关于19岁

给Elle杂志写的,关于19岁。难得的答应给人写一篇,也许只是因为这个题目。19岁。

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课堂前的教桌前,一头乱发的物理教授说,”Thank you.” 教室里本来东倒西歪坐着的我的同学们叮呤哐啷地从各自的座位上站了起来,收拾大小书籍笔记本等等物件,喧哗着,开始往教室外走。

我坐在教室的最后一排,愣了一会儿,终于明白,哦,这堂课已经结束了。一堂45分钟的课下来,我只听懂了教授的最后一句英文,Thank you.

我终于知道,在过去半年里从新概念英语第二册的开始攻读英文,只够让我考个还不错的托福成绩,却还不够让我听懂课堂上教授的一句话,除了Thank you。

这是15年前。我19岁,刚从福州,中国南方一个安静的小城市,到了Dayton,美国俄亥俄州的一个小城市。来读的这个大学,我在中国的时候从来没有听说过。当然这完全不奇怪。在那个时候,美国的学校我只听说过哈佛耶鲁和普林斯顿。它们的名字只在那个年代福州街头常见的路边书摊里售卖的某些传奇小说里出现。美国是什么?只是一个混迹在福州街头的小混混有天厌恶周围的所有一切迫切想要逃离的时候,一扇很遥远的逃生门。我的运气很好。那扇对很多人关闭的门,有一天为我打开了一会儿,让我进去了。

下雪了。一天天地过去,雪也下得越来越大。俄亥俄的冬天很冷。还好,这是美国。学校宿舍里的暖气总是很足,连我在福州冬天里每年必得的耳垂上的冻疮,在那样的冷冬里都没有出现过。同住宿舍的三人,两个黑人一个白人。

那个白人的学生有天揣着把左轮手枪回到了宿舍,他拿着枪,向我吹嘘他是如何拿着左轮手枪在学校边上的森林里和他的几个哥们,左手啤酒罐右手左轮枪地狩猎。大意如此。因为我只听懂了20%。而在我很诚实地告诉他我只听懂了20%后,他瞪大着眼睛,看着我说,“20%?” 从此他就再不和我这个明显有语言障碍不知怎么混进大学的弱智说任何多过3个词的句子。当然,他也没时间。他很快有了个女朋友,每天都把自己锁在自己的房间里,除了时不时地听到床垫的咯吱咯吱声,难得再出现在我们四人公用的起居室里。

两个黑人却成了我的哥们。他们似乎完全不介意我听懂他们黑人英文的比例甚至还到不了10%。经常我们三人坐在起居室里,他们一会儿互相之间用飞快的速度就像网球对决一样一串串地对抛着句子,一会儿忽悠一声就把那一串的句子抛给了我。绝大多数情况下,我只是一脸茫然地看着他们,啊?偶尔我碰巧抓住了几个词,回答了一句,他们几乎无一例外地会一起哈哈地大笑起来,偶尔还会一起笑得眼泪都出来了,仿佛我说了句天底下最可乐的笑话。我只有哈哈一声,更加地一脸茫然。

但是我们一天天地聊着。他们似乎难得关心功课,但他们似乎很受欢迎。每个周末,我的宿舍里总是挤满了各种各样的人,大伙儿似乎都显得很开心,啤酒罐到处都是,音乐喧闹。偶尔两个男孩女孩会消失到个卧室里一会儿,然后一脸满足地出来。没人关心他们。大伙儿都显得很快乐,我也认识了不少这些快乐的人。

冬天慢慢地过去,春天来了。有一天雪不下了。又过了几天,忽然间到处都是绿的颜色,从树上路边到处地浮出来。我的英文也似乎一天天地改善,虽然偶尔有个人会好奇地问我怎么说着一嘴的黑人口音。期中考过后,我忽然发现,除了英文,我的每一门课都是班里第一。对于一个从来没有考过第十都不用说第一的我来说,这是很奇怪的感觉。这奇怪的感觉也不错,不过。

四月的一天,我回到宿舍。忽然发现宿舍门前停了两辆警车。门大开着。我走进去。房间里挤满了人,大部分我都认识,很多人在哭。一个人拽着我的手说,他死了。那个对着我的烂英文笑得眼泪最多表情最多的黑人,我的室友,吸毒过量,外加本来就有的肾病,猝死了。

过了几天,是他的葬礼。葬礼前,他的家人和他的所有好朋友们都来到他的也是我的宿舍,在起居室里,准备出发去学校边的教堂。几天过去了。几天前在痛哭着的他的最好的朋友们,那一天大约已经恢复了正常。

他们哈哈地笑,打闹,偶尔有两人很甜蜜地打情骂俏。大伙儿都很开心,仿佛这是又一个他还在世时候的一个大麻聚会。

他已经从这世界消失了,无影无踪。

过了两天,我上了一天的课,回到宿舍。宿舍里很安静。现在只有我和那个总是锁在自己房间里的白人住着了。我放下包,走出门。春天是在最浓烈的时候,夏天转眼就到,空气清新,一切都很美好的下午。我走到学校旁边的超市,拿了一盒9美元的帝王蟹腿,半打啤酒,走到收银台。

收银员头也不抬,指着啤酒说,“你的身份证。”

“为什么?” 我问。

“21岁才能喝酒精饮料。”

我没说话。转身走回了饮料区,找了半打无酒精的Root Beer,拿到了收银台,付了款,拿着蟹腿和啤酒,走回了宿舍。

我在从福州带来的钢精锅里,用白水煮熟了蟹腿。很大的两根蟹腿。煮熟了,红彤彤的,冒着热气。看着很味美。

我把蟹腿放在三合板钉成的小木桌上,坐在我的兼当座椅的铺在地上的床垫上,拿起罐Root Beer,掰开蟹腿壳,咬了口雪白的蟹肉。

“Happy Birthday.” 我对自己轻声说了声。那是我19岁的最后一天。

  1. 期待着你的西藏骑行的视频,DAYTON我去过,那里的AIR FORCE MUSEUM很不错的,我也在做一个PHARMACY方面的软件,已经得到150万美元的STARTUP FUND,准备回国找人干,现在5000-8000RMB月能在上海北京雇到好的PROGRAMMER吗?

  2. 复杂的感觉。。好像我XX岁最后一天的心情
    一切都会更好。。过程的艰难险阻让最后的成功更加有意义
    加油

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