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没有名字的一年

没有名字的一年

Photograph by Brea Souders for The New Yorker

我们翻译这篇文章的理由

读完整篇文章,我长吁一口气,像是看完了一部电影。

——泮海伦

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没有名字的一年

作者:Cyrus Grace Dunham

译者:泮海伦

校对:王雅婧

点评&推荐:刘小康

策划:泮海伦& 朱小钊

A Year Without a Name
没有姓名的一年
Was the problem gender—or me?
错的是性别,还是——我?
Two summers ago, I went to a beach in Northern California that’s famous for sea glass. I lay in the sun until the tide touched my shoes, then crawled around on my knees, combing for the luminous green pieces. I didn’t look up until I bumped into an older woman who was filling a leather pouch with shards.
两年前的夏天,我去了北加州一个以海玻璃闻名的海滩。我躺在阳光下,一直到涨潮的海水触碰到鞋子,然后开始趴在地上搜寻那些翠绿的玻璃块。找着找着,撞见了一位老妇人,抬头见她正往皮革袋里装玻璃碎片。
“I like the green ones, too,” she said. “They’re real neon.” She told me they were from nineteenth-century Vaseline bottles that glowed if you put them under black light. She explained where all the colors came from. Amber from aromatherapy bottles. White from milk bottles. Red was very rare, and so were black and turquoise. Her favorite color—the hardest to find—was amethyst. She told me that her name was Venus, and I told her that my name was Grace.
“我也喜欢绿色的”,她说,“它们像霓虹灯一样耀眼。”她告诉我,绿色海玻璃源于19世纪的凡士林玻璃瓶,幽暗中瓶身能发光。接着,她向我一一介绍了其他颜色玻璃的来历。琥珀色的来自香薰玻璃瓶。白色的来自牛奶瓶。红色的很稀奇,黑色的、蓝绿色的也都不多见。她最爱的是紫水晶色,也是最难觅得的。她说她叫维纳斯,我说我叫格蕾丝。
“That’s my son’s name,” she said. “I know, it’s a little weird.” Venus disappeared down the beach, and I walked to a cliff with the goal of sitting still for an hour. I wanted to keep my eyes closed, to home in on sensations—which I rarely did. That afternoon, it was even harder than usual to focus, and I wondered if my encounter with Venus was a sign, if she was a messenger shooting arrows of meaning into my life, signalling something about the future. I knew it was a stupid thought, more of a wish than anything else.
“我儿子也叫格蕾丝,”她说,“我知道这有点奇怪。”维纳斯最终消失在了海滩的尽头。我走到峭壁边,想要在这里静坐上一小时。我试图闭上眼睛,让自己专心冥想——我很少这样做。那天下午,我比平时更难专注。我猜想与维纳斯的相遇会不会是什么预兆,她是给我的生活捎来意义的一位信使,启示着未来。我知道这样想有点傻,这更多的是一种期许罢了。
My mom had me when she was forty-two. She tried hard to have me. On a green piece of paper, my parents made a list of all the names they might give me. My mom liked Esther, my dad liked Kay. They agreed on Grace, which was an idea, not something you could touch.
我母亲怀我的时候已经四十二岁了,能怀上我也很不容易。她和父亲在一张绿纸上列了一串名字,想从中挑一个给我。母亲喜欢埃丝特,父亲喜欢凯伊。最终,他们对格蕾丝这个名字达成一致,“grace”是一种抽象的概念,而不是看得见摸得着的实物。
As a child learning to write my own name, I copied my father’s signature, which starts with the letter “C.” I liked to draw “G”s walking across the page, their tongues getting smaller and smaller until they became “C”s, just like his.
小时候学写名字时,我喜欢模仿爸爸的签名,他的名字以“C”打头。我喜欢把我的“G”写得就像他的“C”一样,圆弧大大地滑过纸面,末端的小尾巴越来越小直至看不见,彻底变成一个“C”。
When I was five, I figured out how to spell the words I held in my mouth. I wrote them down until they filled up an entire page: I’m gross I’m gross I’m gross I’m gross. I’m sick I’m sick I’m sick I’m sick. I’m a boy I’m a boy I’m a boy I’m a boy. Then I ripped up the paper and threw it in the toilet.
五岁时,我学会拼写那些我常常挂在嘴边的话。它们被我满满地涂写在纸上:我很恶心。我很恶心。我很恶心。我很恶心。我是变态。我是变态。我是变态。我是变态。我是男生。我是男生。我是男生。我是男生。然后,再把纸撕碎扔进厕所。
Back then, I knew how to stay in character as a girl. Polite, curious, the right mix of self-assured and humble. When puberty hit, I became obsessed with mirrors. I checked my reflection—four times, eight times, twelve times—to make sure that I hadn’t lost control of my performance.
那时,我就懂得如何保持女孩的典型特征:懂礼貌、有好奇心、适度自信、适度谦卑。到了青春期,我开始迷恋上照镜子。我照上四遍,八遍,十二遍,只为确认镜子中的自己依然像个女孩。
Twenty years later, my girlhood was dissolving, with no clear alternative in place. I felt less embodied than ever, less able to gather myself into one person. And yet the idea of “transitioning”—changing my name, starting hormones, getting surgery—sucked me into a thought circuit with no end and no exit.
二十年以后,我的女孩身份正分崩离析,而新的身份尚未形成,我体会到一阵前所未有的脱离感,无法将那些支离破碎的残片拼凑成一个完整的我。同时,“转变”——改名,服用激素,做手术——这个想法将我吸入一个封闭回路,没有尽头,也没有出口。
What did I really want? I wanted thicker skin and better boundaries. I wanted bigger hands. I wanted a flat chest and a new car. I wanted to pull my shirt over my head by the collar, the way men in movies did. I wanted to feel like myself. I wanted to be concrete—a thing you could touch.
我到底想要什么?我想要更坚持己见,更分明的界限。我想要更宽大的手掌。我想要平坦的胸膛和一辆新车。我想要像电影里的男演员们那样,拉着后脖颈处的衣领将T恤脱下。我想要做我自己。我想要切实存在——看得见摸得着。
I hesitated to call this collection of desires “dysphoria,” that catchall term for the pain of having a body that doesn’t align with one’s self-image, however aspirational that image may be. My unease was far-reaching and difficult to explain—even to myself. I felt like vapor trapped in a container. A windowless room with no doors, a single dangling light that never turned off. I tried out one metaphor after another, then wondered if the pain was just an excuse, an explanation that could pull all my disparate memories into a coherent narrative—a coherent gender. And, anyway, if I admitted I was dysphoric, I’d have to decide whether to do something about it, to decide if my pain was real or imagined, if the problem was gender or me.
有人把这些欲望笼统地称作“性别焦虑”(dysphoria)。但无论一个人对自我的认知有多么遥不可及,将其与生理性别不符的痛苦就简单归结于这样一个词,我对此是心存犹疑的。内心的焦灼千头万绪,即便自己也理不清。我就像被困在容器里的蒸汽,像一间无窗亦无门的房,又像一盏摇摆不定的吊灯,永远关不掉。尝试了一个又一个的比喻,我突然怀疑所谓的痛苦仅仅是一个借口,一个解释,它可以把我迥然不同的记忆串联起来,拼凑成一个连贯的故事——一个连贯的性别。总之,若我承认焦虑,势必面临抉择,决定是否要做些什么来应对焦虑,决定我的痛苦到底是真实还是想象,决定出错的到底是性别还是我本身。
A few months after I met Venus on the beach, I deleted all my social-media accounts. I didn’t want to exist outside my body. My limbs, my breasts, my genitals—these were unwieldy enough. I couldn’t manage a digital projection, too. And I didn’t want to see my name anywhere. It unmoored me and made me dizzy. I wanted to be nameless, nothing. The opposite of known.
与维纳斯的海滩偶遇过去几个月以后,我删除了所有社交软件账号。我不想脱离自己的身体而存在。我的四肢,我的胸脯,我的生殖器——操控这些已经够笨拙的了,我没法再操控那些数字假象。我也不想看到自己的名字。它使脱离感加剧,令我晕眩。我想要做个无名氏,化为虚无,成为不可知。
The less I wanted a name, the more compulsively I named everything I saw. Caterpillar. Bird. Knife. Shit. Cunt. Tree. I lay in my bed and imagined myself as every other thing in the universe, so diffuse and infinite as to be indiscernible—unnameable. Every morning, I walked up the hill from my house to a scrubby field slated for development, where a rope swing hung from a black-walnut tree. Leaning against the tree trunk, I practiced filling up my body with air. Air into my toes, into the arches of my feet, into my shins. Into my bladder, into my anus, into my ribs, even into my breasts.
我越不想要名字,就越带有强迫性地给看到的每一件事物起名。毛虫。鸟。刀。屎。私处。树。我躺在床上,想象自己是宇宙中的一切,弥散而无穷尽,不可捉摸——无法命名。每天清晨,我从家里走上山,来到有待开拓的灌木丛地,这里的一棵黑胡桃树上挂着秋千。我斜靠在树干上,练习着让空气充满我的身体。空气钻进我的脚趾,穿过足弓,滑过胫骨;它进入我的膀胱,肛门,肋骨,甚至胸脯。
The more of my body I felt, the less like Grace I felt. She drifted away, an idea or a dream, dislodged from somewhere within me. Had she ever existed at all? I imagined her far out at sea, on the other side of a swell, a white spot bobbing in the water. I told myself there was no bringing her back.
随着感受到越来越多的身体部位,我感到自己越来越不像格蕾丝。她像是一个念头,或是一个梦,从我身体某一处被驱逐出去,随风而逝。她真的曾存在过吗?我开始想入非非,她是一个白点,远远地在海上,在波涛的另一面,随浪颠簸。我告诉自己,要永远和她说再见。
Each day, I imagined myself with the name of a different man. Samuel, my mother’s father, an orthodontist who used to let me play with the tools in his office. He had three last names in the course of his life, each less Jewish-sounding than the last. Simon, the first two syllables of Samuel’s original last name. Edward, my father’s brother, a lawyer who had an encyclopedic knowledge of Civil War history. Michael, the archangel, and also the teacher who’d taught me about white holes, the opposite of black holes, where disappeared matter emerges into another dimension.
每一天,我都想象自己有不同的男性名字。比如塞缪尔,我外公的名字,他是一名正畸医生,小时候常让我在他的办公室玩他那些器具。他在一生中改了两次姓,一个比一个听起来不那么像犹太人。比如西蒙,塞缪尔最初的姓中的头两个音节。比如爱德华,我父亲兄弟的名字,他是一名律师,对南北战争的历史如数家珍。比如迈克,源自旧约中天使长(Michael,即米迦勒),也是我一个老师的名字,他教会我白洞的概念,也就是黑洞的反面,从黑洞消失的物质通过白洞在新的维度出现。
In November, I told my partner at the time that I didn’t want to be called Grace anymore.
十一月的时候,我告诉我当时的伴侣我不想再叫格蕾丝了。
The name came to me one morning, sitting in front of my house before my roommates had woken up. I remembered the piece of green paper, framed and hung on the wall of my childhood bedroom. A column for the girls’ names: Betty, Myrna, Georgia, Esther, Jane, and a dozen more. Grace, with a circle around it. In the boy column, just one name: Cyrus. I said it slowly. I pressed my tongue against the back of my teeth to whistle the first syllable, pushed my lips out for the soft “r,” let my mouth curl around the “us.” Then I wrote it down on a sheet of paper from one of my yellow legal pads. In cursive, then in all caps. Then in block letters. Over breakfast, I slid the yellow paper across the table to my partner, face down.
终于在一个早晨,那个名字出现在我的脑海。当时我正坐在房子跟前,室友们还没起来。我想起了那张绿纸,它镶着边框,就挂在我童年房间的墙上。纸上赫然列着一串女孩的名字:贝蒂、乔治娅、埃丝特、简,以及另外十几个。格蕾丝上面画着一个圈。男孩那一列只有一个名字:塞勒斯(Cyrus)。我慢慢地将它说出来。舌尖抵在牙齿背面,吐出第一个音节,然后将嘴唇向外轻柔地发出“r”的音,最后蜷曲舌头发出“us”。我把它写在黄色信笺簿的一张纸上。先是手写体,再将字母全部大写,最后用印刷体大写。早餐时,我把这张黄纸纸背朝上滑过桌面递给我的伴侣。
“Don’t say it out loud,” I told them.
“别说出来,”我告诉Ta。
They didn’t look up, just scribbled, then slid the paper back to me. They’d written an acrostic with “Grace” and “Cyrus” intersecting at the “r,” an uneven cross. I folded up the drawing and put it in my jacket pocket. I didn’t tell anyone else.
Ta没有抬头,只是涂写了些什么,又把纸递还给我。Ta在纸上用“格蕾丝”和“塞勒斯”写了一首字母离合诗,横纵相接处的“r”写成了一个不规则的叉。我把纸折起来放进了外套口袋,没有再告诉其他人。

译注:Acrostic,字母离合诗,主要原则为每行诗诗首、诗中或诗尾的字母依次排列可以组成一个单词或一句话。

A few days later, my partner called me Cyrus during sex. It was dark, and I was on top of them, their arms wrapped around the back of my neck. It was the kind of sex that made me feel like a man, which we’d been having more of lately. They said the name—it wasn’t my name, not yet—and I came. The next night, they said it again. Cyrus.
几天后我们做爱时,Ta叫了我塞勒斯。房间里很黑,我在Ta身上,Ta的手臂环绕着我的脖子。这种性爱能让我觉得自己是个男人,所以我们最近常采取这种方式。Ta说出那个名字后——那不是我的名字,至少还不是——我达到了高潮。第二天晚上,Ta又叫了那个名字,塞勒斯。
“Shut up,” I said, without thinking. I squeezed my eyes shut and rolled over onto my back. Afterward, I apologized. I knew it wasn’t fair to be so curt. It wasn’t anger toward them that I felt; it was my own shame. The humiliation of longing to be something you’re not.
“闭嘴。”我不假思索地说。我紧闭双眼,翻身躺回床上。后来我为自己的行为道了歉,我知道自己唐突了。我不是对Ta生气,我是为自己感到羞耻。那种渴望成为另一种样子的羞耻。
I taped the name to the wall inside my closet, so I’d have to look at it whenever I changed clothes. Sometimes I admired the shapes of the letters; sometimes I averted my eyes. Cyrus remained a stranger whose ways I was trying to understand. How would he wear his hair? Would he be on time? Would he be a vegetarian? Would he buy steak at the grocery store and cook it alone? Would he meditate? Would he have sex with strangers and tell no one it had happened? Would he have sex with men? Would he wear sneakers? Would he value success? Would he keep his word? Would he lift weights? Would he go running whenever he wanted, even in the dark, even when it was raining? What truth did the name contain? Was Cyrus inside of me already, or had I invented him?
我把名字贴在橱柜内壁上,这样每次换衣服我都得看到它。有时我为这些字母的形状沉醉,有时我躲闪眼神不去看它。塞勒斯仍是个陌生人,他的行事为人我尚在摸索。他会留什么发型呢?他守时吗?他吃素吗?他会在杂货铺买上牛排然后自己一个人做来吃吗?他喜欢冥想吗?他会和陌生人做爱然后谁也不告诉吗?他和男人睡吗?他穿运动鞋吗?他看重名利吗?他守信吗?他举重吗?他会不顾天黑下雨恣意奔跑吗?这个名字到底包含了些什么事实?塞勒斯是从我体内苏醒,还是我创造了他的存在呢?
I told a few more close friends about Cyrus, mostly in texts or e-mails. It was too scary to say it out loud. But the name spread. Soon I was running into people who called me Cy, even though I’d never asked them to. Quickly, it seemed irreversible. The new name rang with guilt for abandoning the old one. Each time I was addressed as Cyrus, I felt like I was betraying Grace, taking her away from everyone who had ever loved her.
我同更多亲密的朋友提了塞勒斯的事,大多是通过信息或邮件。我实在不敢亲口说出来。但这个名字却传了开来。很快我就碰到了叫我小赛的朋友,尽管我从未如此要求过。事态很快发展得不可收拾。新名字响起时总是伴随着抛弃旧名的愧疚感。每次我被称呼为塞勒斯,都觉得自己背叛了格蕾丝,生生地把她从那些爱过她的人身边拉走。
When people asked me what I wanted to be called, I froze. “Either is fine,” I’d say. Or, “Whichever you prefer.” I sounded casual, but both names became reminders of all my uncertainty and fear. I asked my partner to call me nothing for a while.
当被问到想被如何称呼时,我愣住了。我会说“两个都可以”,或者故作轻松地说“随你喜欢”。然而两个名字都在提醒着我的犹疑与恐惧,所以我请求伴侣暂时什么也别叫我。
I hesitated to explain why I’d chosen the name—to admit that it was, in some way, a name that belonged to my parents. It suggested loyalty; wasn’t I supposed to be looking for differentiation? But seeing “Cyrus” written in my mother’s looping script comforted me, as if he had always been there, waiting in an adjacent dimension.
我总是支吾着解释选这个名字的缘由——承认这个名字从某种程度上来说是我父母取的。它带有忠实的意味。也许我应该寻求新意,但看到母亲圆润的“塞勒斯”字迹总能给我带来安慰,仿佛他一直存在,只是等待着一个与我联结的契机。
I didn’t tell my parents about Cyrus. When we spoke on the phone, they called me Grace. I feared what I would be taking away from them—a daughter.
我没有告诉父母改名的事。他们在电话里依然叫我格蕾丝。我惧怕自己正从他们那里剥夺的东西——一个女儿。
I still grew dizzy when I thought about changing my body, through hormones or surgery. I was too full of doubt, even just about my name. When friends of mine changed their names, it seemed clear that it was a matter of survival. Their birth names had simply stopped being livable. I held myself to harsher standards: I ought to be able to redefine myself without a new word, a titular fresh start. Why wasn’t I strong enough to be Grace? Did I hate myself? Did I hate my family? Part of me believed that a new name could shepherd me into a new existence; another part ridiculed myself for being so naïve.
每当想到是使用激素还是做手术来改变我的身体时,我依然感到头疼。我毫无头绪,哪怕只是名字这一个问题。当我身边有朋友改名时,一般都是碰到了生死攸关的大事,出生时的名字已经对他们的生存造成了威胁。于是我把自己推向了更严苛的标准:改名是有名无实的改变,我要重新定义自己不该借助这样的方式。为什么我不足以坚强到做格蕾丝?难道我讨厌自己吗?难道我讨厌我的家人吗?我一方面相信新名字能开启我崭新的生活,一方面又讥笑自己的天真。
When I introduced myself to people, I tried to swallow my words. If someone asked my name, I pretended that I couldn’t hear them. If they asked again, I said whatever came to mind first. I’d tell one person I was Cyrus, then turn to another and say I was Grace. I said “Grace” in a higher pitch. I was considerate, charming—whatever would make the people around me comfortable. Cyrus was quiet. Sometimes he went hours without speaking at all.
当我向别人介绍自己,我恨不能撤回自己说的话。如果有人问我的名字,我便假装听不到。如果对方继续问,我会先想到哪个就说哪个。我会先跟一个人说自己叫塞勒斯,又告诉另一个人自己叫格蕾丝。说格蕾丝的时候我的音调更高。我表现得贴心、迷人——只要能让周围的人感到舒服就行。塞勒斯则安静得多,有时候他一连几个钟头都不说一句话。
In late November, it was still warm enough to sit outside on the balcony at night. I wore shorts, no shirt, put my legs up on the railing. If I didn’t look down, I could summon the sensation of flatness where my chest was. If I couldn’t ignore my breasts, I pushed the extra flesh toward the center of my torso, or to the sides, or over my ribs. I pretended it was butter that I was spreading thin.
十一月下旬,天气尚暖,夜晚坐到阳台上也并不觉得冷。我穿着短裤,没穿衬衫,腿高高地搭在栏杆上。如果我不低头看,就可以感知自己胸脯平平的样子。当我没法忽略它们的时候,我就把那些多余的肉推向躯干的中心部位,或是挤到旁边,或是堆到肋骨上。我假装它们是黄油,我只是把它们摊薄罢了。
Music drifted up the hillside from parties in other people’s back yards. I slept with the door to the porch open at night, so I could hear the sounds filling the neighborhood. It calmed me down to feel like the Earth was one big room; it kept me from drowning in my panic. For a long time, I’d pushed the panic down by drinking or by refusing to be alone or by sprinting until my lungs and throat burned. Alcohol slowed my heart and let me sleep until terror woke me up in the morning, the thumping in my chest that meant I had to begin another day.
有户人家的后院里正开着派对,音乐顺着山腰传上来。晚上睡觉我把通向门廊的那扇门开着,就能听到那充斥着整个邻里的音乐。这音乐令我沉静,整个地球仿佛一个巨大的房间;它把我从恐慌中解救出来。很长一段时间里,为了压制内心的恐慌,我酗酒,逃避独处,或是一直冲刺直到肺与喉咙烧灼起来。酒精放缓了我的心跳,助我入眠,而第二天清晨恐惧又将我唤醒,那胸腔下的撞击预示着我不得不面对新一天的来临。
Lately, I’d vowed to try staying in my body instead of seeking ways to escape it. Counting my breaths, my steps, my body parts. Scalp, one. Ear, two. Ear, three. Brow, four. A friend told me that every time I felt the urge to slip outside myself I should look for the color red. Let it fill you up, they said. Let it hold you down.
最近我暗暗发誓,要尝试着与自己的身体和解,不再设法逃离它。我数着自己的呼吸,脚步,还有身体部位。头皮,一。耳朵,二。耳朵,三。额头,四。一位朋友告诉我,每当我想要从自己的身体里溜走,就看看红色的事物。“让红色填满你整个人,”Ta说,“它能让你冷静下来。”
As it turned out, red was always there. Lines of red neon light out my bedroom window, highways drawn out into the valleys. Red bougainvillea petals on Future Street, on Isabel Street, in all the tight alleys in the neighborhood. The red frame around the picture hanging above my bed, a distorted photo of my torso. The blood under my fingernails when I picked my head. My red denim jacket. Red lights on the horizon all the time.
事实证明,红色无处不在。卧室窗外,从公路延伸到山谷的红色霓虹灯光。未来街,伊莎贝尔街,以及所有周边陡峭起伏的小巷路上的红色叶子花花瓣。床头那幅我躯干的扭曲相片周围的红色边框。挠头后指甲缝里的血。我红色的牛仔外套。还有总是在那的,天际线处的红光。
The objects of my desire seemed smaller and more mundane than ever before. I fantasized about walking down the hill in my neighborhood in a T-shirt, with a flat chest and nothing binding my breasts, the wind flowing between the fabric and my skin. I fantasized about sleeping on my stomach, without breasts between me and the mattress. I fantasized about driving in a convertible like the teen-age boys in tank tops I remembered from my childhood.
渐渐地,我的那些欲望开始变小,变得索然无味。我幻想自己漫步下山,在家附近游荡。我穿着T恤,胸部平平的,没有任何束缚,清风在衣服纤维与我的皮肤之间摩挲。我幻想自己趴着睡觉,床垫与我之间不再有胸脯的阻隔。我幻想自己开着一辆敞篷车,就像我童年记忆里穿着背心的少年一样。
I started having dreams about walking behind my childhood self. Sometimes I held Grace’s hand while she led me around. Her small hand fit perfectly in mine. Sometimes I lay on my back while she read to me from a picture book and stroked my hair. She wobbled through words, asking me the meaning of unfamiliar ones. I walked around with her on my back, her arms gripping my neck, her legs gripping my waist.
我开始做一些梦,梦里我走在童年的自己身后。有时格蕾丝带着我到处走时,我会牵着她的手,她的小手在我的手里那么刚好。有时我躺着,她在一旁一边给我念图书,一边轻抚我的头发,念到磕磕绊绊的地方,就问我那些单词的意思。我背着她到处走,她的手臂紧紧环绕我的脖子,双腿紧紧架在我的腰际。
In February, I drove up to Oakland with my two best friends for a consultation for a bilateral mastectomy, or top surgery. My partner wanted to come, but I said I needed to go without them. My own feelings about the surgery were too convoluted—a lust for something wordless and new. They told me they understood. Our relationship was open; still, I wondered if it could withstand the newness I was looking for.
二月,我同最好的两个朋友一起开车到奥克兰,进行双边乳房切除术的术前咨询。我的伴侣本也想来,但我觉得我必须自己面对。我对这次手术的感觉错综复杂,是对某种无法言说而又无比新奇的东西的强烈欲望。Ta说Ta能理解。尽管我们的关系足够开放,但我依然怀疑它是否能经受住我所追寻的那份新奇。
The night before my appointment, at a party, I introduced myself to someone I’d never met before. “My name’s Cyrus,” I said, without faltering.
咨询前一天晚上,我在某个派对上向一个从未见过的人介绍自己。“我叫塞勒斯,”我毫不畏缩地说道。
We left the party and walked around Lake Merritt. We kissed leaning against a railing, next to a drained-out part of the lake caked in goose shit. She was the first person I’d kissed who knew me only as Cyrus. Without thinking, I told a story in which someone addressed me as Grace. As soon as the name left my mouth, I tensed up as if I’d been caught in a lie, as if I were one more in a long line of men travelling to new cities, conning strangers with false names.
随后我们离开了派对,到梅利特湖边散步。湖边有一块干涸的地方,上面积满鹅粪,我们就倚在一旁的栏杆上亲吻。她是我第一个亲吻的,只知道我是塞勒斯的人。我不假思索地讲了一段往事,故事里别人叫我格蕾丝。我一说出这个名字,就像谎言被揭穿一般紧张起来,仿佛自己成了万千旅行到新城市、用假名哄骗陌生人的男人中的一个。
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I just changed my name. I’m still getting used to it.” She nodded like this was normal and kissed me goodbye.
“对不起,”我说,“我刚改名,还在习惯中。”她点点头,表现得像是这很寻常,与我吻别了。
The next morning, I wrote her a message: “Hey, it’s Cyrus. Last night was fun.”
第二天早晨,我发了一条短信给她:“我是塞勒斯。昨晚很开心。”
“I thought your name was Tyrex,” she wrote back.
“我还以为你叫泰勒克斯呢。”她回复道。
I borrowed a friend’s car and drove to the consultation, stopping at the beach along the way, because that seemed like the kind of thing I ought to do, alone, en route to becoming myself. I took off my socks and my glasses and put them inside one of my boots. I stepped ankle-deep into the frigid water, my jeans rolled up, my coat still on, then lay in the sun and tried to concentrate on my breasts, scanning for nostalgia, fear of loss, attachment. What I felt was desire: I wanted them gone. Was wanting enough? I needed the surgery, but I was always trying to make the need disappear. Did getting rid of my breasts to become more masculine mean that I was accepting the very conventions of gender I felt trapped by?
我借了朋友的车开去咨询会,路途中停在了一个沙滩。这像是我在寻找自我的途中,应该独自做的一件事。我脱下袜子,摘掉眼镜,把它们放进一只靴子里。我跨进冰冷的水中,让水刚没过脚踝。牛仔裤裤腿卷起,大衣仍穿在身上。然后我躺在阳光下,试图把注意力集中于我的胸脯上,细细找寻思乡,患失,与依恋。而我感受到的是欲望:我想要它们消失。仅仅想要就足够吗?我需要手术,却一直在压抑自己的需求。切除乳房,变得更男性化,是否就意味着我开始接受那些我深受困扰的传统性别观?
The surgeon’s office was in a strip mall in the suburbs, across the parking lot from a Starbucks. I sat in the waiting room with a girl who looked fourteen or fifteen. She was there with her mother. I told myself not to scrutinize her gender, not to look for proof that she had undergone transformation, but my eyes travelled to the parts of her body that would reveal the truth—whatever that meant. The size of her hands, the width of her neck. This was a gender-confirmation surgeon, after all. Why would a fourteen-year-old girl in ballet flats and lip gloss, the kind of girl I would have fantasized about as a teenager, be waiting for an appointment?
医生的办公室位于一条郊区商业街,就在星巴克停车场对面。我和一个约摸十四五岁的女孩一起在候诊室坐着,陪伴女孩的是她的妈妈。我告诉自己不要搜寻她身上改造的迹象,评判她的性别,但我的眼睛还是忍不住扫到了她身上展露实情的地方——无论这实情意味着什么。我观察到她手的尺寸,颈的宽度。毕竟是来看性别认同的医生,可为什么一个穿着芭蕾单鞋、涂着唇彩的女孩,一个青春期的我会幻想的女孩,会坐在这里呢?
The consultation was brief, maybe ten minutes. The doctor, handsome and charismatic, a chest tattoo peeking over the top of his shirt collar, had me undress from the waist up. My breasts were white lumps. They pulled my attention away from everything else.
术前咨询时间很短,大概十分钟就结束了。医生相貌俊朗,很有魅力,衬衫衣领处微微露出胸部刺青。他让我脱下上衣,露出白色的两团,它们一下吸引了我全部的注意力。
“Beautiful,” the surgeon said, as he traced his finger along the underside of the left one. “I can already see the definition of your pectoral muscle.”
“很漂亮,”医生一边说,一边用指尖滑过左胸底部,“我已经能看到你胸肌的样子。”
“Is that good?” I asked.
“这是好的意思吗?”我问道。
“Yes. We’ll make the incision along that line.” He smiled, took a step back. “Very good. You’re an excellent candidate.”
“当然。我们会沿着那条线切开,”他微笑着说,往后退了一步,“很好。你是个种子选手。”
Candidate. As if I’d been selected, as if I might win. My parents didn’t know I was in Oakland, or that I was seeing a surgeon, but I had an overwhelming urge to call them and tell them what I’d accomplished. “Mom. Dad. I’m an excellent candidate.”
种子选手。好像我选上了,好像我会赢。我的父母不知道我在奥克兰,也不知道我已经在看外科医生,但我感受到一股冲动要打给他们,告诉他们我取得的小小成就。“妈妈,爸爸,我是个种子选手。”
A hundred and fifty-five days before my surgery, I wrote a succinct e-mail to my parents. For years, they’d watched me in pain—watched me trying to get rid of that pain. But I’d shared little with them. They didn’t know I’d picked a new name or decided to start hormones, and I still hadn’t told them that I was getting surgery. “I am trans,” I wrote to them. “Not intellectually, or partially, or aesthetically.”
距离我的手术还有一百五十五天,我写了一封简短的邮件给父母。多年来,他们看着我在痛苦中挣扎——也看着我努力挣脱那些痛苦。但我并未与他们分享许多经历。他们不知道我已经换了新名字,不知道我决心开始服用激素,且我还未告诉他们要做手术的事。“我是一名跨性别者,”我写道,“不是智力上的,不是部分的,不是审美上的。”
My confession implied that my identity was simple and fixed. That I had been born in the wrong body. The truth was something harder to explain: some days, I felt like a man. On other days—called “ma’am” and “she” and “Grace”—my feelings of manhood seemed like a child’s fantasy, as delusional as thinking I was a bird or a car.
我的坦白向他们表明了自己简单而坚定的身份认同感。那就是我被生错了身体。而我的遭遇要解释起来更加困难:有些时候,我感觉自己是名男性。但另一些时候——我被称呼为“女士”“她”和“格蕾丝”——我的男性身份仿佛是孩童的幻想,和想象自己是一只鸟或一辆车一般异想天开。
The day after I wrote the e-mail, I heard back from my father. “Thank you,” he said. “We understand.” My mother texted me soon after. “Good morning sunshine,” she said. “Or should I say, good morning sonshine.”
邮件发出第二天,我收到了父亲的回信。“谢谢,”他写道,“我们理解你。”很快母亲也给我发了短信:“早上好,宝贝。或者我应该说,早上好,宝贝儿子。”
Son. The word made me nauseous, filled me with shame. I had known that the definitiveness of my announcement would make my parents listen. But I wished I could have written more, could have let them into my confusion without making them doubt my conviction. I had made the choice to sacrifice nuance for legibility.
儿子。这个词让我一阵反胃,整个人被羞耻占据。我知道自己的声明会让父母明白我的处境。但我希望自己当时能再写得具体些,能让他们对我内心的混乱感同身受,不至于让他们误解我的决心。现在我只能委曲求全,容忍其中微妙的差别。
My surgery took place at the beginning of July, four months earlier than expected. A slot opened up after a last-minute cancellation. My friends had planned to take care of me after the procedure, but I felt too guilty asking them to take off work or change their plans in time for the new date. I asked my parents instead, even though the idea of being in my family’s care filled me with fear: I didn’t want to be reminded of my childhood—my girlhood. Still, they came. I couldn’t wait another four months.
七月初,我做了手术,比预期早四个月。有人在最后关头取消手术,所以一个位置空了出来。朋友们本打算术后照顾我,但我不愿他们为我请假,或是为了手术时间重新调整安排。因此我拜托了父母,尽管想到家人的照顾,恐惧就油然而生:我不愿想起童年——那段我还是一个女孩的岁月。但最后他们还是来了。我不能再等四个月了。
We stayed in an Airbnb with a picket fence. There were framed family photos all over the house: a white family of four in pastel clothes. Parents, two daughters. I stayed in one of the children’s rooms, in a twin bed with a monogrammed pillow. On the day of the procedure, my father woke me up at 8 A.M. “Morning, girlie,” he said, and I couldn’t bring myself to correct him.
我们住在爱彼迎上订的一所带尖桩篱栅的房子里。房子里到处都是房东一家的相框:一对夫妻、两个女儿的白人四口之家,都穿着淡色的衣裳。我睡在其中一间儿童房里,房间里有一张单人床,床上是印着押花字的枕头。手术当天早上八点,爸爸来叫我起床:“早上好,小妞。”我没好意思去纠正他。
The drive to the hospital was eight minutes. I turned on the radio, and thought about asking him to turn around. I wasn’t wearing a binder that morning. I reached my hands under my shirt and squeezed my breasts.
开车去医院需要八分钟。我打开收音机,想象着喊他掉头的场景。那天早上,我没有穿束胸。我把手伸进衬衣里面,捏了捏乳房。
In the operating room, the nurses laid me down on a crucifix-shaped table: arms outstretched, legs spread. One friend who had already been through top surgery had warned me it would feel sacrificial. I scanned the room for red as they started to pump fentanyl through the I.V. But everything was white or gray plastic. I lifted my head. The doctor asked what was wrong. I was about to say, “Can you get me something red?” when I saw, in the lower right-hand corner of my eye, five letters—F-O-C-U-S—in bright-red font across the bottom of the door.
手术室里,护士让我躺在一张十字形的桌子上:双臂张开,两腿伸展。一位做过乳房切除术的朋友曾告诫我,这手术让你觉得自己像献祭的祭品。医护人员开始给我注射芬太尼,而我环顾整个房间搜寻红色。但所有的东西不是白色就是铺着灰色塑料。我抬起了头,医生问我怎么了。我刚要说:“你能帮我找个红色的东西来吗?”就看到视野右下角,门下方鲜红色的五个字母拼成“专心”的字样。
“Why’s it say that?” I asked the nurse.
“为什么会有这个?”我问护士。
“So we focus.”
“用来提醒我们集中注意力。”
My spine got warm. I liquefied.
我的脊柱感到一阵暖意,逐渐失去知觉。
I woke up to someone saying “Cyrus.”
醒来有人叫我“塞勒斯”。
“You’re in recovery, Cyrus. You did great. You’re all done.”
“塞勒斯,你在恢复中了。手术很成功。都结束了。”
I was shivering a little.
我有一点发抖。
“Can you call me Grace?” I said.
“能叫我格蕾丝吗”我说。
“Cyrus” was the name on my fluorescent-green hospital bracelet, but Grace was right under the surface. Vulnerable, wrapped up tight.
“塞勒斯”是印在医院荧光绿腕带上的名字,而格蕾丝才是表面下真实的人。脆弱而无助,用绷带紧紧包着。
“You’re in recovery, Grace.” I smiled and cried, asked where my parents were. My voice sounded soft and high, a voice I knew from a long time ago, waking up groggy in the morning to my mother’s knock on the door.
“格蕾丝你在恢复中了。”我喜极而泣,询问父母在哪儿。我的声音是柔和而高昂的,是我很久以前便熟悉的,那时的清晨我在母亲的敲门声中懵懵地醒来。
A few weeks before surgery, I asked a writer I admired how they know when a book is finished. They responded with a question: “When did you believe your name was Cyrus?”
手术前几周,我向一位仰慕的作家询问,什么时候Ta知道一本书写完了。Ta用一个问题回答我:“什么时候开始你相信自己的名字是塞勒斯?”
The answer was never, or sometimes, or not yet, or not fully. Conviction comes in bursts, as does fraudulence. Sometimes I say “Cyrus” out loud and there’s a click of alignment. But Cyrus is also tentative, a liberating gesture that I always fear will be taken from me when I’m yanked back to reality by the “truth.” That I’m a girl, and a daughter, and that to claim anything else is to lie. That I’m consigned to being a liar forever.
问题的答案是永远不,是有时候,是还没有,是不完全。决心和欺骗感来得同样汹涌。有时我说出“塞勒斯”,能感受到一阵适然。但同时塞勒斯也是踌躇的,惧怕“真相”将我狠狠拽回现实,阻断我对解放天性的追寻。所谓“真相”即我是个女孩,一个女儿,任何其他的声音都是谎言。我注定永远是个骗子。
The week before my surgery, my friend sent me an e-mail with no subject line. It contained a Bible passage about the Tower of Babel, which Earth’s people built after travelling west to escape a great deluge:
手术前一周,朋友写了一封邮件给我,主题栏空缺。邮件包含一段圣经中巴别塔的故事,地球上的人们为了躲避洪水逃到西方并兴建巴别塔:
Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.
来吧,我们要建造一座城,和一座塔,塔顶通天,为要传扬我们的名,免得我们分散在全地上。
The people wished to be known by God, to reach up to the heavens and become stars. God did not approve of this hunger for recognition. And so he flung the tower’s inhabitants across the world. Before, everyone had spoken a common language; from then on, they could not understand one another. This was called the confusion of tongues.
人们想要被上帝所知,直达天堂成为耀眼的繁星。然而上帝并不赞同人类的这个欲望。他将塔内的居民分散到了世界各地。在此之前,每个人都讲相同的语言,自那以后,人们再也不能理解彼此了。这就叫做语言的混乱。
In this story, the will to make a name for oneself is full of ego, deserving of punishment. Some people still believe this: that the will to rename oneself is naïve at best, grandiose at worst. That naming oneself is akin to playing God. But what is the alternative? To let other people play God? To accept the constraints of a given name, as if acceptance is always humble?
在这个故事中,人要传扬自己的名是一种自负的行为,理应受到惩罚。现在许多人仍然相信:给自己改名是幼稚无知,华而不实的,是妄图扮演上帝。那还有别的方法吗?是让别人来扮演上帝吗?我们应该接受自己的名字所带来的局限性,仿佛接受是永远谦卑的吗?
Any name can be destroyed, can destroy itself. I know myself only insofar as I know that I will always surprise myself, that “I” will collapse and be scrambled whenever I think my own structure is sound. Cyrus is a sign, and he may not last. And, still, I am him now. I need to be him now. I choose to move toward something like manhood—a concept in which my belief flickers—because, for reasons I still do not know, it makes me feel closer to Earth, to everyone and everything else in the dust.
任何名字都可以遭到破坏,也可以自我毁灭。我对自己的认知仅限于我知道自己总能超乎想象,知道“我”在任何自以为身心健全的时刻都有可能彻底崩溃、受到扰乱。塞勒斯是一个迹象,有一天他可能会消失。但现在,我就是他。此时此刻,我需要作为他存在。我选择努力成为一名男性——一个能让我为之颤动的概念。因为出于某些尚未可知的原因,这能让我贴近自然,贴近每一个人,贴近尘世中的每一种事物。

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文明的诞生,意味着概念的创立、秩序的生成。数十万年来,物换星移:过去的概念,暴露出固有的局限性;旧有的规则,或许也异化为枷锁。在物质生产提高的实际面前,社会集体的目标层次上升,集体对个体的约束放宽,人作为个体的独立性逐渐得到强调,过去托上天神明之名、称纲常理论之义的制约手段自然逐步失效。人生在世,倏忽而已。比起浑浑噩噩、行尸走肉般的生存,给自己一个定义、一个明确的目标,生机盎然地活下去,有什么不可以?

2019年9月4日
刘小康

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没有名字的一年

  • 本文原载于 The New Yorker

  • 原文链接:https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/08/19/a-year-without-a-name

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没有名字的一年

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