The Story of My Father(6) 我的父親(6)

The Story of My Father(6) 我的父親(6)

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6

My mother was finally allowed to move and live with my father and me when I was in grade two at the elementary school. At that time, I already had another younger sister. The five members of our family were finally able to live together in a small and crude bungalow type of house built on top of the floodplain.

一直到我上小學二年級時,媽媽才被允許與爸爸團聚。這時我小妹妹也出生了,一家五口終於在建於河灘上的小平房中過上了「團圓」的生活。

It was a time when people’s material and spiritual lives were both extremely lacking. My father was the only university graduate in his factory, while my mother taught at the primary school in the town. As an intellectual family, we belonged to the “five black classes.”

那是一個物質和精神都極其匱乏的年代。父親是他所在工廠唯一的大學生,母親在漢旺鎮小學當老師,我們這個「知識分子黑五類」家庭,在「工人階級」領導一切的年代,怎麼也是個「異類」。母親甚至不鼓勵我與其他孩子玩耍,怕萬一小孩子間有了爭執打起來,被上升到「階級鬥爭」的高度,從而把父母也牽扯進去,讓一家人的日子更加難過。

In a time when the “working class” was in charge of everything, our family was an “outcast” from whatever angle one looked at us. 

To avoid possible trouble, my mother didn’t encourage me even to play with other kids. If I became involved in a fight with other kids, this could be interpreted as a “class struggle” and implicate my parents. The whole family would then have an even harder time.

During many hot summer nights, when other kids were playing and enjoying the cool air outside, I shut myself inside alone at home. As there were way too many mosquitos in the still “wild” floodplain, I had to hide inside the mosquito net to read in the suffocating heat, while watching my perspiration dripping and leaving wet circles on the pages.

許多個盛夏的夜晚,別的孩子都在外面乘涼、嬉戲,我卻獨自呆在家裡。河灘野地上蚊子特別多,我只能把自己關在悶熱的蚊帳裡看書,汗水嘀嗒嘀嗒的掉在書上。

Reading was the only enjoyment during my childhood. However, there were too few books to read. Many literary classics had been burnt as “poisonous weeds” before and during the “Cultural Revolution.”

看書是我孩童時代唯一的樂趣。可是那個年代可看的書太少,很多名著都被當作「毒草」燒掉了。

In order to satisfy my desire to read, my father started writing children’s stories for me, and then gradually expanded his writing to other literary works such as novels. He was a great lover of literature.

為滿足我的閱讀慾,父親開始寫兒童故事給我看,慢慢的也寫一些小說之類的文學作品——父親本來就是個文學愛好者嘛。

My father wrote all his stories and novels on lined manuscript paper, and then bound them neatly with cotton thread, making them truly “thread-bound books,” with each of them absolutely the “only copy” in the world.

父親的故事都是寫在橫格稿紙上,用棉線裝訂的整整齊齊,是名副其實的「線裝書」,而且是絕對的「孤本」。

Most of the time, I was the first and only reader of my father’s literary works. Whenever my mother found out about my father’s writings, she would throw them into the fire, even if the stories were “pro-revolution” and catering to “the tide of the times,” such as “Little Red Guards Catching a Spy.”

很多時候,我是父親作品的第一個,也是唯一一個讀者。母親一旦發現父親寫的東西,哪怕是給我寫的很「革命」、很迎合「時代潮流」的「紅小兵抓特務」之類的故事,她也一定將之付之一炬。

My father never said a word when my mother burned his writings. However, he would always bite his lower lip in a unique way with an expressionless face, and this would always make me feel extremely anxious and scared.

每次母親燒父親的線裝「孤本」時,父親都臉色鐵青,一言不發,以一種特別的方式咬住自己的下嘴唇,讓我感到非常不祥、非常害怕。

The only happy time then was Chinese New Year. My father’s calligraphy was very beautiful, and all the big banners in the factory were all hand-written by him. Many people would also ask him to write couplets for them to hang on their doors. Every year when Chinese New Year was approaching, he would definitely write a couplet for our own house.

那時,唯一快樂的時候是過年。爸爸的毛筆字很漂亮,工廠所有的大標語都是他寫的,很多人也會來找他寫對聯。每到過年,他也一定給我們自家門上貼上春聯。他的手很巧,除了會縫衣服外,還會做木匠活兒、會打家具。家裡很多桌椅板凳等小件家具,都是他親手做、親手刷漆的。過年時給我和妹妹們做個紅燈籠、兔子燈甚麼的,更是不在話下。

He was also a very smart craftsman. Apart from knowing how to sew clothes, he also knew how to do carpentry work and make furniture. Many small pieces of furniture in our home were all made and painted by him, such as tables and stools.

When it was Chinese New Year, he would make beautiful things such as red lanterns or a rabbit shape light, with four small wheels underneath. My sisters and I would drag this rabbit light and swaggered through the street to show off this beautiful piece of artwork. All the children would look at us in admiration and awe, as they had never seen such a pretty rabbit light, nor could they ever dream about buying one from anywhere. Surrounded by those envious eyes, we felt extremely proud and wonderful!

我和妹妹拉著爸爸給我們做的有四個木頭小轆轤、可以行走的精巧的兔子燈在街上「招搖過市」時,總會引來羨慕的眼光。要知道,那麼漂亮的兔子燈,小朋友們見都沒見過,更別提去哪裡買一個了。那時我們好開心啊。

(To be continued 待續 )

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Photo: My first photo ever with my two sisters, taken after five members of our family were finally allowed to live together. 我與兩個妹妹的第一張合影,攝於我們全家終於被允許生活在一起之後。

Photo: My first photo ever with my two sisters, taken after five members of our family were finally allowed to live together. 我與兩個妹妹的第一張合影,攝於我們全家終於被允許生活在一起之後。

Michelangelo  Apollo-David 米開郞基羅傳世之作「阿波羅-大衛」

Michelangelo Apollo-David 米開郞基羅傳世之作「阿波羅-大衛」

The Story of My Father (5) 我的父親(5)

The Story of My Father (5) 我的父親(5)