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床下的玩具爸爸



  When I was a little kid, a father was like the light in the refrigerator. Every house had one, but no one really knew what either of them did once the door was shut.
  My dad left the house every morning and always seemed glad to see everyone again at night. He opened the jar of pickles (腌菜) when no one else at home could. He was the only one in the house who wasn't afraid to go into the basement (地下室) by himself.
  He cut himself shaving (剃胡须), but no one kissed it or got excited about it. It was understood that whenever it rained, he got the car and brought it around to the door. When anyone was sick, he went out to get the prescription (处方,药方) filled.
  He kept busy enough. He set mousetraps (捕鼠夹). He cut back roses so the thorns (刺,棘刺) wouldn't snag (使钩破,是戳破) you when you came to the front door. He oiled1 my roller skates (旱冰鞋), and they went faster. When I got my bike, he ran alongside me for at least a thousand miles until I got the hang of it.
  He signed all my report (成绩报告单) cards. He took a lot of pictures, but was never in them. He tightened up mother's sagging2 clothesline every week or so (…左右). I was afraid of everyone else's father, but not my own.
  Whenever I played house3, the mother doll had a lot to do. I never knew what to do with the daddy doll, so I had him say, "I'm going off4 to work now," and threw him under the bed.
  When I was nine years old, my father didn't get up one morning and go to work. He went to the hospital and died the next day.
  There were a lot of people in the house who brought all kinds of good food. We had never had so much company (客人) before. He never did anything. I did not know his leaving would hurt so much.
  
  在我很小的时候,父亲就像冰箱里的那盏灯一样。家家户户都有那盏灯,可没有人真正知道,冰箱的门关后,里面会怎样。
  父亲每天早晨出门,晚上他回来见到每个人时,总是很高兴的样子。他总能打开别人都打不开的泡菜瓶。他还敢独自一个人去地下室,而其他人是做不到的。
  他剃胡须时刮破了脸,却从没人吻他表示安慰或因此而感到不安。大家都理所当然地认为,只要一下雨,肯定是父亲将车掉头开到门口。如果家里谁生病了,又是父亲出去找医生开药方。
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