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The Last Stop 无法回头的单程公车终点站  

2009-07-06 21:55:06|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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The Last Stop 


  一个简简单单的故事,细读之下却极耐人寻味。Mrs. Conroy的单程公车之旅似乎总是在暗示着什么、象征着什么。或许人生就是这样,不知不觉中已走完了生命的历程,不管你愿不愿意,已无法回头。

  Afternoon was Mrs. Conroy's favorite time of day. After a hard day at work, her eyes were tired and her feet hurt. She enjoyed the nice long nap she took on the bus. Mrs. Conroy had made friends with the bus driver, Mr. Angstrom. He always woke her up before her stop. She usually felt fresh as a daisy<注1> when she got off the bus. 

  But today was different. Mr. Angstrom wasn't driving. A small man in a wrinkled<注2> uniform sat in the driver's seat.

  "\Where's Mr. Angstrom?" asked Mrs. Conroy, dropping her money \into\ the box."I don't know. Sick, I guess. I just work here, lady. Step to the rear<注3>."Mrs. Conroy hoped that Mr. Angstrom was all right. She didn't like this new driver. She decided not to sleep on the way home today. She didn't want to ask this driver to wake her. He didn't look like the type who'd want to do anyone a favor.

  Mrs. Conroy looked out the window. It was a warm afternoon. Though she tried to keep her eyes open, the gentle rocking of the bus had a lulling effect<注4>. Within a few minutes her eyes closed. Her head dropped to her shoulders. In spite of herself<注5>, Mrs. Conroy fell fast asleep.

  The next thing Mrs. Conroy knew, a hand was on her shoulder. Someone was shaking her awake.

  "Wake up, lady. We've come to the end of the line. Wake up."

  Mrs. Conroy blinked<注6> and opened her eyes. The bus driver looked down at her. "I said, this is the end of the line<注7>, lady. Time to get off the bus."

  Mrs. Conroy peered out the window. "\Where\ am I?" she asked. "I was supposed to get off at Essex Avenue."

  "You're at the last stop, lady. Come on, get off the bus. I have a schedule to keep to."

  Mrs. Conroy was having trouble waking up. She staggered to her feet.<注8>The bus driver took her arm and helped her down the aisle. As she stepped off the bus, she felt a sense of panic. "Wait a minute," she said in a shrill voice. "This isn't Essex Avenue. \Where\ am I? How can I get home?"

  "Cool off<注9>, lady. I told you, you're at the end of the line. We all make it here sooner or later.<注10>"

  "But why can't I ride back with you?" she pleaded. "I have the fare!"

  "Sorry, lady," he said as he closed the door. "It's against the rules."

  Mrs. Conroy watched the bus disappear down the road. She looked around and tried to figure out what part of the city she was in. Suddenly the sun seemed awfully bright.

  Mrs. Conroy squinted<注11>. She didn't recognize this place. There were no trees around, no street signs, and no people. The city seemed to have ended miles back. She couldn't get her bearings<注12>. There was nothing to see in any direction. Nothing at all. Mrs. Conroy wondered if she were still dreaming.

  "Are you ready, Madam?"

  The voice came from behind her. Mrs. Conroy whirled around<注1