们齐声说,嘲笑自己的幽默。

“Shouldn’你们两个在学校吗?”

They looked uncomfortable at that, avoiding his eyes, kicking at a crushed tin can and giving the street another note to its urban theme. 该隐 wondered if the sounds around him made up the whole, or whether the street would have been exactly the same without them. He doubted that. Tin can rattling, distant music blaring, mothers shouting, a dog barking, cars grumbling, kids screaming, pans crashing, doors slamming…他是一个独特的地方,一个因其独特的声音,景象和气味而与其他地方相隔的地方。他试图不要感觉太多。

“There,” 该隐 said. “That’是我的新地方。至少有一部分是。”他把手伸进外套的口袋,掏出介绍信,已经从许多读物上皱了皱头。高大的斯坦宁顿的“新喘息之家”信笺上有字,他知道他来自哪里。

The kids looked to where he was pointing and laughed, punching and grappling each other as they turned and ran away from 该隐. “So you’re 另一个他妈的’ nutter then!”那个高个子大喊着越过他的肩膀,跑得更快,好像在逃脱这些话。

“What?” 该隐 stood from his suitcase. But the kids slipped into a lane between two houses and were lost to him, leaving behind only an echo in his mind…another fuckin’ nutter… “We’ll see,” 该隐 said. He looped his finger through the carrier bag handles, lifted the suitcase, hefted the chest with his other hand —它仍然感觉很轻,几乎是空的,他可以通过沿着地面拖动一端来移动它—并接近了13号无尽新月“We’ll see.”

该隐用膝盖轻推它时,前门打开了,他能够协商通过并踢开它,而无需放下任何东西。有一条小路和一张种植床,仅此而已。没有草坪,没有碎石区域。这些植物高腰而茂盛,叶子深绿色,大而尖峰,就像雨林里的东西,而不是南威尔士郊区的前花园。尽管这里品种繁多,但所有植物必须属于同一家族。一些叶子比其他叶子大,形状略有不同,是深绿色的替代阴影,但是它们全都被钉住了,明亮的橙色花朵藏在叶茎上,好像躲避了阳光,而不是寻找它。许多收获花粉的蜜蜂又胖又重又懒,提供了低水平的无人机。这很奇怪,但是该隐不知道为什么。他唯一知道的另一个花园是Afresh Respite 首页,它由一个巨大的方形草坪组成,在草坪的边缘有一些随机的灌木丛,还有一个避暑别墅在一个角落。

功能齐全且易于维护,没有生气的人可以躲藏。

As he approached the front door, 该隐 realised that the garden was louder than the street. Leaves whispered in a slight breeze, bees bumbled from one flower to the next, and down beneath the waist-high canopy something was scurrying around in the shade. Birds, perhaps. Or mice. But all these sounds were somehow louder than the occasional car passing beyond the gate, the woman still calling her child’的名字徒劳无功,音乐从开着的窗户污染了夏日。好像从大门进来使他远行了。

该隐第一次对自己离开自己所知道的地方而感到真正的震惊。当《脸书》告诉他该离开的时候,他感到非常激动,他为即将到来的独立感到振奋,并为此感到自豪。虽然他父亲’的死和该隐的大部分’从前的存在只不过是梦想—就像很久以前读的书的记忆一样’的生活和经历—他感到坚强而健康,可以重新开始了。他知道他已经准备好了,他很确定…但是他渴望那张脸,那舒缓的声音。额头上的手很酷。药物性睡眠的平静空虚。

Natural sleep was when it hit him the most. Then, so the Voice had said, 该隐’s mind tried to compensate for his lack of memories by creating false ones. Never trust them, he had said, they lie, and dreaming is going to hinder your recovering mind as much as aid it. 该隐 had his doubts, but the Voice knew what it was on about, he was qualified. 该隐 shook his jacket and heard the comforting rattle of pills. Here, the Voice had said quietly just as 该隐 was leaving, don’t tell…但是拿这些。他们’会帮助您以现实为生。

“Help you?”

该隐 spun around, letting out an involuntary squeal.

“Whoops, sorry!”门口的那个人举起双手,走进了房子。“Didn’t mean to spook you.”

“I’m not spooked,” 该隐 said. Strange choice of words. “有点吃惊。抱歉。我在欣赏花园。”

“是的,植物。他们看上去有些严厉,但是却使人们步入正轨。” The man came forward again, down the small front door step so that he was on a level with 该隐. He was only 该隐’的身高,但他的方位使他显得更高。

“I’m here for the flat,” 该隐 said. “I have this.”他交出了Afresh弄皱的信,孩子们’ parting shot echoed once more in his mind, 另一个他妈的’ nutter…

那人打开信,把它弄平了好几次,好像折痕里藏着一些隐密的信息。没有— 该隐 had read it a hundred times on the way here —但是他仍然对发现的结果感到紧张。

“That seems fine,” the man said. “I’我已经准备好几天了,’确定何时能期待您。进来吧,我’ll show you up.”

“That’s it?” 该隐 said. It all felt so easy.

该男子进行了坦率的上下检查,好像在寻找疤痕或看不见的东西。“As I said, I’我一直在等你。发送您邮件的人似乎是非常好的付款人,’s sorted. I’我与他们达成的交易不会为您带来任何困难。你在这里待了整整一年,我得到报酬。您在第一个星期结束时做下铺,消失了,我还有一年的时间’的钱。还不错吧?”

“Not bad,” 该隐 said, impressed, confused, flattered at the 首页’s confidence in him.

“I’m 彼得,”那人说,伸出他的手。

“Cain.”

“Pleased to meet you, 该隐. First name? Last?”

“Just 该隐. It’更容易记住。”

沉默沉重地悬挂了几秒钟,蜜蜂嗡嗡作响并在植物下面沙沙作响,使人们无法行走。

“所以发生了什么事?这封信说你’在家里呆了一段时间。”

“My father died.”

彼得 raised his eyebrows, expecting more.

该隐 frowned, looked down, and he could remember nothing.

“不用担心,只是我流鼻涕,” 彼得 said. “永远不能让我的鼻子不被别人看到’的生意。我想是作为房东来的。进来。”

该隐 heard something in 彼得’告诉他他的声音稍后会再次受到质疑。房东将如何回答?

我不’t really know what happened to me, 该隐 would have to say. My father died, but before that there was only loneliness, and time, so much time. 我不’除了在梦中,还记得很多东西。而且大多数都是不好的。彼得会想要一个没有历史的人吗?

彼得 took the suitcase and left 该隐 with his carrier bags and the chest. 该隐 hefted the latter up over the front door step, and for the briefest instant it felt heavy, heavier than was possible, as if suddenly filled with lead. He grunted and let the chest hit the floor, then tried again. It slid easily across the quarry-tiled lobby.

“Hot day,” 彼得 said. “你穿那件大衣保暖吗?”

“我来自哪里很冷。”

“Tall Stennington?” 彼得 headed for the staircase, head tilted slightly awaiting the answer, but 该隐 offered none. The landlord dropped the suitcase unceremoniously at the foot of the stairs, then turned around and grinned at 该隐 where he struggled with the chest.

“No lift, I’m afraid,” 彼得 said. “几年前,几乎有一个人住在一个​​住在二楼的家伙。他用轮椅,所以我’d从理事会获得拨款。那我本可以多收取一点费用,因为我’d已被禁用访问兼容。但是他没有’最终不需要它。”

“你在这里给他一个单位吗?”

“No, he died.” 彼得 stared at 该隐, obviously expecting a reaction. But 该隐 was not surprised at the revelation. It hardly seemed important. People die, he thought, and his own lack of concern chilled him.

“So where’s my flat?”他问,抬头看楼梯。大堂和楼梯宽敞,明亮而通风。墙壁被装饰成淡黄色,随着时间的流逝,它们被上下行走的人擦伤和刮伤,显然他们靠在墙壁上以获得支撑。乙烯基地板是相同的颜色。可爱,他想。

“他被杀死了。他们发现他在Rich Common上吃了一半的胃。”

该隐 frowned, shook his head, avoided 彼得’s gaze. “他们怎么知道它被吃掉了?”

“Sorry?”

“How do they know?”

彼得 shrugged. “我想是有牙印。”

“Right,” 该隐 said. This fool was trying his best to be antagonistic. All 该隐 wanted right now was to see his room, make it his own for the future, unpack, lie down and spend his first night in…年龄。好久不见,他想。它’自从我睡了很久以来。

“五个房间,阁楼房间,”彼得说,突然又变得又轻松又休闲。“Come on, I’会帮你的忙!” He grabbed for the chest handle, and for a second 该隐 was going to lash out. Leave me alone! he thought, but it made no sense, and by the time he realised that 彼得 had lifted the chest and started climbing. It thumped from tread to tread. The tapping 该隐 thought he heard in accompaniment must surely have been an echo.

“Come on!” 彼得 said, pausing on the sixth stair, looking down at 该隐 and smiling. “And don’t mind me. I’有时有点病态。在电视上看太多狗屎。”当他再次开始时,他笑了。
该隐 hefted his suitcase and carrier bags and followed his new landlord. “那么还有谁住在这里?” he asked.

“Ah yes,”彼得说,停在一楼着陆。“我应该给你参观的。哦,也许以后。我有几件事要告诉你 —地下室的洗衣房,走火通道,警报板,邮政信箱等。但现在…好,还有谁住在这里。” He looked at 该隐 and smiled again. Then he giggled.

“What is it?”

“Well, mate, you’重新与一些奇怪的人合住一栋房子,’s for sure.”

另一个他妈的’怪人,孩子说。“Odd? How so?”

“Where to begin?” 彼得 said. “Follow me up 和我’跟你说说你的新邻居。”

该隐 felt uncomfortable at the thought of 彼得 describing his neighbours out here on the stairs and landings. Any of them could be listening, and he did not want their opinions of him to be tainted by what their mutual landlord had to say. But no doors cracked open, no shadows revealed lurking residents, and he thought that maybe they were all out. At work, perhaps. Or wherever it was they went during the day. Freedom was not something 该隐 was used to, and he could not imagine anyone not taking full advantage of it.

“Ground floor,” 彼得 said, “平一。约瑟芬姐妹。唐’t ask me if that’是她的真实姓名。我想她的习惯有点不对劲,但正如我’我从未见过她不戴它— never — I wouldn’不知道。她以为她’s a bit special.”

“What’是一个修女住在这里?”

“Who said she’s a nun?”

“Well, her name…”

“是的,但我只是说唐’t ask.”

他们沿着二楼的着陆层走过两扇门,直奔第二层的楼梯。居住一个死人的想法’s flat did not disturb 该隐 as much as it should. At least I’出门了,他想。彼得放下胸膛,瞥了一眼疼痛似的手,hand了一下胳膊,对着关着的门点了点头。

“All strange,” he whispered. “It’房子的数目吸引了他们。 13号。一些街道’根本没有,您有没有注意到?即使在一侧,他们’很好,但奇数…七,九,十一,十五…生气,是吗?当然,十五号真的是十三号,所以它’会像他妈的一样吗?”

“I’我听说有些建筑物错过了第十三层楼,” 该隐 said.

“是的,但是他们吗?也许地板到处都是,政府机构或外国公司的所在地。想过吗?”

“Not really,” 该隐 said, although he had read books containing that theory many times. He had no idea whether 彼得 was serious with any of this, or just testing him, dangling bait of various tastes and textures to see what he bit. Odd folk, thirteenth floor, a nun who may or not be. The landlord seemed just as strange. His face was old before its time — he looked fifty, whereas 该隐 was certain he was no older than thirty-five — and the lines and crags in his skin hid true meaning like an abstract poem. It would need deciphering, concentration. 该隐 would need to know it.

“Well, don’t forget it,” 彼得 said. He laughed again. He seemed to do that a lot, although 该隐 had yet to hear true humour there. Perhaps after so long in the 首页 he had become inured against wit.

“So who’s here?” 该隐 asked. The door he had just passed held a number Four, while the one next to him held a vertical word Three, the ‘T’从螺钉突然弹出的地方悬挂歪斜。

“好吧,也许我们应该先送您到您的房间,” 彼得 said, glancing at Flat Three, at 该隐, then back at the door.

I’m too tired for this, 该隐 thought, too confused, too overawed. I need to sit in my new home and take out my book and read. He had read ‘The Glamour’ a dozen times already, but he never tired of it, always found new messages hidden between chapters, beneath lines, behind paragraphs of exquisite prose and mysterious metaphor. On the surface the book was about invisibility, and 该隐 could relate. He felt so unseen by the world.

“是的,也许那是最好的,” 该隐 agreed. He moved past 彼得 and headed up the flight of stairs to his attic room.

“Oh!” 彼得 uttered behind him, but 该隐 had taken the lead. He reached a small landing with two doors leading off, one marked 第五单元 the other bearing only long, deep scratches for its entire height, as if something large and fearsome had tried to get through. Unnerved, he waited for the landlord to reach him.

“Flat Five,”彼得说,当他到达着陆点时,努力抽气喘气。“该隐!也许不是一个奇怪的家伙。”当他拔出钥匙并解锁门时,他再次大笑,将胸部拉了过去。他看着它,好像它可以包含他最近所说的所有谎言的证据。

该隐在门槛上站了片刻,不确定会发生什么。他的生活真的重新开始了吗?他身后所有的不幸时期吗?那些回忆会—那些遭受痛苦和孤独折磨的梦—曾经消逝过,给他渴望的平安吗?他在外套口袋里感觉到药瓶的结块,并想起了声音’它把他们压在他手掌上的秘密微笑。该隐想,回避。我可以永远避免真理。但这不’t mean it isn’就像我父亲一直在那里一样。他伤害了我,但他爱我。那’脸和声音说的是什么。我不得不接受一个事实,那就是他根本没有’不知道爱是什么。

“Nice views,” he heard 彼得 say from somewhere in the flat. 该隐 stared down at the chest where it sat just inside the door. I’他想,已经在那儿了。我打自己。

“您可以看到东边的大教堂,北边是城市外的山脉。冬季,您可以从这里看到积雪。”

“This is my new home,” 该隐 whispered, not loud enough for 彼得 to hear. “我可以在这里做我想做的事。”他俯身穿过门而没有涉足,然后将右手放在胸前。木头感到温暖,但是那一定是天气。“And I’永远不会再孤单。”
“Cain?” 彼得 said, emerging from a room on the left. “You need a hand?”

该隐 forced a smile, and then surprised himself by realising that force was not required. “Please,” he said. “I don’有很多东西,但是有时候’s heavy.”

“No problem.” 彼得 lifted one end of the chest and dragged it through the hallway. “I’把它放在客厅。”

该隐 entered his new home and closed the door behind him.

The hallway was large and bright, lit by a rooflight. It was painted entirely white, and hung with contrasting black and grey landscape paintings, surreal, beautiful scenes of dead trees reaching ragged fingers for the viewer. The floor was a pale timber, scored here and there with deep scratches. Three doors led off from the hallway, and 该隐 was stunned at the scope of his new home. At Afresh he had lived in one room —床,长椅,书籍,通向一侧的小浴室。在这里,面对着三扇门,他突然感到慌了。如果他迷路了怎么办?

The second door on his left swung inward again and 彼得 peered out. “Like it?”

该隐 could not speak. His throat felt hot and hard, and he was afraid that if he opened his mouth he would cry. He had cried a lot in his life, but he did not wish to shed tears in front of 彼得. He could not say why. Perhaps now, alone in the world, he did not want to appear weak.

“我自己选了照片” 彼得 said. “我爱死树了。他们’如此充满表情。它’好像脱落的叶子打开了它们的视线。你怎么看?你喜欢枯树吗?”

该隐 glanced at one of the pictures and nodded.

“原谅的划痕,”彼得继续,用一只脚敲打地板。 “弗拉德(Vlad)曾经从轮椅车轮上撕下轮胎,只是制造出尽可能多的声音。”

“Vlad?”

“死人他是一位古老的俄罗斯马戏团表演者。从空中飞人摔下了腰。他是个恶毒而可怕的混蛋。昵称。”

该隐 wanted to explore his home, but something kept him motionless. He was a tree waiting to be swayed by a breeze, and the breeze was his own freedom. He had not yet fully grasped it. His father was still there in the background, a shadow standing beside him, holding him still and not for a second allowing him to bend. Pure Sight, a voice whispered, and it was not the Voice. It must have been his father muttering in his mind, come to haunt him now that there was a home to haunt.

但这简直太疯狂了。

He’s dead and gone, 该隐 thought, and behind one of the dead tree pictures he saw his own terrified reflection.

“那我可以游览吗?” 该隐 asked.

“Absolutely! You’ll love this place 该隐, believe me. I’我从未去过Afresh,但是我’曾经有过类似的地方。而不是贬低它,而是… well, you’在这里免费。从不孤单。”

该隐 frowned at that — how does he know!? — but followed 彼得 through the door on the right.

“卧室。大而明亮的美景,它甚至有一个小阳台,面向后花园。”

“It’s nice,”该隐说。然后他对自己的轻描淡写笑了。好吗很豪华床是一张大双人床,白色的床单和羽绒被已经折回去了。铁制的床架是有光泽的黑色,衬托出墙壁和地毯的奶油色。倾斜的天花板上点缀着十几个嵌入式灯。一整堵墙由玻璃推拉门组成,通向带有装饰性锻铁栏杆的阳台和盆栽植物,柔化了其粗糙的线条。细纱网通过金属挂钩从窗户上挡下来,从窗户可以看到大后花园和隔壁街道上的房屋。阳光正照在窗户上,溅到地板上,已经朝床移动了。

“It’s fantastic,” 该隐 said.

彼得 shrugged. “谢谢。新地毯。弗拉德(Vlad)穿了旧衣服。那里’那里的橱柜里有一台电视机,遥控器’在床头柜上。”

“Where’s the bathroom?”

“套房。让我给你演示。”

浴室虽小却很完美,设有淋浴间和浴缸,并像走廊一样被天窗照亮。

彼得带该隐回到大厅,进入客厅。它配备了各种新家具,没有一个特别昂贵,但都富有品味和功能。厨房是开放式的,被开花植物爬上不锈钢丝网络而与视野隔开。这些单位是玻璃前的,展示了各种各样的烹饪和饮食用具,一个橱柜里装有一包受欢迎的食物:茶袋,饼干,面包,糖,米饭,面食和几罐调味酱。一扇门通向走廊。而且还有更多的画作,这次是在泥泞的棕色背景下对动物的鲜明表现。没什么详细或复杂的,只有几个白色的笔触显示出足够的形式和形状来识别。该隐直到第三幅画才意识到它们都是灭绝动物的描绘。

起居空间足够大,可以容纳一个用餐套房,该套房位于面对街道的宽阔的天窗下。墙壁上还有更多的绘画作品,但是如果它们是由同一位画家与其他画家共同创作的,那么他或她将具有极大的适应性。这些图像更抽象,主要由许多角度形状构成,这些形状在头发中相互连接或悬停在头发中 ’触摸的广度,全部都是黑色和白色。

Through the large window 该隐 saw the cathedral as promised, and in the distance he could make out the mountain between office blocks and chimneys. He would sit here and eat breakfast, letting the early morning sun stream in to keep his toast warm. Perhaps the window would be open, letting in birdsong from where birds would roost on the roof around him. He would be alone, but alone with his new life. At Afresh he was never really alone, but he had felt empty and useless. Here, free, he would be able to revel in his own company.

The dreams, he thought, the dreams might still be there. But he would face them. Standing in his new living room, he promised himself that he would not take a sleeping pill tonight. The Voice had given them to help, but now it was time for 该隐 to help himself. He had spent far too long since his father’的死亡依靠其他人照顾他。

“It’s wonderful,” he said. “我没想到它会是这样。”

“好吧,我承认外面有点乱,” 彼得 said.

“不,不,我从没想过我’d有这样的地方。像这样住在美好的地方。这样的空白画布。” 该隐 trailed off, aware that he sounded like a child in a toy shop.

“I’已经做了很多工作,” 彼得 said. “弗拉德把它留在了地狱里。有争议的老混蛋。”

“他怎么住在这里?”

“Sorry?”

“他是如何生存的?楼梯?厨房墙上的橱柜?沐浴?你说他有轮椅。”

一秒钟— an instant so brief that 该隐 may have imagined it between blinks —彼得似乎很生气。但随后他又笑了笑,不再幽默,耸了耸肩。

“好吧,我帮了他。他付了我钱。上楼梯,下楼梯。他可以站在自己真正想要的时候站起来,并且及时地他也许能够自己上路。但是大多数时候他都选择留在椅子上。他是… awkward.”

“Eaten, you say?”

彼得 raised his eyebrows. “So it’s said. Strange…他们甚至没有找到他的轮椅。”

该隐 walked back through to his bedroom, opened the sliding doors and stood on the balcony. He glanced down into the garden, hoping to see some of the other residents down there, but it was home only to insects, birds and bees. The garden itself was somewhat wild, but weeds were kept down and paths and paved areas were well maintained. It looked like a place where he could be at peace. Sit and read. Enjoy being alive. Even at Afresh that was something he had never done.

“I like it,” he said.

彼得跟着他走,站在他的背上。“Good. I’m pleased. 和我’我很高兴我对弗拉德的讲话没有’不要让你失望。而且无论如何’好像他真的在这里死了。”

该隐 turned around. “It wouldn’他有没有打扰我。”

彼得’s smile faltered, just for an instant, and 该隐 was pleased. You’声音说,现在是你自己的男人。是时候在世界上留下自己的印记。

彼得 left him the front door key and a phone number to call if there were problems. And when the landlord closed the door behind him, 该隐 ran from room to room, in and out, kitchen living room hallway bedroom bathroom, back again, filling the flat with himself so that it came to know him.

He opened the dormer window above the dining table and, leaning out, watched 彼得 cross the street. The landlord stood on the pavement for a few seconds, chatting with two children that may or may not have been the ones from earlier. And then he walked into the unkempt garden of the house named 天堂, prised the corrugated iron front door to one side and vanished within.
该隐 went to the shops. There were a lot of things he needed, and he had the money that Afresh had given him to start out on his own. There was a bank account, his father’坐在那儿的钱等待领取—他没有死一个穷人— but for now, 该隐 did not wish to dwell on such affairs. He had a new life to find first. Then he could pick up the loose ends of his past, confront them, and end them.

他在楼下的路上没有看到任何人。他经过一号楼,想知道约瑟芬姐妹是否还在那里祈祷。在彼得之后,他已经通过了二号,三号和四号公寓,不知道谁在里面’s allusion that every occupant was odd, 该隐 found the silence strangely loaded. There were peep holes in each door and he wondered who was watching him pass by, the lens distorting him into someone new. Perhaps he would knock on 天堂’从商店回来的路上,问彼得真相。

他离开了房子。

The front garden fell silent to mark his passing, whether in reverence or disdain 该隐 could not tell. Probably neither, though ignorance was worse. As he closed the gate the spiky bushes rustled, the bees began to hum, and he was back in Endless Crescent again. The vandalised sign now read wrong; he was not Nowhere. For the first time in his life, he was somewhere he truly wanted to be.
他买了一瓶酒,一顿印度外卖餐和一包果冻。他计划放纵一个夜晚,以纪念他的新生活的开始。他觉得这比庆祝过去的结束更积极。

过去…

该隐’s father had never been good to him, though perhaps he was too mad to be truly bad. He had seen 该隐 as a project, his own subject for experimentation. 该隐 had tried his best to block those many terrible memories, and they had receded into his dreams, driven underground by his efforts at Afresh. The physical evidence of his past —发生在他身上的不可能—被锁在胸前。他永远不会再打开它,但是他知道他永远不会完全丢失它。具有独立性是迈向自己创造全新生活的又一步。

但是,那些梦想。

该隐从商店走回来,花了一些时间来真正评估社区。这些建筑物是各种风格和时期的令人惊讶的混合,从维多利亚时代的联排别墅—很像是他的新公寓房 —打造全新的现代行政住宅;五间卧室,大花园和双车库四轮驱动。有许多议会大厦和独特的自建房屋。一条露台街道紧靠豪华公寓的庭院。它给整个地区增添了超现实的氛围,仿佛它从来不知道自己,也不知道自己想要什么。一个穿着西装的年轻商人沿着人行道走,走进包裹在他耳朵上的免提电话。该隐点了点头,但诉讼太忙了,无法兑现。几分钟后,一帮年轻人走近,问他是否有灯光。该隐摇摇头,不安,他们礼貌地漂流了,“Thanks mate.”中途回家后,他决定坐下来看着路过的人。他曾经喜欢在Afresh进行此操作,但那里的婴儿车大多发疯了。

他发现自己在一个小公园外—只不过是围起来的草地和灌木丛,还有一些破烂的游乐设备而已—坐在长凳上‘Dear Jack’。外卖饭冷了,但他有微波炉,此外,今天下午的空气知道他不必在那天晚上返回Afresh,因此闻起来新鲜得多。没有更多的白日通行,没有更多的每周评估,没有更多的刺探和戳戳,没有更多的审判旅程,不再有早晨,当他醒来时,Face面带微笑,没有更多的夜晚,而Voice却问着他现在在哪里,去了哪里,他见过谁。自父亲以来在Afresh度过的时光’s death —多年,尽管他忘记了多少—是他记忆中的美好时光。他受到了很好的对待,这是他一生中第一次允许加入社区。他们总是被告知互动很好。他仍然不确定自己是否真的想参加。

他坐着的那条街很安静,整洁,保养得很好。面对公园的几栋房屋都略有不同,它们是同一原始计划的扩展和翻新版本。他们的车道上的汽车都是高性能的新车型。他父亲’的房子比这些房子中的任何一个都要大一些,在乡下被隔离了。那’s where they had found 该隐.

A man went by walking his dog. 该隐 smiled, the man averted his eyes and hurried on, tugging the dog on its leash so that its nails skittered across the pavement. 该隐 opened his fruit jellies and started eating. He had developed a liking for them at Afresh, and they were still the only sweet he remembered ever having tried.

A woman approached, searching through her handbag, muttering to herself and cursing, quietly at first and then louder. A few steps away from 该隐 she dropped her bag. Its contents spewed across the pavement; lipsticks rolled, tissues fluttered, notebooks and pens and purse collided and stuttered into the gutter. A mobile phone span on its end and then hit the ground with a crack.

“Fuck!” The woman squatted and began gathering her belongings. She did not appear to be aware of 该隐’s presence.

“Need some help?” he asked.

“Shit!” She jerked upright and almost fell over backwards, eyes wide and startled, and her thoughts were a stew of nasty, vile images, ideas that should have driven 该隐 away, but they were seen and experienced by another part of him.

“Get away from me!” she said.

“我只是提供帮助。”他跪下来,伸手去拿一支已经滚开的唇膏。

“I said get away! 我不’不需要任何帮助,不需要您的帮助!”那个女人急忙收拾东西,把它们塞进包里,粗略看了一眼破裂的脸,将手机塞在了口袋里。

“Really, I’我只是想帮助。” 该隐 felt stupidly ashamed, as if this woman’他的错是他的错,而不是她的错。解释自己的需要很烦人,但他不想让她认为他不好。不是那种卑鄙的恶行,那种纯粹的恶毒从内到外打动了她的眼睛,在极端的情况下令人不快。

She stood and stared at 该隐 for a moment, and he was sure that she was about to apologise, offer tales of missed meetings and lost phone numbers, an empty apology that may at least make him feel a little better. But her face did not change. A big car cruised by, adding a roar to her voice.

“Keep… the fuck… away from me!” She hurried away the way she had come, not glancing around once. 该隐 watched her go, and it was like saying goodbye to a bad smell. His mind cleared, the taint of her thoughts —通过她的眼睛,声音,立场肯定表达出来,他还怎么知道,他又怎么知道呢?—被午后的阳光烧掉了。

“好吧,有人需要按照自己的方式工作,” he muttered. A bird landed on the railing behind him and sang its agreement. 该隐 turned slowly, careful not to scare it away, and he listened to its song, watching its chest vibrate with each warble until it flew into the park.
回到房子,其他居民仍然保持自己的状态。该隐站在楼下的大厅里听了一会儿,希望其中一个能从公寓出来或下班回家与他见面。他希望他们接受他,知道他现在住在这里,是房子的一部分’的小社区。他仍然感到奇怪的不受欢迎,好像房子随时都会拒绝他一样。也许是寂静— he hated silence —疯狂的想法是,在他进入前门几秒钟之前,当人们从一个公寓搬到另一个公寓时,电视机响起了大声的笑声,门关上了,混合在一起并相互牵连’的生活。然而,他还记得自己曾经读过的一个故事,那个故事中的每个街区的人都很隐居,以至于他们忽略了自己院子里的残酷谋杀案。对他们来说,一切都是别人’s problem.

大厅还没动。如果这是房子的心脏,他的进入使它错过了一个节拍。

他开始上楼,到二楼着陆的一半时,他停了下来,因为有些东西使他的耳朵烦了。摇摇头,用手指挠挠,用力地吞咽,这些都没有消除这种感觉。好像有一只苍蝇飞进来,并盘旋在他的耳膜上。他继续前进,后来有两个楼梯意识到他正在听音乐。

该隐顿了一下。声音来自很远的地方,以至于肯定是在屋外,在街道之外,毫无目的。他屏住呼吸,期待着音乐随着汽车开走而消退,但它仍然在那里。他上升到平台,站在四号楼外面,知道音乐来自内部。他几乎可以看到门上的木材在传递声音时闪闪发亮并移动,在这种放松的音调下变得流畅。这是泛管音乐,Face会在Afresh演奏以平息狂野的音乐。元素的音乐;深情,舒缓,令人回味。没有特别的曲调,没有可辨认的旋律,但是它吸引了该隐的到来。他留在着陆区,将印度餐装在袋子里冷却,另一只手拿着一瓶酒,昏暗的阳光透过着陆窗闪耀,点缀着音乐的尘土飞舞。管道继续。该隐开始思考能量及其形成方式,周围宇宙的微妙振动,无所谓的问题,而这根本不是他的思维方式。

音乐停止了。他再次摇了摇头,这一次试图重新捕捉发痒的他的耳膜。第四单元内部有重击—一扇门可能会砰地一声—然后再次完全沉默。

该隐 walked up to his flat, glancing at the scored door next to his before entering. 那 was a heavy door, and those were deep scratches. He would ask 彼得 about them tomorrow. There was much that 彼得 had yet to reveal. But time was on 该隐’s side — time was his, now —有了他从未听说过的招手喜欢的自由,根本没有理由匆匆忙忙。
Occasionally when 该隐 knew things he should not, he tried to attribute it to nothing more than observation. Anything else was too frightening. He had read a lot since his father’他的去世,虚构和非虚构作品,有时他可以闭上眼睛,像看一本打开的书一样读书。

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