芭蕉 Plantains

道歉往往都难以启齿。但当你勇敢开口承认过错的同时,也许你会有意外的收获。

Gravel2) crunched3) under Simon’s worn-out Sketchers4) as he took the walk of shame up his neighbor’s driveway. The street was deserted5) and quiet.
西蒙困窘地走上邻居家的车道,脚上那双早已磨破了的斯凯奇鞋踩过碎石,发出嘎吱嘎吱的声音。街道上空无一人,寂静无声。

Simon wanted to be mad at his friends, but he would’ve bolted6), too, if one of them had thrown the football into Mr. Martinez’s yard. Unfortunately, he had made the unlucky pass. Simon paused next to one of Mr. Martinez’s ornate7), handmade mirrors that he sold from his front yard. Glittering8) shards9) of broken glass reflected the warm springtime Colorado sun.
西蒙本来想对他的朋友们发怒,可是转念一想,如果换做是他们中的某个人把足球踢到马丁内斯先生家的院子里,自己也会跑掉的。不幸的是,那倒霉的一脚恰恰是他自己踢的。马丁内斯先生那些手工打造、装饰华丽的镜子放在前院出售,西蒙停在一面镜子旁,破碎的镜片反射着科罗拉多州闪耀的春日暖阳。

Even Simon’s best friend Sawyer had refused to stick around.
连西蒙最好的朋友索耶也拒绝留下。

“There’s no way10) I’m going with you. Mr. Martinez loves those mirrors! Besides, what if he’s still mad about the other day?” Then Sawyer had vanished.
“我是绝对不会和你一起去的。马丁内斯先生多爱他的那些镜子啊!再说,要是他还在为前几天的事生气怎么办?”说完索耶就消失无踪了。

Simon froze on Mr. Martinez’s stoop11), remembering “the other day”. He was sorry about the broken mirror today, but he was more ashamed of what had happened last weekend.
  西蒙想起“前几天的事”,停在马丁内斯先生的门廊前呆住了。他为今天打破镜子而自责,但更为上个周末发生的事感到羞愧。

He and Sawyer had been in Simon’s front yard “studying” Spanish.
那天,他和索耶在自家的前院学习西班牙语。

“Donde esta el mercado?” Sawyer had begun to quiz him.
“Donde esta el mercado? (西班牙语:市场在哪里?)”索耶开始出题考他。

Simon stretched. “Um, let’s see. El mercado esta en mi casa.”
西蒙伸了个懒腰说:“嗯,让我想一想。El mercado esta en mi casa. (西班牙语:市场在我家。)”

“Get serious!” laughed Sawyer. “I asked you where the market is, and you said it’s in your house. Last time I checked, your mom wasn’t running a Piggly Wiggly12) outta13) here. You’ve never been all that great with the Español14).”
“严肃点儿!”索耶乐了,“我问你市场在哪里,你回答在你家里。上次我检查你西班牙语的时候,你妈妈并没有在家里开Piggly Wiggly大型超市。你的西班牙语还没好到那个地步吧,真会吹牛!”

Simon groaned15). “I don’t get it. We live in A-ME-RI-CA! Why does Ms. Perez think we need to know how to speak Spanish? I’m not going to Mexico! Are you?” Sawyer shook his head. “If people want to speak Spanish, they should just go back to Mexico. Spanish is totally stupid!” Simon was so wrapped up in16) his rant17) that he hadn’t noticed the color drain18) from Sawyer’s face. His friend cleared his throat loudly. “What?” Simon turned around.
西蒙抱怨说:“我就不明白了,我们住在美——国!为什么佩雷斯女士认为我们需要会说西班牙语呢?我又不去墨西哥!你去吗?”索耶摇了摇头。“如果人们想说西班牙语,他们应该回墨西哥去。西班牙语简直太愚蠢了!”西蒙说得激昂愤慨,没注意到索耶的脸色变得煞白。他的朋友大声地清了清嗓子。“怎么了?”西蒙转身看去。

Mr. Martinez stood there looking surprised and angry. Simon’s stomach flip-flopped19).
马丁内斯先生站在那儿,看起来既吃惊又生气。西蒙的胃紧张得痉挛。

“Oh, hi, Mr. Martinez.” Mr. Martinez was Latino, spoke Spanish, and had lived next door to Simon his whole life. Simon’s foot was crammed20) so far into his mouth that he could taste his ankle.
“哦,嗨,马丁内斯先生。”马丁内斯先生是拉丁美洲人,说西班牙语,在西蒙家隔壁住了一辈子。西蒙使劲低着头,恨不得找个地缝钻进去。

“Hello boys. Simon, where is your mother, please?” Mr. Martinez asked politely, even though he still looked angry.
“小伙子们,你们好啊。西蒙,请问你妈妈在哪里?”马丁内斯先生礼貌地问他,虽然他看起来还是很生气。

“She’s around back,” Sawyer piped up21). Simon opened his mouth to apologize, but Mr. Martinez was off, a new mirror under his arm.
“她在后院。”索耶尖声回答道。西蒙张开嘴想道歉,但是马丁内斯先生胳膊下夹着一面新镜子已经走了。

Sawyer shook his head. “Dude22), you are toast23).”
索耶摇摇头:“哥们儿,你死定了。”

Now Simon stood on Mr. Martinez’s stoop with a sense of dread24). Mr. Martinez had always been nice to him, and Simon had basically told him to get lost25). Nervously, Simon rang the bell. Mr. Martinez’s normally cheery face darkened when he saw Simon. “Yes, Simon?” he asked civilly26).
现在,西蒙站在马丁内斯先生的门廊前,心里直打鼓。马丁内斯先生一直都对他很好,而西蒙关于西班牙语的一通言论的主要意思却是让他滚蛋。西蒙紧张地按响了门铃。马丁内斯先生一贯和颜悦色的脸在见到西蒙的瞬间就阴沉了下来。“有事吗,西蒙?”他客气地问。

Simon started apologizing to his shoes. “I’m sorry, but I broke your mirror.”
“对不起,是我打碎了你的镜子。”西蒙盯着自己的脚尖开始道歉。

The old man looked thoughtful. “Football?” Simon could barely nod.
这位老人若有所思:“足球?”西蒙艰难地点点头。

“Come.” Mr. Martinez headed down the hall. Curious, Simon followed. A sweet, warm smell filled the air. Mr. Martinez went to the stove and flipped something in an iron skillet27).
“进来吧。”马丁内斯先生走进屋里。西蒙好奇地跟了进去。屋里弥漫着一股温暖香甜的味道。马丁内斯先生走到灶前,把锅里的东西翻搅了一下。

“Platanos maduros, sweet plantains,” he said when he noticed Simon staring. “Sit.”
“Platanos maduros (西班牙语:甜芭蕉),香甜的芭蕉,”他注意到西蒙盯着锅看,对他说,“坐吧。”

Simon’s hunger battled with his guilt as Mr. Martinez produced a plate piled high with what looked like banana chunks28) fried a deep golden brown. Simon sampled29) the first bite hesitantly, but wolfed down30) the next two. He swallowed his shame with his last bite and said, “I’m really sorry about your mirror and about, you know, the other day. I’m glad you’re not in Mexico.”
当马丁内斯先生端出一盘摞得高高的像油炸香蕉一样金黄色的东西时,西蒙的馋虫开始与负罪感斗争。他犹豫着尝了第一口,接着就开始狼吞虎咽了。吃完最后一口,西蒙的负罪感也跟着咽下肚里了,然后他说:“镜子的事我真的很抱歉,还有,你知道,前几天……我真高兴你不是在墨西哥。”

“Me too, since I am from Cuba!” Across the table, his neighbor’s eyes twinkled with mischief as he ate a platano. “You know, where I’m from it is believed that anyone who breaks a mirror will have seven years bad luck.”
“我也是,因为我其实是古巴人!”桌子那边,他的邻居一边吃着芭蕉一边恶作剧般地冲他眨眼,“你知道吗,在我的家乡,人们认为谁打碎镜子就会有七年的霉运。”

“Oh great,” Simon groaned. “Just what I need!”
“哦,那太好了,”西蒙咕哝着,“正是我应得的。”

Mr. Martinez laughed. “No te preocupes, don’t worry my friend. I actually think you are a very lucky boy!”
马丁内斯先生哈哈一笑:“No te preocupes (西班牙语:别担心),别担心,我的朋友。我倒觉得你是个幸运的孩子。”

“How am I lucky? I can’t speak Spanish or throw a decent31) pass!” Simon eyed his empty plate, wishing he could ask for more.
“我怎么会幸运?我不会说西班牙语,也没踢得一脚好球!”西蒙看着他吃空了的盘子,希望能再要点儿。

Mr. Martinez carried the plate into the kitchen. “Ah, but if you had not broken my mirror and come to apologize, you would not have found the perfect Spanish tutor. And,” Mr. Martinez returned the refilled plate to the table, “You would never have tried my platanos! How do you like them?”
马丁内斯先生把盘子拿回厨房,边走边说:“啊,但是如果你没打碎我的镜子又来道歉的话,你就不会找到我这个完美的西班牙语家教。”说着他又盛了一盘芭蕉出来:“还有,你就吃不到我做的芭蕉了!觉得味道怎么样?”

Simon’s mouth was so full he could barely smile. “Excelente!”
西蒙嘴里塞得太满都没法笑了:“Excelente! (西班牙语:太棒了!)”

1. plantain [ˈplæntɪn] n. 【植】芭蕉,大蕉
2. gravel [ˈɡræv(ə)l] n. 沙砾,砾石;沙砾层
3. crunch [krʌntʃ] vi. 发出嘎吱声
4. Sketchers: 斯凯奇鞋,斯凯奇(Sketcher)是一个时尚休闲运动鞋品牌。
5. deserted [dɪˈzɜː(r)tɪd] adj. 无人居住的,荒废的
6. bolt [bəʊlt] vi. 逃跑
7. ornate [ɔː(r)ˈneɪt] adj. 装饰华丽的
8. glittering [ˈɡlɪtərɪŋ] adj. 闪光的,闪耀的
9. shard [ʃɑː(r)d] n. 碎片,碎块
10. no way: <美口> 无论如何不,决不;不可能
11. stoop [stuːp] n. <美> 门廊;门阶
12. Piggly Wiggly: 美国第一家真正意义上的自选超市,于1916年9月6日在美国田纳西州孟菲斯市开业。它的经营者克拉伦斯·桑德斯(Clarence Saunders)在1917年为这种由消费者自行在货架上挑选商品最后结账的零售店经营模式申请了专利,这就是超级市场的雏形。
13. outta [ˈaʊtə] prep. <非规范> = out of
14. Español [espɑːˈnjɔːl] n. 西班牙语
15. groan [ɡrəʊn] vi. <口> 抱怨
16. be wrapped up in: 专心致志于……,对……倾注全部注意力
17. rant [rænt] n. 大话;夸夸其谈;豪言壮语
18. drain [dreɪn] vi. 脸色变得苍白
19. flip-flop [ˈflɪpflɒp] vi. 啪嗒啪嗒地响(或动)
20. cram [kræm] vt. 把……塞进
21. pipe up: (尖声地)说,讲话
22. dude [duːd] n. <美> (男)人,家伙
23. be toast: <主美口> 完蛋,结束
24. dread [dred] n. 畏惧;恐惧
25. get lost: <口> [常用作命令句] 走开,别来烦我
26. civilly [ˈsɪvəli] adv. 有礼貌地,客气地,谦恭地
27. skillet [ˈskɪlɪt] n. 长柄平底煎锅
28. chunk [tʃʌŋk] n. 厚片,大块
29. sample [ˈsɑːmp(ə)l] vt. 品尝,试尝
30. wolf down: 狼吞虎咽地吃(或吞)
31. decent [ˈdiːs(ə)nt] adj. 像样的;相当漂亮的