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狗和单间公寓

更新时间:2018/12/21 22:10:33 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The women I’ve slept with this year have had two things in common: dogs and studio apartments. I never considered the awkwardness of this combination until it was too late.

今年和我睡过的女人有两个共同点:狗和单间公寓。我从没想过这个组合的尴尬之处,等反应过来已经晚了。

Josie was first, a Chihuahua/Pomeranian mix and an emotional wreck. In her defense, she was often left alone for long periods of time and, well, anything that small is justified in its mania. When her owner finally did come home, Josie would yap incessantly until someone petted her. She was like a furry alarm clock. , ring, ring, and then silence the moment you rolled over and laid a hand on her.

乔茜(Josie)是第一个,她是吉娃娃和博美的混种,一个情绪失控的家伙。但这是有原因的,她经常长时间独处,那么,在她的狂躁中任何小事情都是合理的。当她的主人终于回家时,乔茜不停地狂吠,直到有人去抚摸她。她就像一个毛茸茸的闹钟。响着,响着,响着,然后在你转过去并将手放在她身上的时候安静下来。

That’s all she wanted. One hand. You didn’t even have to pet her. Any contact would do.

这就是她想要的。一只手。你甚至不需要抚摸她。任何接触都能起作用。

I did not hate Josie. She wasn’t mean or snobbish as some small dogs tend to be — just in a constant fight for attention. And in that fight, neither of us was doing very well.

我并不讨厌乔茜。她并不像一些小型犬那样刻薄或势利——它只是在不断争取注意力。在这场争夺中,我和它的战绩都一般。

The chemistry between her owner and me was less a firework and more an old lighter that works every sixth flick, but that didn’t stop us from entering into a lazy singles agreement to end up at each other’s apartments a couple nights a week.

她的主人和我之间的化学反应,谈不上是放烟花,更像是每打六次才能打出火来的旧打火机,但这并没有阻止我们达成一种懒惰单身人士的协议,每周都有几晚待在彼此的公寓里。

The first time we slept together, things went smoothly with one exception: Josie wouldn’t stop barking. So her owner reached down, plucked her up and sat her on the bed, where she became more uncomfortable as she realized what was happening. By the end, she had gone silent, peeking over a pillow every few minutes to see if we had finished.

我们第一次睡在一起时,一切进展顺利,只有一个例外:乔茜不停叫唤。所以她的主人伸手下去将她拉上来,并把她放在床上,在她意识到在发生什么事情时,她变得更加不舒服。最后,她安静下来了,每隔几分钟从枕头后窥探一下,看看我们是否结束了。

I barely noticed her that first time. My attention was elsewhere, and having her on the bed seemed preferable to her soundtrack of high-pitched yapping. But when it happened a second, third and eighth time, Josie grew harder to ignore. I imagined things from her perspective, especially in those horrifying moments when we made eye contact.

第一次我几乎没有注意到她。我的注意力在其他地方,并且,让她待在床上似乎比听她的尖锐狂吠的配音要好。但第二次、第三次和第八次时,乔茜变得难以忽略。我从她的视角想象事物,特别是那些我们眼神交汇时的恐怖时刻。

I may not have minded as much if she was simply in the room. But on the bed? That felt too close. Plus, Josie was too small to get down on her own so it was somewhat of a hostage situation.

如果她只是在房间里,我可能没有那么多想法。但是在床上?感觉太近了。另外,乔茜太小了,不能自己从床上下去,所以她有点像是被扣押的状态。

One night, as Josie’s owner and I were switching positions, I accidentally kicked her off the mattress; I looked over my shoulder in horror to see a nose and two tiny paws fall out of sight. I was mortified. Her owner looked over and shrugged.

一天晚上,当乔茜的主人和我变换体位的时候,我不小心把她从床垫上踢了下去;我惊恐地回头看,看到一个鼻子、两只小爪子从视线中掉落出去。我十分难堪。她的主人回头看了看,耸了耸肩。

“It’s O.K.,” she said. “She’s real fluffy.”

“没关系的,”她说。“她真的很毛茸茸。”

And we went back at it.

我们转头继续了。

I could have suggested to Josie’s owner that we take her off the bed or at the least put a tiny blindfold over her eyes, but I didn’t want to further intrude on the intimate bond between pet and owner (a relationship stronger than the one we shared, after all). And I figured she knew Josie better than I did. Maybe that forsaken look in her eyes was, uh, normal?

我本可以向乔茜的主人建议把她从床上挪开,或者用一个小眼罩蒙住她的眼睛,但我不想进一步侵扰宠物和主人之间的亲密纽带(毕竟,这种关系比我们之间的更强大)。而且我认为她比我更了解乔茜。也许在她眼中,乔茜那被遗弃的样子是,呃,正常的?

Two months in, the momentum started to slow between Josie’s owner and me. Things ended as they so often do in this era, with an unanswered text. Josie wasn’t the only one in the room with communication issues.

两个月后,我和乔茜的主人之间的关系开始淡下来。就像这个时代经常发生的那样,以一条没有回复的短信告终。在那个房间里,存在沟通问题的,不是乔茜一个。

The next couple months of solitude took some adjustment. The type of reliable hookup I had with Josie’s owner was a rarity for me. Losing it was like having the restaurant around the corner go out of business. Now, on quiet nights when my relationship refrigerator was bare, I had to figure out something else or go to bed hungry — usually the latter.

在接下来的几个月,需要适应孤独。我和乔茜的主人之间那种让人心安的关系,对我来说是很罕见的。失去它,就像是让街角的餐馆倒闭一样。现在,在安静的夜晚,当我的恋爱冰箱里空无一物时,我不得不找点别的事情做,要么饿着肚子上床睡觉——通常是后者。

I was relieved when I met someone months later, and even more relieved when I met her dog, Rigatoni. Like Josie, he was part Chihuahua, but he had none of her emotional hangups. He was a good boy and he knew it. His strut had bounce. If I had an eighth of Rigatoni’s confidence, I’d be president tomorrow.

几个月之后,当我开始有了新的约会对象时,我如释重负;遇到她的狗“通心粉”之后,更是深感宽慰。跟乔茜一样,他也是跟吉娃娃的串儿,但又没有她那种情感障碍。他是个好孩子,而且很知道这一点。他有着趾高气扬的派头。如果我有“通心粉”八分之一的信心,明天就能当上总统。

His owner and I met on a dating app, and that’s how she met Rigatoni too, on some sort of pet adoption app where you swiped yes or no on animals. Under normal circumstances, being virtually selected alongside a pet may have felt unsettling, but clearly she had great taste in dogs and it was flattering to be in such good company. Whatever quality caused her to swipe yes on Rigatoni, I hoped, was also visible in my profile.

我是在一个约会应用上认识他主人的,她跟“通心粉”也是这样认识的,那是一个宠物领养应用,你滑动屏幕选择“是”或“否”,直到找到你心仪的收养对象。在一般情况下,跟宠物一起被人从网上选来这一点,可能会让人感到有些不自在,但很明显,她对狗很有品味,能与他为伍令我与有荣焉。不管是因为什么品质吸引她选择了“通心粉”,我希望,在我的个人资料中也能看到它。

He chaperoned us on nearly every outing and I didn’t mind a bit. He came along on one of our first dates, a trip to the beach, and guarded our towel while we swam. He nestled up to my chest afterward — all sandy and warm — and I was thrilled at his approval.

几乎我们每次出去,他都跟着,而我一点也不介意。我们刚开始约会的时候,有次去海滩,他是一起去的,在我们下海游泳的时候,他就守着我们的浴巾。之后,他依偎在我的胸前——全是沙子,很温暖的感觉——得到了他的认可,让我激动不已。

We ended up back at her (tiny) place later and had only been kissing for a few seconds when she pulled back, gasped and said, “You’re so weird!”

我们最后回到她的(小)地方,刚吻了几秒钟,她就后退了几步,喘着气说:“你太奇怪了!”

I was horrified until I realized she was talking not to me but to Rigatoni, who had suddenly appeared over my shoulder with a menacing look.

我陷入了恐慌,然后才意识到,她是在说“通心粉”,他突然出现在我的肩头,一副恶狠狠的神情。

That became the theme of our next few dates. We would be kissing and then I’d hear, “Toni!” and turn around to see her dog looking like he wanted to punch me in the nose.

在接下来的几次约会中,这种事一再出现。在我们接吻的时候,我会听到一声“通通!”,然后我转过身,就看到她的狗一脸想痛打我的的样子。

There was nowhere to hide; the apartment was too small. I would never suggest locking him in the bathroom; she would have sooner locked me in the bathroom. And I understood. He was special.

那地方无处可藏,她的公寓太小了。我决不会提议把他锁在浴室里;到头来把我锁在浴室里的可能性更大些。我心里有数。他的地位比我高。

When we moved from the couch to the bed, I was disappointed to learn he could jump up on his own. Rigatoni was an agile fellow and, unlike Josie, was not afraid to intervene. He would never bite, but he would try to grab me with his little T-rex arms and wrestle me away from his beloved master.

当我们从沙发转移到床上时,我失望地发现,他自己可以跳上床。“通心粉”是一个敏捷的家伙,不像乔茜,他不怕介入。它从不咬人,但它会用它那暴龙般的前爪抓住我,把我从它心爱的主人身边拽开。

“You’re making everyone uncomfortable!” she would shout as he had me by the ankle like a little Greco-Roman wrestler. You could see the conflict on his face, the push and pull between obedience and protection. Right when we thought we had successfully distracted him with a toy, he would leap onto the bed like a secret service agent and position himself between us.

“你让大家都很不舒服!”在他像一个小个子的古典式摔跤选手抓住我的脚踝时,她会大喊。你可以看到他脸上的挣扎,在服从和保护之间的纠结。就在我们以为我们用玩具成功地分散了他的注意力时,他会像特勤局特工一样跳到床上,占据我们中间的位置。

But even Rigatoni had his price — a meat-flavored bone — that could usually buy us 20 minutes. Afterward, he would leap back onto the bed and cast disapproving looks our way until he got sleepy.

但即便是“通心粉”也是能买通的——一根肉味骨头——这通常能给我们买到20分钟。之后,他会跳回到床上,朝我们投来不赞成的目光,直到他昏昏欲睡。

Rigatoni wasn’t exactly an aphrodisiac, but his heart was in the right place. If someone was going to stop me from having sex, I was glad to know the effort came from virtuous intentions. It could have been worse. When my ex-girlfriend and I used to visit my childhood home, my family dog would run into the bathroom as if he were hunting truffles, snatch my used condoms from the trash, and then drop them in the most heavily trafficked area of our house.

“通心粉”自然对催情无益,但心眼倒不坏。如果有人要阻止我做爱,我会很乐意知道对方这么做是出自善意。情况本来会更糟的。我和前女友从前到我儿时的家中做客时,我们家的狗会像在搜寻松露一样奔到浴室,从垃圾筐里把我用过的避孕套叼走,然后扔到房子里大家出入最频繁的地方。

Courtship has never been easy for me. I have found the process to be high-risk and emotionally exhausting. It hasn’t helped that nature itself seems committed to my celibacy. Lately, my sex life has felt like a reverse Snow White scenario; I’m scared I’ll unbutton my pants and every woodland creature within a 5-mile radius will come crashing through the window, clutching awkward middle school photos of me in their paws and talons.

求偶于我从来非易事。我发现这个过程不光风险高,还让人的情绪疲惫不堪。自然本身似乎笃定要我独身,让这事愈加的困难。最近,我的性生活感觉像是倒着放的《白雪公主》情景;我害怕我一解开裤子上的纽扣,周边5英里范围内的每一只丛林生物都会破窗而入,爪子上抓着我尴尬的中学照片。

Whenever I meet a woman, I can’t help but wonder what creature waits in her apartment, eager to make our encounter more awkward for me than it already feels.

任何时候见到一位女性,我都忍不住好奇她的公寓里有什么物种等着,迫不及待地要把已经很尴尬的感觉变得更尴尬。

I’ve been thinking a lot about a date I went on with a woman between Josie and Rigatoni. We had talked for hours, gone from one bar to another and watched the sunset over a pair of Moscow mules. We laughed. She snorted. I found myself listening to her instead of scrambling to think of a new topic to keep the conversation going. The hamster wheel of my mind actually stopped spinning, and when that happens I get excited because it signals something more serious is on the horizon.

我经常想起我在乔茜和“通心粉”之间约会过的一个人。我们聊了好几个小时,从一个吧换到另一个,然后就着两杯莫斯科骡子鸡尾酒看了日落。我们大笑。她打鼾。我发现自己一直在听她讲,而不是慌忙去想出新话题,让谈话继续。我大脑的仓鼠滚轮实际上停止了转动,那个时候我兴奋起来,因为这是某种更严肃的东西即将来临的迹象。

I really wanted to see her again.

我真的想要再见到她。

But she had to leave town for a couple of weeks. When she got back, I tried to set up another date, but something had changed. Or maybe it was never there. Either way, she read my final text but didn’t reply, and that hurt.

但她得离开两周。等她回来时,我试着再安排一次约会,但有些事情变了。或者也许从来就没发生过。无论如何,她看了我最后一条短信但没回复,这挺伤人。

She had a dog, too: Bubba. In pictures, he was a tank. Shoulders like a linebacker and jaws like a bear trap. Bubba lived in a house, not a studio apartment, but I doubt that would have mattered. He looked like he could run through a brick wall like the Kool-Aid Man.

她也有只狗:布巴。从照片上看,他壮如坦克。肩膀像打橄榄球线卫的,下巴像捕熊夹。布巴住在一座房子里,而不是单间公寓,但我猜这一点并不是很重要。他看上去能像酷爱超人(Kool-Aid Man)一样跑着穿过一堵砖墙。

Maybe I got off lucky with Bubba’s owner. After all, she had the power to hurt me, and she did. Just imagine the damage he could have done.

也许我很幸运地逃脱了布巴的主人。毕竟,她有能力伤害我,她也确实这么做了。这样一想,他要伤起人来又将是何其可怕。

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