老人之爱 1)Anza-borrego - Excerpt of Into the Wild
1992年4月，一个名叫克里斯 • 麦克肯多斯的年轻男子一路搭便车到阿拉斯加，独自步入麦金莱山北边的旷野。他出身于美国东岸的一个富裕家庭，以优异的成绩毕业于美国一所私立名校，是一个有着狂热梦想的年轻人，一直想摒弃现代社会的物质生活，回归大自然的旷野之中。他从家乡出发，先是改名换姓，把银行帐户中的两万多美元捐给慈善机构，然后放弃了车子，还把身上的现金全都烧掉。他一路上认识各种不同的人，经历了许多不同的事，最后在阿拉斯加的一片丛林里因误食野洋芋种籽而身亡……
感谢Atao的推荐，让我能更早一点看到Into the Wild这部电影，读到克里斯的故事。在按下play键的那刻起，心便注定了又一场久违的心潮澎湃的飞翔。低吟的音乐，空旷的荒野，雪白的大地，克里斯的纯真率直，时而孩子气般的固执，他逃离社会和物质束缚的渴望，对旷野和自由的无比向往，以及在生命弥留之际留下的泪，都让我心痛。我知道它触及了我的心最柔软的那个地方，唤醒了我曾拥有的同样唯美的梦。
本章节选自Into the Wild一书第六章。
On January 4, 1993, this writer received an unusual letter, penned in a shaky, 2)anachronistic script that suggested an elderly author. “To Whom It May Concern,” the letter began.
I would like to get a copy of the magazine that carried the story of the young man (Alex McCandless) dying in Alaska. I would like to write the one that investigated the incident. I drove him from Salton City Calif.... in March 1992 ... to 3)Grand Junction Colorado... I left Alex there to hitch-hike to 4)S.D. He said he would keep in touch.
我想要那期报道那个死于阿拉斯加的年轻人（亚历克斯 • 麦克肯多斯）的杂志。我要写信给调查这起事件的人。1992年3月……我由加州沙尔顿市驾车送他到大章克申郡，在那里放他下来搭便车到南达科他州。他说会和我保持联系。
If you have a copy of that magazine please send me the cost of that magazine…
I understand he was hurt. If so I would like to know how he was injured, for he always carried enough rice in his backpack + he had arctic clothes + plenty of money.
sincerely, ronald A. franz
罗纳德 • A • 弗朗兹敬上。
The magazine that Franz requested was the January 1993 issue of 5)Outside, which featured a cover story about the death of Chris McCandless. His letter had been addressed to the offices of Outside in Chicago; because I had written the McCandless piece, it was forwarded to me.
罗纳德索取的杂志是《户外》杂志1993年1月号，其封面故事报道了克里斯 • 麦克肯多斯之死。他的信寄到了《户外》杂志在芝加哥的办公室。因为那篇文章的作者是我，于是信件就转到我这里来了。
McCandless made an indelible impression on a number of people during the course of his 6)hegira, most of whom spent only a few days in his company, a week or two at most. Nobody, however, was affected more powerfully by his or her brief contact with the boy than Ronald Franz, who was eighty years old when their paths intersected in January 1992.
在麦克肯多斯的“逃避”之旅过程中，很多人都对他印象深刻，尽管其中大多数人只和他共处了几天，最多一两周而已。然而在和这孩子的短暂相处期间，最深受震撼的是罗纳德 • 弗朗兹。他俩的人生轨道交会于1992年1月，当时罗纳德80岁了。
After McCandless bid farewell to 7)Jan Burres at the Salton City Post Office, he hiked into the desert and set up camp in a 8)brake of 9)creosote at the edge of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. When he needed provisions, he would hitch or walk the four miles into town, where he bought rice and filled his plastic water 10)jug at the market-liquor store-post office. One Thursday in mid-January, McCandless was hitching back out to the 11)bajada after filling his jug when an old man, name of Ronald Franz, stopped to give him a ride.
在沙尔顿市邮局向珍 • 伯尔斯道别之后，麦克肯多斯步行进入沙漠，在安萨玻里哥沙漠州立公园边缘的蒺藜灌木丛中扎营。当他需要补给品时，就搭便车或步行4英里路到城里去，在既是市场，又是酒铺，还兼邮局的店里买米，并把塑胶水罐装满水。1月中的某个周四，麦克肯多斯把水罐装满后准备搭便车回到营地所在的斜坡，一个名叫罗纳德 • 弗朗兹的老人停车载了他一程。
“Where’s your camp?” Franz inquired.
“Out past Oh-My-God Hot Springs,” McCandless replied.
“I’ve lived in these parts six years now, and I’ve never heard of any place goes by that name. Show me how to get there.”
They drove for a few minutes down the Borrego-Salton Seaway, and then McCandless told him to turn left into the desert, where a rough 4-x-4 track twisted down a narrow 12)wash. After a mile or so they arrived at a bizarre encampment, where some two hundred people had gathered to spend the winter. At the center of the camp, water from a 13)geothermal well had been piped into a pair of shallow, steaming pools lined with rocks and shaded by palm trees: Oh-My-God Hot Springs. McCandless, however, wasn’t living right at the springs; he was camped by himself another half mile out on the bajada. Franz drove McCandless the rest of the way, chatted with him there for a while, and then returned to town, where he lived alone, rent free, in return for managing a 14)ramshackle apartment building.
Franz, a devout Christian, had spent most of his adult life in the army, stationed in Shanghai and 15)Okinawa. On New Year’s Eve 1957, while he was overseas, his wife and only child were killed by a drunk driver in an automobile accident. Franz started hitting the whiskey, hard. Six months later he managed to pull himself together and quit drinking, 16)cold turkey, but he never really got over the loss. To salve his loneliness in the years after the accident, he started unofficially “adopting” indigent Okinawan boys and girls. When Franz met McCandless, his long-17)dormant paternal impulses were kindled anew. He couldn’t get the young man out of his mind. The boy had said his name was Alex—he’d declined to give a surname—and that he came from West Virginia. He was polite, friendly, 18)well-groomed.
Over the next few weeks McCandless and Franz spent a lot of time together. The younger man would regularly hitch into Salton City to do his laundry and barbecue steaks at Franz’s apartment. He confided that he was 19)biding his time until spring, when he intended to go to Alaska and embark on an “ultimate adventure.” Not infrequently during their visits, Franz recalls, McCandless’s face would darken with anger and he’d 20)fulminate about his parents or politicians or the 21)endemic idiocy of mainstream American life. Worried about alienating the boy, Franz said little during such outbursts and let him 22)rant.
One day in early February, McCandless announced that he was splitting for 23)San Diego to earn more money for his Alaska trip.
“You don’t need to go to San Diego,” Franz protested. “I’ll give you money if you need some.”
“No. You don’t get it. I’m going to San Diego. And I’m leaving on Monday.”
“OK. I’ll drive you there.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” McCandless scoffed.
“I need to go anyway,” Franz lied, “to pick up some leather supplies.”
McCandless 24)relented. He struck his camp, stored most of his belongings in Franz’s apartment—the boy didn’t want to 25)schlepp his sleeping bag or backpack around the city—and then rode with the old man across the mountains to the coast. It was raining when Franz dropped McCandless at the San Diego waterfront. “It was a very hard thing for me to do,” Franz says. “I was sad to be leaving him.”
A week later Franz’s phone rang. “When I heard his voice, it was like sunshine after a month of rain.”
“Will you come pick me up?” McCandless asked.
“Yes. Where in Seattle are you?”
“Ron,” McCandless laughed, “I’m not in Seattle. I’m in California, just up the road from you, in 26)Coachella.” Unable to find work in the rainy Northwest, McCandless had hopped a series of freight trains back to the desert. As soon as he hung up the phone, Franz rushed off to pick McCandless up. “We went to a Sizzler, where I filled him up with steak and lobster,” Franz recalls, “and then we drove back to Salton City.” McCandless said that he would be staying only a day, just long enough to wash his clothes and load his backpack. He’d heard from 27)Wayne Westerberg that a job was waiting for him at the grain elevator in 28)Carthage, and he was eager to get there. Franz offered to take McCandless to Grand Junction, Colorado, which was the farthest he could drive without missing an appointment in Salton City the following Monday. To Franz’s surprise and great relief, McCandless accepted the offer without argument.
麦克肯多斯笑着说：“罗，我不在西雅图，我在加州，就在离你不远的科切拉市。”麦克肯多斯在多雨的西北部找不到工作，于是跳上了几列货运车回到沙漠。弗朗兹一挂上电话，就十万火急地去接他。“我们去时时乐餐厅，让他大吃了一顿牛排和龙虾，”弗朗兹回忆道，“接着我们驶回沙尔顿市。”麦克肯多斯说他只停留一天，只够他换洗衣服，整理行囊。他已经接到韦恩 • 威斯伯格的消息，知道在迦太基市的谷仓有工作等着他，他很急着要去。弗朗兹提议要送麦克肯多斯到科罗拉多州大章克申，他之前约了人下周一要在沙尔顿市见面，所以那是他能送麦克肯多斯最远而不至于失约的地点。令弗朗兹既惊讶又欣慰的是，麦克肯多斯接受了他的安排，并无异议。
Thursday at daybreak they drove out of Salton City in Franz’s truck. Franz reports that it was a pleasant, if hurried trip. “Sometimes we’d drive for hours without saying a word,” he recalls. “Even when he was sleeping, I was happy just knowing he was there.” On March 14, Franz left McCandless on the shoulder of Interstate 70 outside Grand Junction and returned to southern California. McCandless was thrilled to be on his way north, and he was relieved as well—relieved that he had again evaded the 29)impending threat of human intimacy, of friendship, and all the messy emotional baggage that comes with it.
Painlessly, that is, from McCandless’s perspective—although not from the old man’s. Franz had been living a solitary existence for many years. He had no family and few friends. A disciplined, self-reliant man, he got along remarkably well despite his age and solitude. When McCandless came into his world, however, the boy undermined the old man’s 30)meticulously constructed defenses. Franz 31)relished being with McCandless, but their burgeoning friendship also reminded him how lonely he’d been. The boy unmasked the gaping void in Franz’s life even as he helped fill it. When Mc-Candless departed as suddenly as he’d arrived, Franz found himself deeply and unexpectedly hurt.