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Talking Sex With Dad (in the Ford Taurus)

来源:纽约时报    2018-08-31 01:24

        Before his fingers had reached the volume knob to turn off Steely Dan, I already knew: My bookish and tightly wound father was about to tell me something I did not want to hear.        在他的手指碰到音量旋钮,关掉Steely Dan之前,我已经知道:我那书卷气十足、紧张敏感的父亲,将要告诉我一些我不想听的东西。
        I was only 14 but could recognize the signs: the ambiguous errand that required us to drive into Chicago from our suburb; the unusually tight grip on the steering wheel; the uncomfortable sigh as he turned off the tape deck (Talking Heads if I was lucky, Bob Seger if I was not); and — more than anything else — the acute sensation that I was going to vomit.        我只有14岁,但我能认出这些迹象:需要我们从居住的郊区开车前往芝加哥的一项语焉不详的任务;方向盘被异常地紧紧握住;当他关掉磁带播放器时发出的不舒服的叹息(如果我幸运的话,Talking Heads,如果不走运的话,鲍勃·西格[Bob Seger]);最重要的是,我有要呕吐的强烈感觉。
        “You know,” he said, his eyes mercifully fixed on the road. “When I was your age, the nuns told us that mas-tur-ba-tion” — his was so uncomfortable with the word, he almost added an extra syllable — “was a mortal sin.”        “你知道吗,”他说,还好眼睛看着的是路。“在我像你这么大的时候,修女们告诉我们,“自-慰”——这个词让他很不舒服,几乎增加了一个音节——“是一种大罪。”
        My face flushed, my head turned toward the billboard careering past us and I rolled my eyes so hard that the gesture was nearly audible.        我的脸涨得通红,我的头转向从我们身边掠过的广告牌,使劲地翻着白眼,使劲到几乎可以听到我这个动作。
        “Do you know what that means?” he asked.        “你知道这意味着什么吗?”他问。
        “Yes, Dad!” I snapped, hoping that one of us would have an aneurysm.        “知道,爸!“我大声说道,希望我们中的一个得了动脉瘤。
        “I don’t mean mas-tur-ba-tion. I’m sure you’ve figured that out by now,” he continued, as I prayed for the ability to time-travel, like I’d seen in “A Wrinkle in Time.” “I mean ‘mortal sin.’ The nuns were saying that mas-tur-bat-ing was on the same level of sinning as murder.”        “我不是指自-慰。我相信你现在已经明白了,”他继续说道,我祈祷自己有穿越时空的能力,就像我在《时间的皱纹》(A Wrinkle in Time)里看到的那样。“我是说‘大罪’。修女们说自慰和谋杀是同一个程度的罪行。”
        “Well, trust me,” my father said, “it didn’t take any of us long to figure out that that wasn’t true.”        “好吧,相信我,”我父亲说,“我们没多久就发现这不是真的。"
        You know that scene at the beginning of “Lady Bird” when Saoirse Ronan throws herself out of a moving vehicle to avoid talking to her mother for one second longer? That was me in my teens, convinced that grave bodily injury or death would be preferable to what I was hearing from the passenger seat of the family Ford Taurus station wagon, doled throughout my adolescence.        你知道《伯德小姐》(Lady Bird)开头的那一幕吗?就是西尔莎·罗南(Saoirse Ronan)为了避免和她妈妈再多说一秒钟,把自己从正在行驶的汽车上摔了下来?我十几岁的时候就是那个样子,相信比起我在家里的福特金牛座旅行车的客座上,以及在整个青春期一点一点听到的东西,严重的身体损伤或死亡都还要好一点。
        On puberty: “God gives young men the equipment for sex way before he gives them the knowledge of how to have sex responsibly.”        关于青春期:“上帝在教给年轻人如何负责任地做爱的知识之前,就给了他们性的工具。"
        On pornography: “Hell, Shane, I’m not going to tell you that I never peeked at a Playboy in my day. But if you look at stuff like that, you have to remember that that woman isn’t a thing, she’s a person.”        关于色情作品:“嘿,谢恩,我不会告诉你我小时候从没偷偷看过《花花公子》。但是如果你看着这样的东西,你必须记住,那个女人不是一个物品,她是一个人。”
        On sex and media: “If an alien came down to earth and watched TV for 24 hours straight, they would think that all we did is have sex all day and that it was the most important thing in our lives. Well, let me tell you: It’s not.”        关于性和媒体:“如果一个外星人来到地球,连续24小时看电视,他们会认以为我们整天在做的事就是做爱,这是我们生活中最重要的事情。好吧,让我告诉你:它不是。
        On “It’s Raining Men,” when it came on the radio and I changed the station to avoid seeming gay (which I very much was): “What are you doing? That song’s a classic! Paul Shaffer wrote this!”        关于《天上下男人》(It’s Raining Men),当这首歌出现在收音机里时,我换了台,以避免看起来像同性恋者(其实我就是):“你在做什么?那首歌很经典!保罗·谢弗(Paul Shaffer)写的!”
        I was a fat, closeted teenager who loved musical theater and hated my body, so hearing my father say any of this felt like a violation of the Geneva Conventions. My father — a Catholic baby boomer from Cleveland whose own father wouldn’t let him listen to the Rolling Stones because the music was too risqué — couldn’t have enjoyed these chats any more than I did.        我当时是一个胖胖的、没出柜的少年,喜欢音乐剧院,讨厌自己身体,所以听我父亲说任何这一切东西都感觉像在违反《日内瓦公约》。我的父亲——一个来自克利夫兰的天主教婴儿潮一代,他自己的父亲不让他听滚石(Rolling Stones)的音乐,因为觉得它们太粗俗了——也跟我一样,对这些对话不会感到自在。
        And yet these exercises in mutually assured embarrassment continued for my entire youth. The only thing that stopped them was me moving out of the house.        然而,这些在相互都很清楚的尴尬中进行的练习持续了我的整个青春。只有等我搬出了家才停了下来。
        But it turned out even that couldn’t end them. You can take the teenager out of the Ford Taurus, but you can’t take the unendurable sex talk out of the teenager. Sure, being an ersatz adult meant that I could do all the things my teenage id yearned to do — drink alcohol, take drugs and (try to) have sex — but it didn’t mean that I could forget the ordeals my father put me through on the highways of Chicagoland.        但事实证明,即使这样它也没有结束。你可以把这个青少年从福特金牛座里带走,但是你不能把难以忍受的性谈话从这个青少年的脑海中抹去。当然,作为一个伪成年人意味着,我可以做我十几岁时渴望做的所有事情——喝酒、吸毒和(尝试)做爱——但这并不意味着我可以忘记父亲在芝加哥高速公路上给我带来的折磨。
        And worst of all: I’m grateful for it.        最糟糕的是:我感激这一切。
        Twenty years after ye old masturbation lecture, I marvel at how relevant — straight up zeitgeisty! — my father’s advice has proved.        在听了关于自慰的那一节课20年后,我惊叹于它和生活有多么相关——简直就是时代精神!——我父亲的建议已经证明了这一点。
        Long before our current understanding of consent and all that it entails, he imparted to me that we need to differentiate between what our libidos signal and what’s right for ourselves and our partners.        在我们就知情同意及其种种后果形成当下的认识之前,他早已告诉我,我们需要区分我们的性欲信号,以及如何妥善对待我们自己和我们的伴侣。
        My father couldn’t have predicted how pornography would become more widely available and exponentially more explicit than the Playboys he mentioned, but he helped prepare me to consume pornography with a critical eye.        我父亲不可能预测得到,色情作品会比他提到的《花花公子》更容易获取且越来越露骨,但是他帮助我准备好用审辩式的眼光去消费色情。
        Today I’m one of those queers who can find a narrative about sexuality in anything. But my father’s warning that sex was “not as important as the sitcoms would have us believe” has often reminded me that sex in America is as much marketing as it is a means of pleasure or self-expression.        今天,我是那种能在任何事物里找到性叙事的酷儿。但是我父亲曾警告,性“没有情景喜剧想让我们相信的那么重要”,这一点经常提醒我,在美国,性既是一种快乐或自我表达的方式,也是一种营销产品。
        I begrudgingly thank my father for these excruciating exchanges we shared in the 1990s. Today, when some men seem to confuse physical abuse with consensual role play, when teenagers are consuming pornography at a younger age, and when abstinence-only sex education is getting a renewed push, I look back and realize what a blessing it was to have a father who made me want to crawl out of my own skin every now and then. (Also, I spent pretty much my entire 20s embarrassing him back.)        我很不情愿地感谢我父亲,在上世纪90年代与我一起做了这些让我苦恼的交流。今天,当一些男人似乎把身体虐待和双方自愿的角色扮演混为一谈,当青少年在更早的时候就开始消费色情制品,当只提禁欲的性教育再次受到推动时,我回过头来,意识到有一个让我时不时地想要爬出自己皮肤的父亲,是多么地幸运。(此外,我在二十来岁的时候,没少做些反过来让他难堪的事。)
        And you know what? “It’s Raining Men” is a classic and Paul Shaffer did write it.        而且你知道吗?《天上下男人》是一首经典作品,保罗·谢弗写的。
        But I will still never forgive my father for making me listen to Bob Seger.        但是,我依然永远不会原谅父亲让我听鲍勃·西格。

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