By: Ron | 06-22-2021 | Stories

Memories from Behind

背影

It has already been more than two years since I have met my father - my most unforgettable memory of him is how he looked from behind.
我与父亲不相见已二年余了,我最不能忘记的是他的背影。

父と会ってから既に二年以上が経った。一番忘れられないのは父の後ろ姿だ。

The winter when my grandmother died, my father also lost his position at work; it is said that misfortunes tend to overlap. With the intent of heading back to my childhood home to meet my father and mourn the loss of grandma, I traveled from Beijing to Xuzhou. Upon catching up with my father and arriving at our house, I was greeted by a messy courtyard full of stuff. Immediately thoughts of Grandma swarmed through my head and I couldn't help but start crying uncontrollably. "She is already gone, there is no need to cry. We are fortunate to still be alive ourselves!", exclaimed my father.
那年冬天,祖母死了,父亲的差使也交卸了,正是祸不单行的日子。我从北京到徐州,打算跟着父亲奔丧回家。到徐州见着父亲,看见满院狼藉的东西,又想起祖母,不禁簌簌地流下眼泪。父亲说:“事已如此,不必难过,好在天无绝人之路!”

祖母が亡くなった冬、父が職を失った。不幸は重なるものと言われている。子供時代を過ごした家で祖母の喪に服すためと父に会うために北京から除州に向かった。家に着いて父と会った時、物で埋め尽くされた散らかり放題の庭に出迎えられた。祖母の想いが頭をよぎり思わず泣き出してしまった。「彼女はもういない。泣く必要はない。自分達が生きていることが幸運だ。」父はそう叫んだ。

Back home my father paid off the interest on our mortgage, then borrowed money to pay for grandma's funeral. Our home life really felt miserable with half of the borrowed money going towards grandma's funeral, and since neither of us were working, the other half went towards our daily necessities and meals. After the funeral, my dad said he would go to Nanjing to find a new job, and I planned to head back to Beijing to continue my studies. Since we were both leaving, we headed to the train station together.
回家变卖典质,父亲还了亏空;又借钱办了丧事。这些日子,家中光景很是惨澹,一半为了丧事,一半为了父亲赋闲。丧事完毕,父亲要到南京谋事,我也要回北京念书,我们便同

家では父はローンの利子を精算してから祖母の葬式代を借りた。借りたお金の半分は祖母の葬式代でなくなり残りの半分は二人とも無職だったので生活費としてなくなったので生活は本当に惨めなものだった。葬式の後父は仕事を探しに南京に行くと言い、私は学校に戻るために北京に戻ることにした。二人とも祖母の家を出るので駅へ一緒に向かった。

When we arrived in Nanjing, my friend asked me to go window shopping together, so I stayed an extra day. On the morning of the second day in Nanjing 南京, I had to cross the river to Pukou 浦口 then catch the afternoon train heading north. My father said he was too busy and couldn’t accompany me to the station, so he asked a tea house in a famous hotel to send a porter to accompany me and help carry my baggage to the train. However, I could sense my dad's hesitation about sending a porter to accompany me - he thought that it might not be very appropriate. In fact, that year I was already twenty years old and had been to Beijing 北京 a few times without any trouble at all. My father continued to hesitate but ultimately decided to bring me to the station himself. I repeatedly told him that he doesn't need to go, I can just go with the porter, but he quipped, "don't worry about it - the porters won't do a good job anyways!"
到南京时,有朋友约去游逛,勾留了一日;第二日上午便须渡江到浦口,下午上车北去。父亲因为事忙,本已说定不送我,叫旅馆里一个熟识的茶房陪我同去。他再三嘱咐茶房,甚是仔细。但他终于不放心,怕茶房不妥帖;颇踌躇了一会。其实我那年已二十岁,北京已来往过两三次,是没有什么要紧的了。他踌躇了一会,终于决定还是自己送我去。我再三劝他不必去;他只说:“不要紧,他们去不好!”

南京に着いた時、私は友人にウィンドウショッピングに誘われたので南京には予定よりも一日長く滞在した。南京滞在二日目の朝浦口に行くために川を渡りそれから北に向かうために午後の汽車に乗らなければならなかった。父は忙しいから駅まで一緒に行けないと言い有名旅館の荷持ちに私の荷物を持って駅まで一緒に行くように頼んだ。しかし、荷持ちを付き添わせることに対して父がためらっているのを感じ取った。父はそうすることが適当ではないのかもしれないと思った。実際その年私は既に二十歳になっていたし北京には数回問題なく行ったことがあった。父はためらい続けたが最終的には自分で見送ることにした。必要ない、荷持ちと行けると何度も繰り返し父に言ったが父は「気にするな、荷持ちはどうせいい仕事はしないから。」とはぐらかした。

We crossed the river and arrived at the station. I bought a ticket while my dad watched over my luggage. I brought too many bags and we had to pay some baggage carriers to help out before we could go on. As my father busily discussed pricing with them, I realized how smart I was and kept interjecting with their bargaining. Eventually a price was settled and my father escorted me onto the train. He picked a seat for me near the train door, and placed down a purple fur jacket that he made for me to sit on. He told me to have a safe trip, warned me to be careful at night, and said I should be careful not to catch a cold. He said he asked the tea house to take good care of me. In the back of my mind I laughed to myself at him for asking the tea house to take care of me; tea houses only care about money, they won’t care about me. Besides I was already quite independent and a young adult, did he think I couldn't take care of myself? Thinking about it now, I was so smart back then.
我们过了江,进了车站。我买票,他忙着照看行李。行李太多,得向脚夫行些小费才可过去。他便又忙着和他们讲价钱。我那时真是聪明过分,总觉他说话不大漂亮,非自己插嘴不可,但他终于讲定了价钱;就送我上车。他给我拣定了靠车门的一张椅子;我将他给我做的紫毛大衣铺好座位。他嘱我路上小心,夜里要警醒些,不要受凉。又嘱托茶房好好照应我。我心里暗笑他的迂;他们只认得钱,托他们只是白托!而且我这样大年纪的人,难道还不能料理自己么?我现在想想,我那时真是太聪明了。

私達は川を渡り駅に到着した。父が私の荷物を見ている間に切符を買った。私は鞄を沢山持ってきてしまっていたので何人かの荷物持ちにお金を払わなければ前に進めなかった。父がせっせと彼らと値段交渉をしている時に私は自分が賢いことに気づき値切り交渉に何度も口を挟んだ。最終的に値段は決まり父は汽車に中まで付き添った。父は気をつけて行ってこい、夜は気をつけるように、風邪をひかないようにと言った。旅館の荷持ちに私の面倒をよくみるように頼んだと言った。内心では旅館の荷持ちに私の世話を頼むなんてと笑った。私はもうかなり自立をしていたし大人になっていたし、自分の面倒が見れないと父は思ったのか?今考えると当時は私は賢かった。

"Dad, you can go home now", I told him. He looked out of the train window and said, "I'm going to go buy some oranges for you, just wait here and don't move." I saw that one of the other train platforms had a few vendors selling items to travelers, but to get there you needed to jump down onto the train tracks and climb back up onto the platform on the other side. My dad was fat and getting to the other platform would be really hard for him so I offered to go get the oranges myself, but he would not let me. After a bit of a back-and-forth, I eventually gave up and let him go himself. He was wearing a little black hat, a black overcoat, and a deep blue cotton robe as I watched him stumble over to the side of the platform and climb down onto the tracks. It didn't look like he had much trouble getting down at all. The problem was when he got to the other platform and tried to climb back up. He grabbed onto the platform with both of his hands and tried to kick his feet up too. He really gave it his best effort as his overweight body leaned slightly to the left. At that moment, while watching him from behind, I began crying uncontrollably and immediately began wiping away the tears so nobody could see me cry. After I was able to stop the tears, I looked out the window again and saw him walking back while carrying some vermillion colored oranges. When it came time to transfer back to my platform, he first put the oranges on the ground before climbing down onto the tracks and picking the oranges back up. When he reached my platform, I ran out to help him climb up and he escorted me back onto my seat on the train. After a bit of thought, I placed the oranges down onto the purple fur jacket which I had placed on the seat. Although my fur jacket got a bit dirty from the oranges, I felt at ease and comfortable with the decision. A few moments later my dad said, "Alright I'm heading back, when you get to Beijing please send me a letter!" I walked out onto the platform with him and watched him take a few steps towards the station before he turned around and said, "go on back to the train, it isn't too crowded." I watched him from behind as he disappeared into the sea of people coming and leaving the platform. After I couldn't see him anymore, I headed back to my seat and the tears started flowing yet again.
我说道:“爸爸,你走吧。”他往车外看了看,说:“我买几个橘子去。你就在此地,不要走动。”我看那边月台的栅栏外有几个卖东西的等着顾客。走到那边月台,须穿过铁道,须跳下去又爬上去。父亲是一个胖子,走过去自然要费事些。我本来要去的,他不肯,只好让他去。我看见他戴着黑布小帽,穿着黑布大马褂,深青布棉袍,蹒跚地走到铁道边,慢慢探身下去,尚不大难。可是他穿过铁道,要爬上那边月台,就不容易了。他用两手攀着上面,两脚再向上缩;他肥胖的身子向左微倾,显出努力的样子。这时我看见他的背影,我的泪很快地流下来了。我赶紧拭干了泪。怕他看见,也怕别人看见。我再向外看时,他已抱了朱红的橘子往回走了。过铁道时,他先将橘子散放在地上,自己慢慢爬下,再抱起橘子走。到这边时,我赶紧去搀他。他和我走到车上,将橘子一股脑儿放在我的皮大衣上。于是扑扑衣上的泥土,心里很轻松似的。过一会儿说:“我走了,到那边来信!”我望着他走出去。他走了几步,回过头看见我,说:“进去吧,里边没人。”等他的背影混入来来往往的人里,再找不着了,我便进来坐下,我的眼泪又来了。

「お父さん、もう帰っていいよ。」と私は言った。父は汽車の窓の外を見て「オレンジを買ってくるからここから動かないで待っていろ。」と言った。駅の他のホームの一つに旅行者向けの自販機がいくつかあったがそこに行くには一度線路に降りて反対側のホームによじ登らなければならなかった。私の父は太っていて反対側のホームに行くのは彼にとって大変だったので自分で買ってくると言ったが父はそうさせてくれなかった。少しの押し問答の末私は諦めて父に行かせた。父は小さな黒い帽子と黒いコート、そして紺の綿のローブを着ていてつまづきながら駅のホームに行って線路に降りるのを見た。降りることに関しては大変そうには全く見えなかった。問題は反対側のホームに着いてよじ登る時だった。父は両手でホームを掴んで足を蹴り上げてホームに乗せようとした。全力で頑張っていたので父の太りすぎた体は少し左に傾いた。その時父の後ろ姿を見ていて私は思わず泣き出してしまったが泣いていることを誰にも見られないように直ぐに涙を拭いた。泣き止んでまた窓の外を見ると父が朱色のオレンジを数個持って歩いて戻ってくるのを見た。私のいるホームに戻ってくる時父はまず地面にオレンジを置いてから線路に降りてオレンジを持ち直した。父がこちら側に着いた時私は飛び出し父がホームによじ登るのを助けて父は私の席まで付き添った。少し考えてから私は席に置いた紫の毛皮のジャケットの上にオレンジを置いた。オレンジのせいで私の毛皮のジャケットは少し汚れてしまったがオレンジを置いたことに満足したし落ち着いた。しばらくして「じゃあ俺は戻る。北京に着いたら手紙を書いてくれ!」と父は言った。私は父と一緒にホームに降りた。父は駅に向かって二、三歩進んでから振り返り「汽車に戻りなさい。そんなに混んでいないから。」と言った。私はホームに出入りする人の海の中に消えていく父の後ろ姿を見た。父の姿が見えなくなって私は自分の席に戻った。涙が再び溢れてきた。

In these past few years, my dad and I have been transient and traveling around looking for work. Each day in our family feels worse than the day before. When he was young, he went out and made a name for himself, doing a lot of great things. Who knew he would live such a depressing life in his old age? He is sad every day and can't seem to pick himself out of his depression. With a lot of bottled up emotion and sadness, it is easy for him to lash out in anger at trivial family matters. Now he treats me differently. He hasn't seen me in two years now and seems to have finally forgotten about my faults. Now all he says is that he misses me and my son. After I moved up north, he wrote me a letter: "My body still feels pretty healthy overall, but these days my arm aches so much that I can barely lift a pencil to write or chopsticks to eat. It's quite inconvenient and I feel that I may be nearing the end of my life." As I read the letter with tears welling up in my eyes, I once again imagined him from behind - an obese man wearing a black hat and blue cotton robes climbing the train platform. Ah! Will I ever be able to meet him again?
近几年来,父亲和我都是东奔西走,家中光景是一日不如一日。他少年出外谋生,独力支持,做了许多大事。哪知老境却如此颓唐!他触目伤怀,自然情不能自已。情郁于中,自然要发之于外;家庭琐屑便往往触他之怒。他待我渐渐不同往日。但最近两年不见,他终于忘却我的不好,只是惦记着我,惦记着我的儿子。我北来后,他写了一信给我,信中说道:“我身体平安,惟膀子疼痛厉害,举箸提笔,诸多不便,大约大去之期不远矣。”我读到此处,在晶莹的泪光中,又看见那肥胖的、青布棉袍黑布马褂的背影。唉!我不知何时再能与他相见!

この数年間父と私は渡り労働者をしてあちこち職を求めて旅をしている。私達家族は毎日が悪くなっているように感じる。父が若かった頃は沢山の素晴しい事をして名声を得ていた。歳を取ってから気の滅入るような生活を送るとは誰が思っただろうか?父は毎日悲しんでいて鬱から抜け出せないようだ。抑え込んだ沢山の感情と悲しみのせいで家族の些細な事で怒りをぶつけるのは父にとっては簡単なことだ。今では私を別人扱いする。今父は私に二年会っていなく、私の至らない所はやっと忘れてくれたような気がする。今父が言うことは、私と孫に会いたいとういうことだけだ。私が北の方に移った後父は手紙をくれた。「体はまだかなり健康な気がするが最近は腕がとても痛くて鉛筆で字を書いたり箸で食事をするのがやっとだ。とても不自由で人生の終わりに近づいている気がする。」私は込み上げる涙でその手紙を読んで父の後ろ姿もう一度心に描いた。駅のホームをよじ登る黒い帽子と紺の綿のローブを着た肥満の男。あぁ私はまた父に会うことができるのだろうか?

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