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英语美文阅读:欺骗

2013-02-22 15:02

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英语美文阅读:欺骗

Now she doesn't look like she's going to faint; she looks like she's going to die. I feel like one-half of the biggest prick in history, spinning this tale to this poor woman, who—among other things—obviously doesn't realize that I no more have the power to take that money out of her bank account than I have to revoke her Indonesian citizenship. But how could she know that? I made the money magically appear in her bankbook, didn't I? Couldn't I just as easily take it away?

"Honey," she says, "believe me, I find land now, don't worry, very fast I find land. Please don't worry . . . maybe in next three days this is finish, I promise."

"You must, Wayan," I say, with a gravity that is not entirely acting. The fact is, she must. Her kids need a home. She's about to get evicted. This is no time to be a bullshit.

I say, "I'm going back to Felipe's house now. Call me when you've bought something." Then I walk away from my friend, aware that she is watching me but refusing to turn around and look back at her. All the way home, I'm offering up to God the weirdest prayer: "Please, let it be true that she's been bullshitting me." Because if she wasn't bullshitting, if she's genuinely incapable of finding herself a place to live despite an $18,000 cash infusion, then we're in really big trouble here and I don't know how this woman is ever going to pull her-self out of poverty. But if she was bullshitting me, then in a way it's a ray of hope. It shows she's got some wiles, and she might be OK in this shifty world, after all. I go home to Felipe, feeling awful. I say, "If only Wayan knew how deviously I was plotting behind her back . . ."

". . . plotting for her happiness and success," he finishes the sentence for me.

Four hours later—four measly hours!—the phone rings in Felipe's house. It's Wayan. She's breathless. She wants me to know the job is finished. She has just purchased the two aro from the farmer (whose "wife" suddenly didn't seem to mind breaking up the property). There was no need, as it turns out, for any magic dreams or priestly interventions or taksu ra-diation-level tests. Wayan even has the certificate of ownership already, in her very hands! And it's notarized! Also, she assures me, she has already ordered construction materials for her house and workers will start building early next week—before I leave. So I can see the project under way. She hopes that I am not angry with her. She wants me to know that she loves me more than she loves her own body, more than she loves her own life, more than she loves this whole world.

I tell her that I love her, too. And that I can't wait to be a guest someday in her beautiful new home. And that I would like a photocopy of that certificate of ownership. When I get off the phone, Felipe says, "Good girl."

I don't know whether he's referring to her or me. But he opens a bottle of wine and we raise a toast to our dear friend Wayan the Balinese landowner.

Then Felipe says, "Can we go on vacation now, please?" Eat, Pray, Love

现在她看起来不像要晕倒;她看起来像要断气。我有一半觉得自己是有史以来最可恶的人,向这可怜女人说这套谎言,尤其她显然没意识到,我根本毫无能力取出她的银行存款,如同我毫无能力夺取她的印尼国籍。可是她怎么知道?我让钱神奇地出现在她的存款簿,不是吗?难道不也能轻而易举地把钱取回?

"亲爱的,"她说,"相信我,我正在找地,别担心,我很快找到地。请别担心……也许三天内就能解决,我保证。"

"你一定必须这样做,大姐。"我严肃地说,并不全然在演戏。事实上,她一定得做。她的孩子们需要一个家。她即将被房东赶出去。这不是扯屁的时候。

我说:"我现在要回斐利贝家。你买了地后打电话给我。" 我转身走出去,明白她正在注视我,但我不愿转头回看她。一路上,我向神提出最诡异的祈祷:"拜托,但愿她真的是在跟我扯屁。"因为倘若她不是在扯屁,倘若她尽管有一万八千元进账却真的找不到住的地方,那么我们的麻烦可就大了,而我也不知道这女人是否有让自己脱离穷困的一天。但是如果她是在跟我扯屁,从某个角度而言,就是一线希望。这证明她诡计多端,在这个变动不居的世界里,毕竟不失为好事。我回到斐利贝家,心情恶劣。我说:"要是大姐得知我在她背后密谋不轨……"

"……以谋求她的快乐与成功。"他接着我的话说。

四个小时后——短短四个小时!——斐利贝家的电话响起,是大姐。她喘着气要我知道,事情已办成。她刚刚买下农人的二阿罗地(农人的"老婆",突然间似乎不在乎分开卖地)。结果才知道,所谓托梦、祭司的干预,或测试神灵的辐射值都不需要。大姐甚至已经拿到所有权状,就在她手里,而且经过公证!她还告诉我,她已经订购房屋建材,工人在下礼拜初就会开始盖房子——在我离开之前,让我能看见工程进行。她希望我别生她的气。她要我知道她爱我胜过她爱她自己的身体,胜过她爱她自己的生命,胜过她爱这整个世界。

我告诉她说我也爱她,说我等不及哪天去她漂亮的新家做客,说我希望有那份所有权状的影印本。我挂掉电话后,斐利贝说:"好女孩。"

我不清楚他是指她或指我,但他开了瓶酒,我们向我们的挚友、巴厘岛的土地所有者大姐祝酒。

而后斐利贝说:"我们现在能去度假了吧?"

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