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Lie in Bed,by an Open Window,and Listen

Lie in Bed,by an Open Window,and Listen

分类:佳作欣赏   更新:2010/4/15   来源:网络

Lie in Bed,by an Open Window,and Listen

“No air conditioning?How can you sleep?”a friend asks, horrified.I've just revealed that my family has decided to shut the air conditioner off and trim our electric bill.
“Nobody opens a window,day or night,”warns another friend, whose windows have been painted shut for a decade.“This is the '90s.It's not safe.”

On this first night of our cost-cutting adventure,it's on1y 85 degrees.we're not going to suffer, but the three kids gumble anyway. They've grown up in 72-degree comfort,insulated from the world outside.

“How do you open these windows?” my husband asks.Jiggling the metal tabs, he finally releases one. A potpourri of bug decorates the sill. As we spring the windows one by one, the night noises howl outside and in.“It's too hot to sleep,”my 13-year-old daughter moans.

“I'm about to die from this heat,”her brother hollers down the hal1.“Just try it tonigt,”I tell them.

In truth I'm too tired to argue for long.I'm exhausted after attending Grandma's estate auction.I toted home her oval tin bathtub and the chair I once stood on like a big shot behind the counter of her store,sacking Tootsie Rolls and rolling pennies.

My face is sweaty, but I lie quietly listening to the cricket choirs outside theat remind me of childhood,The neighbor's dog howls.Probably a trespassing squirre1.It's been years since I've taken the time to really listen to the night.

I think about Grandma,who lived to 92 and still supervised Mom's gardening until just a few weeks before she died.

And then,I'm back there at the house in the summer heat of my childhood.

I move my pi11ow to the foot of Grandma's bed and angle my face toward the open window.I flip the pillow, hunting for the cooler side.

Grandma sees me thrashing.“If you'11 just watch for the breeze,”she says,“you'11 cool off and fall asleep.”

She cranks up the Venetian blinds.I stare at the filmy white curtain, willing it to flutter.

Lying stil1, waiting, I suddenly notice the life outside the window. The bug chorus shouts“Ajooga!Ajooga!”Neighbors, porch-sitting late, speak in hazy words with sanded edges that soothe me.

“Keep watching for the breeze,”Grandma says softly,and I“uhliuh”in reply. June bugs ping the screen. Three blocks away the Frisco train
rumbles across Roosevelt Avenue.

I catch the scent of fresh grass clippings. Then I hear something I can't decode--perhaps a tree branch raking asphalt shingles on the store roof
next door.

Sleepy-eye now,I focus on the curtain.It flutters …

“MOM,DID Y0U HEAR THAT?”my seven-year-o1d bluts.“I think it was an owl family.”

“Probably” I tell him.“Just keep listening…”

Without the droning air condition,the house is oddly peaceful,and the unfilter night noises seem close enough to touch.

I hope I'm awake tonight when the first breeze sneaks in.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“不开空调?那怎么睡呀?”当我说出我家决定关掉空调以减低电耗时,一位朋友非常惊慌地问道。
“不管是白天还是晚上,没有谁会把窗户打开。”另一应朋反捍醒我说。她家的窗户封上有十来年了。“现在是九十年代,很不安全。”

开始省电的那一晚,温度只有85度(华氏)。其实并不难受,但孩子们已经开始叫嚷了。他们习惯了72度室温,完全与外界隔绝。

“怎么打开这窗户?”丈夫边问边活动窗户把手,终于弄开了一边。圈框外点缀着爬虫的尸体。我们把窗户一扇扇打开,夜晚的嘈杂声在窗外弥漫,一下如潮般贯进屋内。

“太热了,怎么睡呀!”十三岁的女儿抱怨道。

“我快热死了。”她的弟弟在过道上叫嚷着。

“今晚先试试看吧。”我对他们说。

我实在不想跟他们争论下去。参加外婆的房子拍卖仪式后,我累坏了。因为我把椭圆锡浴缸和一张椅子扛了回来。小时候有一次在外婆的店子里,就是站在那椅子上,我象个大亨一样在收银台后一边嚼吐着蛋卷一边大把大把地收钞票。

我脑上冒着汗,却在静静地聆听窗外昆虫的合唱,让我想起了童年。邻家有狗叫声,也许因为有只麻雀闯入了它的领地。好多年没有聆听夜的声音了。

我想起外婆。几个星期前去世时92岁,之前还一直帮妈妈照料照花草。

于是我回到了童年呆在她房子里的那个酷热的夏天。

我把枕头移到外婆的床脚,脸冲着窗户;又把枕头翻过去,想睡在较凉的一面上。

外婆看着我祈祷一番,说道:“如果你静静地把着风,就会凉快下来,很快就能睡着。”

她把活动百叶窗拉起。我盯着薄如蝉翼的白色窗纱,盼着它能抖动一下。

静躺着,等待着,我突然留意到窗外的生命。爬虫在叽嘎夜唱,邻居在阳台上的低语轻呵着我。

“留意把风。”外婆轻声说。我恩的应了一下。六月的小虫拍撞在窗帘上,不远处传来火车穿过罗斯威大道的隆隆声。

我突然嗅到一阵剪草清香。接着,一种陌生的声音传来---也许是一棵树枝撩过隔壁屋顶的瓦砾吧!

这时的我己昏昏欲睡,眼睛仍盯在窗帘上。它动起来了…

“妈,你听到了吗?”我那七岁的儿子嚷道,“我猜是一群夜莺呢!”

“可能吧!”我说,“继续听呵…”

没有了嗡嗡作响的空调声,房子里显得格外平静,夜的声音真切的触手可及。

希望今夜第一丝晚风袭来时,我还依然清醒。

 

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